The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.30.16

by on July 30, 2016 :: 0 comments

“The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.” ~ Henry Moore

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“ballpointpen14x23cmssept3-2015” (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 •••

(due to tragic losses in our very own Poetry Editor MH Clay’s clan, there will not be a rant this week)

weeding the wars by Goodness Lanre Ayoola

so before we pray again for peace
let us crave first for a weeding
for the thistles of wars grown
on the soil of our bruised innocence…

for the constant wars in the black and blue
fathers’ paint on the cheeks of our mothers
under the watch of our little eyes…

for the wars watered by the tears of mothers
in our hearts
from their sniffing sobs
our dreamless nights
when the thunder of abuse rips
our calm skies into a forceful pool of weeps…

for the wars beastly pencils of sticky lead
draw on the thighs of our virgin papers-
and helplessness
singeing in us the fire of vengeance…

for the wars in the pinches
that sour the juice of forgiveness in our infancy
and build in us the walls of wickedness…

for the wars we etch
in the brawls of ‘take your bicycle away’
and ‘give me the food i gave you a fortnight ago’…

for the wars of poisoned doctrines
forced down the throats of our childhood
and the seeds of hate planted
the survival of love in our hearts…

so before we pray again for peace
let us crave first for a weeding
or we pray in vain
and our wars are eternal…

July 30, 2016

editors note: Instead, we enhance them with GMO stamina; war without end, Alas, no more, no more… (We welcome Goodness to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page; plus another new one about our poor treatment of words – check it out.) – mh clay

News by Arif Ahmad

News of gloom
That of the impending doom
Negative news and then some
That lump in the throat
Reporting on the ugly, broadcasting the terrible
Over and over
A disproportionately pessimistic view of this world
Dampening of the good, exaggerating the bad
Keeping us on the hook and edge
Calling, one disaster after another
Ignoring most of which is better
And our misery addicted minds
(Misery often that of the others)
Keep buying into this sick sensationalism
A frustrating experience it is
Most of what we get as News
Whatever sells and is good for business

I guess

July 29, 2016

editors note: No guess work! Satisfaction guaranteed! Buy more, be happy; rinse and repeat! – mh clay


It’s Growing up diagonally
At 64 and remembering
September 11
(Not specifically because
Cousin Ricki
Was there…).

It’s the tick-tacking accuracy
Of whether anthrax spores
Are absorbed
In our
Morning coffee…

Pseudo market forces.
PC hackers:
(Con amore)
Or – tri-lingual brokers
Ensnared by
A crust of
Bullion rising

That collars the phrase
… We become
What we

July 28, 2016

editors note: With less and less of us each year… – mh clay

A Drunken Regret by Jen Bochenko

You’ll just have to find some middle ground

someone tells me

but i am a pendulum in full swing
and the middle comes fast and frequently
and leaves just as quickly and as often

i am rushing from empty to full
i am gorging on His presence
and soon enough the same eyes that desire me
will cast me away with disgust
for He drinks me in lavishly and in excess
and like a true masochist, i let Him

and i ask all the questions from last time
because i will not be a drunken regret

i am sober
He is not
He growls with desire
i growl in frustration
the pain and fury i feel as He is entering my life
means it will all be amplified when He leaves it

this is a rabbit hole i know i shouldn’t go down
but i will because i am a silly rabbit

and now in the cleansing sunlight of a new day
i worry not about being His drunken regret
but about Him being my sober one

i’m wondering about how far the pendulum will swing this time
how far can i fill up before i just explode
and i skip the middle completely
to be suddenly left at empty

July 27, 2016

editors note: Keep swinging to freedom; empty or full. (We welcome Jen to our crazy conspiracy of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Lava Bits Dancing: Lovers’ Lament by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Lava bits dancing, dancing, dancing,
Flame fingers dancing all dark long.
Learning page prancing, prancing, prancing,
Lessons from prancing all dark long.
Lamenting romance, romance, romance,
Woodland copse romance all dark long.
Prodigal chances, chances, chances,
Tomorrow’s chances all dark long.
Lodging no answers, answers, answers,
Praying for answers all dark long.
Cycles spill questions, questions, questions,
Sons and their questions all dark long.
Dangerous letters, letters, letters,
Queries, not letters, all dark long.
Fire and water, water, water,
Volcanic water all dark long.
Gone astray children, children, children,
Romance’s children all dark long.

