The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.23.16

by July 23, 2016 0 comments

“At the typewriter you find out who you are.” ~ Tom Robbins

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“ballpointpen12x20cmsdecember10-2015” (above) by featured artist Norman Olson. To see more of Norman’s mad canvases, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe prayed for words from gods absurd; we squeezed some more to spill on paper; we whetted our whistles on a morbid epistle; we dined at home on plates of bone; we spoke not with twang of tongue, but with strum of strings; we made feet to sing, forever times sixteen; we took things half lived to make a whole life; we ended all with everything. ~ MH Clay

everything by Andrew Chmielowiec

among the nights i lost:

(1) we are sitting around
the kitchen table
& there are drinks

& we are young & full of hope
& everything is louder
& everything is light blue
(not robin’s egg, but close)

& you are still a thought.

(2) we are at home under the bridge
& we broke our bottles on the rocks,
except for the one that didn’t
& bounced into the hudson river

& we are laughing
& everything else is quiet
& everything is a pale yellow,
except for the water:

a motionless dark blue

& you are closer
& i can almost feel you now.

(3) there is a light
coming through the bedroom window
& we are alone now

& there is no music,
but we are dancing

& everything is glowing
& everything is orange

& you are here.

July 23, 2016

editors note: Sweet singular presence. Yes, everything! (We welcome Andrew back to our creative congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his reinstated page – check it out.) – mh clay

Make Me Whole by Alex Rocha

some days
after work
after i take that drive home
and it’s 2:30am
after i work that job
that is ever awesome so.
usually Thursday mornings,
because i know thursday mornings the gardeners come
and make so much goddamn noise i can’t sleep
i drink more scotch than usual,
in order to sleep through the madness.
leaf blowers going on high
enough to rattle your goddamn brain.
i drink more scotch than usual,
not because of the gardeners,
but more so because of the loneliness that eats at my soul.
3am is the loneliest time of the world.
that’s when it gets cold
and the bed feels empty
and i begin to feel empty
and down,
and not so well.
so i overdo the scotch to feel good,
and i put the ear buds in to drown out the pain,
with ice cubes in my scotch as a trick.
a trick that never works,
but i pretend it does.
my women of before do not like me,
so it’s empty here.
around 4am i get the itching to go out for a smoke,
and i stand out there
in my penguin pajama bottoms
and my flannel button up
and my hat of course,
because any decent man wouldn’t leave his house without
his hat on.
and i smoke.
i look over to the curb where she used to sit,
and wish she was there now,
so i could go talk to her,
she understood the loneliness,
because she is like me.
i hear the birds chirping,
the beginnings of a new day
the start of a sunrise
that peaceful moment in between.
i am alone in the universe.
and then i hear those trotting steps
of that guy who runs through my neighborhood at 4am,
with a relay pylon in his hand,
i hear his shoes stomping the ground,
and i see him run down the street,
and i take 2 steps back,
and make myself close to the wall and try to hide,
but he sees me
and waves that pylon in the air,
and says to me,
“Have a good day man! Be Careful.”
in the most polite and friendly way possible.
and i wave to him
i wonder about him.
does he wake up early to run?
is he training for a marathon?
i wonder if after his run,
he goes home and takes a hot shower,
and then sneaks into bed,
next to his wife,
and rubs up against her warm body,
and feels an eternal happiness that
is so wonderful
it is enough to devour the world
and eradicate loneliness?
i hope he goes home after his run,
and crawls into bed next to his wife
and realizes just how precious life is.
i want to be him.
i want to love my wife.
i want to wake my kids up for school.
i want to go to parent teacher conference night,
i want my wife to bitch at me for all the projects
i have parked in the driveway.
i want to crawl into bed
next to that nice warm ass i adore
and snore into oblivion.

make me whole.

