The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.06.16

by August 6, 2016 0 comments

“Art is what you can get away with.” ~ Andy Warhol

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“ballpointpen14x22cmssept29” (above) by featured artist Norman Olson.

We hope your senses have enjoyed the works of our featured artist Norman Olson. We got his whole collection here at so feel free to visit whenever the mad mood strikes ya! And hopefully Norman will share more of his swirl’n drawings and paintings with us in the very near future!

Stay tuned for our next featured artist coming your way real soon! Until then, check out our more delicious visuals in our Mad Gallery

••• The Poetry Forum •••

A BLOOMER IS A BLOOMER LOL by Alex L. Swartzentruber

So you are a late bloomer.
That’s ok.
You’re a slow burner.
Neither a winner nor a loser,
you are a hottie in the muck.
You’re a diamond uncut.
You are a stag deep in the forest
of real life.
There’s torturous trees here,
just out of reach fruits, and toads
who will be your friend.
Don’t worry.
You won’t always be like them,
but for now this will be your crowd.
You are their undiscovered orchid.
Maybe it’s best to bloom in the shadows.
Take your time flexing your petals.
Perhaps you’d prefer not to be clipped
from your mossy log and put on display.
You like to look up at the swamp stars,
unknown to unknown.

August 6, 2016

editors note: How to reach full potential in your comfort zone… – mh clay

Hillbilly Death Cult Extravaganza by Mike Roach

Staring ice into piercing tail light eyes
In a town that dies by 9 each night
I ran 98 miles like a frightened child
From the first time I made you smile
Pink rose petals and empty bottles of wine
The destruction, the desolation, the lynching and the fear
With the clear conscience of a convicted killer
Gone to buy more skin and tears to shed for everyone here

The savior and betrayer ever so perfect
They read the novel written in my face
To see that growing up wasn’t worth it
And giving up would be insane
And even after losing your love
and being without a warm home
My greatest tragedy is the company I keep
When I’m all alone

So tell me, goddess
Are there a lot of guys at your feet or is it just me?
And she said, “Man, more mortals than you would care to believe;
Seducers, accusers, deities, and thieves”
I’ll take all my hard work with me to the furnace
Beneath my feet will be my final resting place
Drowning so calmly, I don’t disturb the surface
Buried so deep they’ll make a river of my grave

August 5, 2016

editors note: An epic novel in three stanzas. The hero dies in the end… – mh clay

Here We Go Again by Dan Raphael

Most years January doesn’t have to do much — its reputation’s enough, every day
in the 30s, rain with 20 mile wind from whatever direction you’re walking;
sometimes the rain polymers branches, cars and streets in cold hard transparency,
soaked soil and juggernaut wind bringing down trees and lines, increasing the darkness
that should be diminishing: the sun’s been up for hours but January wont let it out,

Jan doesn’t look at us at all, knows what we’re waiting for, so becomes 2 weeks longer —
February won’t mind, having been the shortest all its life, knows what complaining brings,
its only reward an extra day every 4 years like a gold star that won’t stick to its forehead,
February’s that long car ride, soon as it begins we’re asking, is it March yet?

March marches, Mars the god of war showing off its new but familiar uniforms,
this month of sideways rain, month of flowers teased into blossoming then frosted brown
by northern winds tromping the calendar line claiming Winter’s over

March has no idea how April got here or who let it in, April so caught
in its fashionable reflection, intoxicated by its own promise,
it seldom looks outside — why are you complaining, it’s April? –
put on your shorts, dust off your bike and celebrate your way to a terrible cold.