July 26, 2016

editors note: And so we step through love and life, “all dark long.” (Say, Mad Readers! Hannah has a new book, “Friends and Rabid Hedgehogs,” just launched. This collection of short fiction can be ordered on Amazon here.) – mh clay


The garbage piled up at the curb
Always says hello to me whenever I stride
Out of a morning
Moving away from my home

Maybe it’s the pink sunglasses
Or the jet black hair
And eyes like smoke
Maybe it’s the Batman bikini
Or a smile that tells me for certain
That innocence corrupts.

Maybe it’s the fact that I hate this job
And am currently masturbating to Dakota Charms’
videos in the company toilets
while singing Bob Dylan songs
at room razing volume
instead of doing my highly irrelevant work

Maybe it’s those white high heel
stiletto’s echoing on a hard wooden floor
and the fact that I’ve got nowhere left to go but

I think I see a way out.

July 26, 2016

editors note: And we’re all lookin’ for ours. – mh clay

2 Haikus by Stephanie Mojica

rosy hues muted
tenaciously unable
to dream ever again


blaring silence
hollow, so much smoke
life decaffeinated

July 25, 2016

editors note: Two short slaps to the senses. – mh clay

The Grand Illusion by Randall K. Rogers

This is all an
illusion, the illusion
of perception…
which blinds us
to an appreciation
of infinite

July 24, 2016

editors note: Blind to our blindness? (I think) I see… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Then you’ll dig this and wanna dig in to this week’s featured story Skies of Hell Flame coming from Contributing Writer/Artist/Poet Mike Fiorito. Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o’the week tale:

Keep telling yourself your hell is worse than anyone else’s. From Texas to New York, it’s all a different sort of hell, but we make homes in hell, always.

Here’s a bit of “…Hell…” fer ya’:

(photo “Hell’s Ceiling” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter​)

Texas heat beats down on the lawn in front of the house. There is a scorching wind gently blowing the blades of inch high grass. The grass is wet green, as if oils soaks through the surface to slicken the grass.

The sun’s blaze doesn’t reach the inside of the house. Along with the tarantulas and snakes, it’s stopped at the front door.

A sign hangs in the kitchen that reads God Bless This House. The walk-in kitchen is designed perfectly; its drawers are filled with corn cob holders, lime squeezers, egg beaters, spaghetti servers. All silver. A wine rack nailed to the cabinet displays crystal wine glasses hanging upside down as if in a state of eternal crucifixion.

“We have to be ready by noon,” says James. “My mom has the photographer for three hours only.”

“I wish she’d given us more notice,” says Natalie. Her face is red, her eyes half closed from too little sleep.

“She told us a week ago,” says James.

“I need more time to schedule the hairdresser.” She speaks looking into the mirror, combing her hair.

Buttoning his shirt, James looks into the mirror on the other side of the dresser drawer. His small blue eyes sink into the puffed flesh around them. The fat from his neck swells from out of the shirt.

“I don’t know why your mother does this to me. She doesn’t want me to look pretty,” shouts Natalie.


Later that night they come back from the family photo session.


“Well, I guess the pictures came out ok,” she says.

He nods.

“I’m just so tired. What with work, the kids, and everything else,” says Natalie, pouring wine into a large glass. The liquid makes a gurgling sound as she pours it.

“You’re taking those pills. You’re not supposed to mix them with alcohol.”

She takes a long drink…

And on that cliffhangin’ note, we now direct you right here to get the rest of this read on!

••• Mad Swirl Swag •••

FOUR DAYS LEFT to… 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!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of August (aka 08.03.16) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our NEW mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ badass City Tavern!

This month we will be featuring Why Ohh You! (aka YOU!) Oh, and we’ll also be debuting our swirliness on a new stage. Come and witness this mad-mentous occasion!

Come on out, one & all. Get a brainful of Why Ohh You!, groove to some Swirve, share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!

Fo’ mo’ info’, visit our Open Mic page!

P.S. To get on the preRSVP list, visit our FB event page.

P.P.S. If you can’t make it to Mad Swirl Open Mic this 1st Wednesday but wanna catch the mad action from the comforts of wherever it is you like to watch madness ensue, Mad Swirl is gonna try on this whole “Live Feed” thingie that FB is doin’ these days. Tune in to our Mad Swirl FB home at 8:00-ish (CST) and see if we can get this whole technology thing figured out!


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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