“A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
••• The Mad Gallery •••
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we imagined a trip past oneupmanship; we took a lonely spin on growing thicker skin; we loosed some licks on a painted prick; we read a disclaimer for an animal tamer; we sought self good in the deeper wood; we fanned the fire of sleeping desire; we saw the future for all our babies – it sucks; we suffered no scorn for blowing our horn. Blow, Baby, blow; long and loud. ~ MH Clay
You Told Me To Blow My Own Trumpet… So I Did (Ignoring Your Sarcasm Completely!) by Paul Tristram
I’m really glad that I took your bitchy advice
… I might never have left
that little bum-fuck Town.
Missed out on my travels, adventure & glory.
I might have remained there in a job I hated,
the same council house for years,
life nothing but a practical monotony… sigh.
Living solely for the unfaithful weekends
where I could pretend that I was hot shit again
for a few pathetic, desperate hours.
Then crawl home shamelessly to my other half,
hating them for reminding me, constantly,
that I had settled in life like the coward I would be.
No, I’m glad I stood up as you mocked
and bravely blew my own trumpet
whilst you merely resigned yourself to that fate!
editors note: Practical monotony or impractical autonomy? Choices, choices… – mh clay
Premonition by Bhargab Chatterjee
Indian child development minister is thinking that she
must extend the maternity leave for working women.
Afternoon naps improve my health,
I don’t care how we spend our baby moon at Miami.
The baby in the perambulator smiles at me.
Sex is hushed up. Let’s talk about love, buddies.
She wore a plunging black gown for her music promo.
She sang for raising her baby twins after divorce.
Americans name their babies after guns –
‘a nightmare on elm street.’ After the party
she pretends all is over – a ‘million dollar baby;’
though I have an infighting against mediocrity.
Pro-industry GDP doesn’t impress voters.
A gross environmental product will breast-feed them.
editors note: For all us babies, the future is one big teat. – mh clay
Unquenchable by Nalini Priyadarshni
… then you entered
with a cigarette dangling from your fingers
and unhinged my grip
from the frame
my life had settled in.
Somewhere between the cycle of
awakening and surrender
I stepped out of myself
into the tapestry of chaos
woven with longing.
And now, everything’s a blur
except those moments when we are together
forging new language
to seek each other’s shallowness and depth
retrieving lost worlds
in primal and perennial conversations
with new fluency.
Desire is a light sleeper
that stretches across miles
follows primeval rhythm
of skin and soul
memory and anticipation
until two solitudes bridge over
and smoulder into unquenchable.
editors note: Didn’t know I was thirsty until you brought cool water. – mh clay
Of the Deeper Wood by Ken Allan Dronsfield
A madness descends upon one to attend
the clock on the wall after those who recall
the hiding or seeking and soft squeaking
in a dilapidated cottage of the deeper wood.
Harlequin colors within an irrational swirling
find a mind spinning in the haze of red wine
and I can’t find my way through night or day
blinded by the tock, as the tick seeks to rock.
Standing there bare, while the cat’s on the chair
dizzy and fading while the clock sings a sonnet.
Feeling no pain within a numbness of the brain
salvation’s a meal, confined in a maniacs creel.
Dance by the fire, whilst absorbing warm desire
within the fistula of life, a steamy purge of strife
moving with a gallop through the life of a trollop
cast spells in the dark, to a stars reddish quark.
I am whom you think, wasting away in the stink;
listening to “Lunatic Fringe”, on tape in the parlor
readying the knife, I’ll dissect your wretched life
within a dilapidated cottage of the deeper wood.
editors note: A little weekend get-away for personal reflection and relaxation. (We welcome Ken Allan to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
MARIE by John Grey
She was a nature lover
who never thought me green-blooded enough,
who figured my pale skin
should be more the color of dirt.
I remembered she was Marie
but the names of trees eluded me.
I picked a wildflower for her.
She informed me that I’d killed it.
She loved to ramble through the
woods for hours.
She despised the city.
Too loud, too busy, too smelly,
These were all my argumenta in favor.
She was as beautiful though
as the downtown at night after a rain shower,
soft and neon-colored,
sparkling where you’d least expect.
This comparison stayed with me.
Silent praise knows when it’s well off.
Once she took in an injured owl,
nursed it back to flying.