August 4, 2016

editors note: Seized in the seasons, pulled by the politics of passing time. – mh clay

playing house by Lindsay Diem

her tiny fingers clasped a diaper wipe
and pressed it to my nose
she loudly instructed for me “blow”
and waited inquisitively

she wiped my face delicately
the way mommy and daddy do it
and blotted my eyeliner
with a look of disdain

she didn’t know what to do with the ugliness
the long black streak of make-up
her eyes, wide and innocent
by imperfection

August 3, 2016

editors note: From the start, comes the question, “What do we do with the garbage?” – mh clay


As a young man
I was never a great
success with the
it wasn’t that I
lacked the urge or
the desire but
rather I always felt
awkward and ugly
and always ended
up saying
dumb and I was
always the first to
get crazy drunk
get into some kind
of hassle;
naturally I had my
times with the girls
and enjoyed the
majesty of their
flesh and gentleness
and their special
ways that I’ll
never understand
and my curiosity
hasn’t diminished;
I love women
and at over half
a century old I’m
a little more at
ease with feminine
beauty and their
natural sensuous
within their eyes
and lips and hair and
the way of their
sunsets, the way of
their worlds and
the music they make;
forever captivated
enchanted by the
flames of heaven
and hell.

August 2, 2016

editors note: The ultimate incarceration; prison divine. (We welcome John D. to our creative confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Relict by Sanjeev Sethi

Sluicing in the runnel of your ruminations
a collage of close-ups pinwheels
through mental frontiers. I smile
a smile whose breadth demonstrates
your depth. Your watermark splashes
when through the light of alone time
I notice how well-lit you left me.

I connect emotions and their effulgence
with the young. But look at me, at this
vintage. Does freshness of feelings infuse
newishness? When in fuss and flap of
love, curiosities about a lover are a curse.
Whatever one knows is less. Wavelength
of vacancies help erase mackled edges.

August 2, 2016

editors note: The relic recapitulates his relevance. – mh clay

The (Un)seen by Peter Magliocco

Pale wildflowers were left at your doorstep.
Near the end of spring warmer wind came
to stir hair from unrecognizable faces,
like your dead Civil War soldier boy
following you everywhere in the city.
That modern gothic city of torn dreams
melded you into a mature woman
the lost waif never left inside you.
To forage through oneiric possibility
existed in the plight of others,
you said, “whether alive or dead.”
He spread pale wildflowers every day
with blessings withering at your feet.
In his uniform, haunting the byways
shadow people drive by in distress,
plotting crime, doing life chores
while beating away real consciousness
in their unknowing human brains,
never seeing the Civil War soldier
with his purely diffracted skeletal face
(under dust of immanent thoughts)
they choose to deny & ignore totally
as dead flowers slowly stalk us.

August 1, 2016

editors note: Though the dead would teach us, we still won’t learn. – mh clay

Cosmic Hand by Harley White

Once upon a ghostly star,
knee-deep in a darkling place,
I meandered off too far
into outer, outer space.

As I wandered in this land
of the void beyond the night,
suddenly I saw a hand
reaching for a cosmic light.

Though lost in darkness dreary
and adrift in bleak despair,
disheartened, weak, and weary,
I could not but stop and stare.

Such a wondrous illusion
floated in those blackened skies!
Was this only delusion
that I saw before my eyes?

Did collapsed star long ago,
pulsar spinning crazily,
cause that nebulaic glow
emanating hazily?

Was this sight to be believed?
Astrophysical ideal?
Pareidolia perceived?
Yet the phantasm seemed real!

Fingers colored brilliant blue
clutching at a fiery band
formed a most amazing view
of this archetypal hand.

And my musing mind was full
of this inner mystic spell
serving as the heavens’ pull
out of my own private hell.

That ethereal display
brought me eerily around,
showing me the light of day
and a destiny profound.

Ever onward I would plod,
thus to seek the truth inside,
on a path that few had trod
where deep wisdom would abide.

With this purpose as my guide,
though the way might twist and bend,
I would live until I died
with enlightenment my end.

Yea, it was as if a dream
of a helping hand within
shone a bright eternal beam
where obscurity had been.

July 31, 2016

editors note: When what we see brings enlightenment and hope, then let’s see more of that! (The image inspiring this wonderful, ekphrastic outburst can be seen here.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! Once in awhile we get a short story that is waaay out there and we just caaan’t help ourselves but to publish it! Jimmy the Human by Contributing Writer WJP Newnham is one of those. Here’s what Short Story Editor has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:

Hope is pointless when humanity is perpetual. That’s how we want it, though. Always alive, always struggling, always until we’re ash.