July 22, 2016

editors note: A whole wish for the whole of all. – mh clay

The Infinitude of LOVE by Anca-Mihaela Bruma

Embraced equinoxes
on the lips of a Spring,
breaths made visible
with Chi power,
meridian feelings,
no North poles
on the other ends…

Solstice mysteries,
boreal mélange
and infused potpourris,
we twirl with Druid feet
and sing our footprints’ song.

During all our 27 glacial years
in front of each winter I knelt,
all monochrome seasons were bundled
and veiled each midnight sky
with Mercurian hands
and Venusian dreams,
traced your smile
between Neptune and Jupiter
with thousands of hellos
and millions of welcoming good-byes!

During all our 16 eternities together,
LOVE kept growing exponentially,
with realities colliding in poetic holograms
devising the infinitude of the Infinite.

July 21, 2016

editors note: A manic mandala of words. Fun with the Infinite! – mh clay

and then the guitar spoke by Anjana Basu

and the wild cherry bloomed in its sanctuary the news was that the girls had gone back to the forests
taking their tears and broken hearts to bury again beneath the mould in a flurry of marigolds
over breakfast the lines of a cross connection distorted our message of love into something else altogether
some kind of violent lust fest that made the pigeons hide their eyes never mind the television while the
cuckoos screeching battled the strings

and then the guitar spoke in a zillion kinds of din or string and the girl lay down in the furrow waiting for
fire to strike and declare her pure of contamination but the news said the fire lied and her tears set a
limbless amputee tree in scarlet bloom trying to speak without tongues

and then the guitar spoke

spring in midwinter had come rainclouds blowing from west to east across the last telegraph wires
before the axe cut down the poles and woodcutter went to smoke a cigarette and never returned.

July 20, 2016

editors note: Guitar-speak; where there’s fire there’s a smoke break. – mh clay

BONE CHINA by Chuck Taylor

May not come from China but
Usually contains cow bone

Use the animal, right? If
You are going to kill it

Use it like the plain’s tribes
Use their sacred buffalo

Imagine, as I know you can,
Bone China placed out for

Family on the dinner table,
Set out well, formally, with

Good silver, a white table-
cloth, gorgeous flowers,

The kind that you like,
Right for the season. Now

Imagine that you do this
Once a year, perhaps on

Thanksgiving, so to bring
Back in spirit your mother

And your father, the bone
Contained in the China

Comes from their cremation,
And your lovely table would

Not be so arrayed without
What they did for, and to, you.

July 19, 2016

editors note: Flesh from flesh, bone from bone; thanks for life and thanks for home. – mh clay


Now or never !
The call keeps haunting.
Julienne of pride
Hung there for my future trade offs
A morbid fountain never should dry
But then I never knew why
It still lets me feed on it… unconditionally!

Is this what you loved for?
Is this what you hated till death?
Is this what you never could understand?
Bless the morbid fountain for its eternal bliss
Right now I cannot say – Why?

In the late hour of clock
I always woke up with a trace of dream
A dream to die for!
A dream to kill for!
A dream to exchange with useless protocols!
Drink from the morbid fountain for it tastes like brine
Sweat or a few drops of tears… you will never know!

July 19, 2016

editors note: Don’t know, either; but – taste the salt? – mh clay

My poems by Shirin Hasrat

They are not mere words
They are the blood that oozes
from a broken heart
The debilitating pain
That pierces deep
And spills on paper.
Blurred words?
Perhaps a teardrop
Tired of being imprisoned
In sleepless eyes.

July 18, 2016

editors note: An insomniac’s expression to wake us all. (We welcome Shirin to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Damn Those Poet Gods by Robert L. Martin

Sleepless nights and distant days
Through thorns and sordid blinding haze
Pushed through comfort and rest about
Steady hands molding faith in doubt
Stopping when hell is a sacred place
And earth is a lofted planet keeping pace

Those damn poet Gods and their pushy ways
I’m a rag doll losing my way thru the maze
My own thoughts are sufficient words unheard
A ragged warbling from a song-less song-bird
My pride is an anchor wrapped around my feet
A sweetness dipped in a sauce made bittersweet

How beautiful those commanding poet Gods
I hear their words, their palpitating vocal throbs
The overbearing ways they enter my mind
Their passionate journey to find what they find
Their dashing to my heart like a shooting star
I stand amazed in awe for what they are
Those damn poet God’s, please come again
I beseech thee to blow your breath on me. Amen.