This is why I never understood it
when she tried to clip my wings.
editors note: Animal husbandry; never easy for the animal. (Read another mad missive from John on his page; about making more than keeping – check it out.) – mh clay
Painted Prick by Peggy Flora
He is nebulous and poetic with a delicate comprehension
He fucks with his tongue and speaks with his dick
He’s got toys in his eyes and tickles with his lips
He’s a prick, painted in disguise, utilized, he’s quick
He’s slick, he’s fearful, he’s the antidote for no shit
He’s fever in strength; he’s the burning candle
He answers in quips as he rattles
He’s heard and listened, settled and peddled
All the words a chick can handle
He’s vague in defeat and noticeably discrete
He devours everything he desires
He’s the love destroyer of flowers
He’s drama with a penis and a tiara.
editors note: A romantic rebuff or political opinion piece? Hmmm… – mh clay
Tough Hide by Irena Pasvinter
They’ll do you in
With such thin skin.
Please, dear, I count on you:
Tighten your hide
For a bumpy ride,
Grow it an inch or two.
Girls, they’ll cut
Through your mild heart.
No, darling, this won’t do:
Turn it to stone
And make it known
Rock is softer than you.
Crooks will pretend
To give you a hand.
Take care, I’m begging you:
Weaken your trust
If you want to last,
Beware, whatever you do.
So, with tough hide
On this bumpy ride,
With heart, harder than stone,
And with zero trust
You’re bound to last —
So what if you die alone.
editors note: Survival need not be solitary. – mh clay
EXPLOIT IMAGINATION by Saloni Kaul
In most regimes, most regiments, work or pleasure,
Where hierarchy comes into play
But in what counts, in combat fair
Giving measure then for measure
They levelly beat the lights out of day.
Sophistication, elegance reigns
In the upper class like sugar crunch caviar munch
Till it’s time for one upmanship
Ah then who cares
It’s punch for punch
All whole swing, free for all, all unzipped.
Exchange of ideas
On the other hand as it ought
Like conversation cool
Is meted out gentlemanlike to peers
Thought for thought
Where we play by the rules.
Businessmen and marketeers
Exploit imagination’s stream.
Silver or gold plated
There they go selling dear
Dream for dream
To all (and sundry) unmitigated.
editors note: Bottom line growth is nothing funny. Imagination – equality, sophistication, ideas – are great if they make money. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Need-a-Read? Well today is your lucky day ‘cos we got just the golden story to rock ya a bit & get you groovin’ into the weekend. Winner-winner!…
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:
“Our bodies are cages we hopefully learn to enjoy with time, but we choose our own neon prisons with great pleasure.”
(photo “Out!” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
The flyers up around the gayborhood didn’t say much: no date, no time, and no location. They just say VOTE: A NEW GAY DANCE CLUB – COMING SOON. It’s rumored to be inspired by Studio 54 back in its heyday—you know, when the bouncer handpicked the hot and important people outside the club.
The address everyone is passing around is an old Circuit City building out by the mall: an abandoned electronics store from the ‘90s. There’s a commotion and I turn around and see a guy coming out of the building with a bag. He’s methodically making his way through the crowd handing out golden tickets. No one over thirty is getting a ticket. He isn’t giving tickets to women or fat guys, either. I suck in my belly and march right up to him and smile. He hands me a golden ticket. I’m so fucking excited I can’t stand it!
Blaring club music from down the street is getting closer and closer. A beat up school bus painted black with the VOTE logo on the side pulls into the Circuit City parking lot. A man steps out of the bus dressed in a form fitting rubber suit and chauffer’s cap. Very cute. The crowd goes wild as all of us chosen men with golden tickets climb aboard.
The bus windows are painted black and there are no seats. We’re all crammed together standing up. It smells like sweat and cologne in here. The bus moves but I have no idea where they’re taking us…
Quite a cliffhanger, eh? Well if you wanna find out where this bus is goin’ (and trust us, you DO!), you’ll just need to click here!
••• Open Mic •••
Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.07.16) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our NEW mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ badass City Tavern! (The City Tavern is located at 1402 Main Street)
This month we will be featurin’ on of our loco locals & a true mad sista to all of us Mad Ones, poet Desmene Statum! Can we get a big ol’ “UHhhhh!”? YES! What we are really tryin’ to say is: You. Do. Not. Want. To. Miss. This. Show. Exclamation. Point! So…
Come on out, one & all. Get a heapin’ “UHhhhh!” helpin’ of some Desmene, 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!
Attention Facebookers: Get on the pre-list at our event page
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…
Short Story Editor