And here’s a bit of his byte madness to get’cha goin’:

photo “Factory-made Sunset” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

Jimmy the human. Well, vaguely human.

It’s been a long thirty years on the factory floor,

A robotic existence, but you’ve made a feed

For yourself and the factory fodder you and your wife

Spawned at intervals:

Funny how their conception times to

Celebrations of promotion and pay rises.

Like hey baby, I’m financial: let’s procreate!


Lest the mewling offspring howl in protest

At the jail term…

Shackled from birth to the machine

And worked to death

Near death

So fucked up!

Acres and acres of bricks and wire mesh, Halon globes burning bright with candle power greater than the sun; early morning overtime to pay the mortgage. Mile upon mile on weary legs and feet: varicose veins straining for release against tired old flesh. Trudging slowly uphill to catch the tram: faces drawing ground ward, eyes slumped like slag, cold and ready for the banality of another day on the job.

“See, you find one nice girl

You get to marry!

You both got job?

Ok, you save you money!

Always dumping wage into the bank.

You know, but food with wife wage…

2 years, maybe 3 you got

Twenty thousand dollars and you get loan.

Maybe 50-60 thousand. You buy a house!”

And you buy and you buy and you buy and you buy and you buy and you buy…

You click ▼ you click ▼ you click ▼

••• Open Mic •••

All we here at Mad Swirl​ have gots’ta say about this past 1st Wednesday is Awww! OK, we have a LOT more words to share, what with ALL the poets & musicians and pics & links & tags & whatnot’s we gots…

A HUGE shout-out to our NEW mad mic home, downtown Dallas’ badass’d City Tavern​!

If you couldn’t make it to the debut show and wish you coulda, there’s some live feed action recorded on our Mad Swirl FB page but it pales to being there.

Thanks to all who came out to the City Tavern & shared in this mad-mentous collective deliciousness. What a night of the beat-utifullest poetry and music it was!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses… (rollover the image below to start the slideshow)

photos courtesy of Dan “the man” Rodriguez

Why Ohh YOU!

Johnny Olson​

Krude/Swirve Walker:
Clark Walker & Chris & Tamitha Curiel

Mad Cast:
Desmene M. Statum​
James “Bear” Rodehaver​
Opalina Salas​
David Parham​ aka Rob Dyer
Jen Bochenko​
Carlos Salas​
Vic Victory​
Brett​ “BA” Ardoin
Cynthia Ann​
Jake Kinnard​


Charles​”Kerseymere” Randall
Wes Anthony
Paul Koniecki​
Gnadia Wolnisty​
John May​
Reverie Evolving​
Hector Ortiz​
James Hargrave​
Catie McLain​
Sonny Wyatt​
Max Young

HUGE thanks to Krude/Swirve Walker for taking us to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

Gigantic grats too to our Viking sound and lights guru Thad & cheers to our burly bartender Ben for keeping us buzzin’ all night long!

Heaps of thanks to ALL of you who freely shared their hand claps, finger-snaps, hoots and howls with all the mad ones who got up on this sacred mad swirlin’ mic.

and last but NOT least…

HUGEST thanks to The City Tavern’s proprietor Joshua Florence​ for blessing us with our new digs and welcoming us mad ones with open arms and giving us a swirl’n space we can call home.

May the madness swirl your way ’til next 1st Wednesday…

Your Mad Googily-Eyed Guy

P.S. Interested in prforming? If you are a mad poet, musician, actor, singer and/or performer (circus freaks and Elvis impersonators always welcome) & live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, come to The Underpass Bar & strut–yo–stuff.

P.S.S. Got questions? E-mail us at for further details that may not be listed here.

P.S.S. The City Tavern is located at 1402 Main Street • Dallas, TX


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…

Gettin’ Away with It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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