July 17, 2016

editors note: As we are damned by them. Amen. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week’s featured short story comes from Contributing Writer, Kim Farleigh. Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone​ has to say about this pick’o’week, “I Was Here First“:

“You’re alive and you’re you, that’s reason enough to be the most important person on the planet. All people who know they’re equally special will bow before you. And if they don’t? Then there’s always hate. Always, there’s hate.”

Haters gonna hate and lovers gonna love… this story! Here’s a few lovin’ morsels:

(photo “Get the Horns” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter​)

People leaving the stairwell entry in the front row of the bullring’s top tier kept stopping to admire the view, moving on when hearing: “Fucking move!”

When Mohican screamed, he stood up. He had stood up a lot. He was in the front row beside the entry.

“You’re in the fucking way!” he belched, for the twenty-fifth time.

Stunned faces spun, seeing Mohican, before moving on.

Mohican’s pale face’s hairy, black mole adorned an inflamed cheek, his Mohican like an outraged bird’s plume upon his pudgy head.

“Fucking move!” he screamed again, his victim spinning in amazement before moving on.

Someone else then stopped in front of him. The bulls would be charging into the ring soon.

“Get out of the fucking way, for Christ’s sake!” Mohican yelped.

“Calm down,” someone said.

“Move!” Mohican screamed.

Skyrockets informed the crowd that the bulls were about to run. The stairwell entry cleared quickly.

Mohican rose, holding a camera.

“Sit down!” someone screamed.

Mohican’s camera’s screen revealed the gates through which bulls and runners would be rushing shortly.

“Sit down!” the same person shouted.

Mohican didn’t respond.

“Incredible!” someone else huffed. “He screams at people for blocking the view and now he’s doing the same thing himself!”

A man went over to Mohican said: “Sit the fuck down or I’ll punch your fucking lights out.”…

Will Mohican actually sit down or will he get himself a fist sandwich? Only one way to find out… read on!

••• Mad Swirl Blog •••

This Increasing Expanse of the Swirliverse by MH Clay

Greetings, Mad Friends!

I’d like to share a few remarks on recent growth here at Mad Swirl.

Our creative conspiracy of Contributing Poets has reached over 130 poets in number with more coming soon. Our poets come from all over the world. You’ll see 4 new Contributing Poets and 2 returning Contributors in just the next three weeks.

Here are a few of the countries represented on our Poetry Forum (because they’re fun to list); Australia, Singapore, India, Nepal, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany, France, England, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, Canada and lots o’ poets from the USA, coast to coast.

New submissions have been increasing, too; especially since the turn of this year. You’ll read over a dozen first-time-on-Mad-Swirl poets in the next three weeks. As we have always striven to keep the wait on our submissions queue to 90 days or less, we recently implemented a Two-fer Tuesday on the Poetry Forum, bringing you more fresh poetry from these Mad voices from around our Swirl-ing world.

We editors here at Mad Swirl are so grateful to be the facilitators of such a crazy, creative confab. Thanks to all our Mad Friends everywhere! Spread the word to all your friends and lovers of poetry, short fiction and art. The Swirliverse is expanding!

••• Mad Swirl Swag •••

Come & Get Mad Swirl Swag!

If you’re MAD and you know it, why not wear it loudly and proudly? The whole Mad Swirl of merch begins here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some “mad” clothing to sport, then you’ve come to the right place.

This merch will be available for purchase until August 4th. They come in all sizes for men and woman and a variety of colors. Come get you some!

Get one for yourself and while you’re at it, get one for your nearest and dearest mad one in your swirlin’ world!


The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin’ on… now… now… NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl’s World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We’ll be here…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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