The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.17.16

by on September 17, 2016 :: 0 comments

“I only give expression to the instincts from my soul.” ~ M. F. Husain

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The Relentless Resonance of Her Nakedness” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak. To see more of Bill’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 hoped away our fears of those who cut with shears; we gave heart a home, packed in styrofoam; we left home to drink alone; we made an existential meatloaf; we entered a plea for refugees; we lapped up a lingo luau, Pidgin style; we strove to extract hope from a pile of despair; we lamented the loss of fish caught and fish that got away. It’s a smorgasbord of words; make the meal that matters most to you. ~ MH Clay


From a lecture given in Biology 6040, “Animal Behavior,” East Carolina University, 2008

With limited intelligence and absolutely no knowledge of Biophilia
But tons of testosterone, money and privilege,
They kill our big-eyed deep water Marlin as a gaggle of local dock Creeps
Give them cheers and big bucks to do so.

None of the high testosterone Yuppies has a bloody clue
About top-predator biology, anthropocentricity or exploitation.
Some might call it the “Tragedy of the Commons.”
What if the big fish are cognitive and have feelings?

What about their being hoisted up to cheers and fist pumps,
Their last big-eyed vision being that of their upside down “high T” murderers?
What about those gut hooked and released
To swim in painful circles for the sharks to plunder?
My wife, saddened by the spectacle,
Asks if they clean and eat the “poor big fish”.
I tell her the rule of my Mississippi grandfather:
“If you kill it, Boy, then you shall eat it,” which they blissfully ignore.

I respond further by saying that the 5 hundred pound Marlins are doomed to the wall,
Stuffed, mounted and once again staring down
At those who placed them there;
Their tissue, viscera and sinew most likely going to cats, blue crabs and incinerators.

They call this type of exploitation “Ecotourism;”
Say it’s good for the economy.
They embrace the pontifications of Aristotle and Saint Augustine
And all that “humans are on top the evolutionary shit pile scala naturae Judeo-Christian nonsense.”

None have read anything about biodiversity,
Pelagic predation,
Human etiologies to the crises in the world’s oceans,
And, I am absolutely positive, nothing on the cognitive ethology of fishes.

So what do you Nawth Kackalacky students think about this Outer Banks anthropocentric outrage?
“I’ll tell you what I think.”
And what is that, Ms. Midjette?
“Dr. Daniel, you should be fired for lecturing like this!”

editors note: Used to be it was just fishing. Now, every move mangles something else. – mh clay


I’ve got to stay strong and got to maintain
As life right now is a hard thing for me to deal with
Now she has gone and everything seems fucked
Whether it be Europe, my own questioning of life
In this town or just the thought that maybe I’ve been
Right all along and there is nothing for us
Now that it’s all fucked
Now that I’ve realised that
Love is dead
Politics is pointless and this
Life is hard
So, what is there to do but
Find a new way to live this life

editors note: It’s all we can do… But, we CAN! – mh clay

VERBAL KINE JAZZ by Joe Puna Balaz

See da old man
wit da cho cho lips
and da rat bite on his head—
Aisoos! Mongoose!
da fighting chicken wen lose
and now da buggah is dead.

Pluck all da feathers
trow ‘um in da pot
everybody like kaukau.
Poho loosah
in da ring anyway
so now we going make luau.

Everybody dance
everybody sing
everybody jan ken po.
No need fight
foa desert tonight
cause we all get kulolo.

Look at da moon
up in da sky
just like wun big fish eye.
Sit on da ground
wit wun fat opu
and no even wondah why.

New kine story
same kine smell
everybody understand.
All mix up
like wun big fruit cup
heah in da hula-hula land.

So now local lingo
is just like wun jingle
holoholo good fun razz.
Kissing da ear
making everyting clear
living in da verbal kine jazz.

Hawai’i Pidgin Glossary:

aisoos – Filipino exclamation of sighing out loud and saying “darn it” or “oh no.”
buggah – A person, especially a male; the word can also refer to an animal or thing.
cho cho lips – Fat lips.
holoholo – To go out; to go out visiting.
hula-hula – Variant of hula, a native Hawaiian dance.
jan ken po – Japanese name for rock-paper-scissors game.
kaukau – To eat; food.
kulolo – Hawaiian pudding made of taro, brown sugar and coconut milk.
luau – Hawaiian feast.
opu – Stomach.
poho – No can; waste time.
rat bite – A bad haircut that shows the scalp through the hair.

editors note: Another smidgin’ o’ Pidgin’ from Aloha Land; got a groove you can dance to. – mh clay

Near the Dog House by Cade Williams

Describing and transcribing the life of an exile makes one feel all ways but well
The sting of a quill carries the charisma of a hill
We clamor in the maze of hallways
Interconnected, but from society rejected
Looked down upon, sprayed and unpaid, the enclave is frowned upon
We pervade the yard
Step on us.

editors note: Don’t eliminate. Integrate. We all crawl the same hill, after all. – mh clay

Invention of Meat Loaf by Jeff Grimshaw

We were all present for the invention of meatloaf
I remember your black & orange high tops
And Debbie drinking her can of Cel-ray Soda
Through a Silly Straw. The DiBello twins,
Anxious to be somewhere else but never
Leaving. Onions, said Frank DiBello, if you
Chopped up some onions and worked them
Into the meat… For the love of Christ,
Said Benny DiBello, Enough of this shit,
I want to get back to the truck.
Onions would be good, though. I don’t
Remember the year. It was one of the years
When you could wear a paisley shirt, which
Benny DiBello did. That’s
How I remember years. The year of the
Paisley shirt, the year of everybody threw out
The 8-track tapes, the year of the
Shitty little dogs. Debbie wanted to add
A can of beef soup to the recipe. I told her
She was on to something but
A whole can was too much. The TV was
On but we couldn’t find the game.
That guy David who nobody liked dropped
By and told Frank, Your truck, I thought
The tires were flat? But what’s
Happening, it’s sinking? In the swamp?
You shook your head and said:
Somebody go get seasoned bread crumbs, and
I think two eggs. (In the end we only
Used one.) Yes, mixed vegetables, but only
On the side. Yes, tomato paste, although
Tomato sauce is okay. Yes. One day
Some of us will be dead, and
Another day all of us will be dead, but
(Continued Benny) right now
We are all alive, all
Here, and all of us inventing meat loaf.

editors note: Great to be alive; now we know who to blame… – mh clay

Sunset by Sarah Bonaccorsi

Just 3 days ago, in that other place, that home,
the sun set at 8:30. Now, It sets at 9:22.
Really it sets at 21:22. Everything is different here.
The accents, the company (none,)
even the sun.
On Wednesday I drank a boulevardier with family,
pet the dog, lazed the day away.
Now, I sit in a grey chair that a stranger bought,
in a studio flat that a stranger owns,
and I wait for work in a bustling office in a city far away
from my family, my dog, and my boulevardier.

editors note: That disjointed feeling when self is where the sun sets… somewhere else. – mh clay

Fit Me In by Daniel Kuriakose

The leftover brownie’s
pretty good,
‘cept I taste the styrofoam
I boxed it in.

Now I understand
the batch of people
licking trees in the park.

I taste foam
on my thoughts, is that
normal? That can’t be normal.

Get me out of here.
Don’t think I can’t
see the synaptic
packing peanuts
jetting out your window,

lodging your air
with themselves.

I woke up today
to the burglar alarm.
First place I checked was
my chest.

editors note: Foam to pack your china or your heart; resistant to shock, but not theft. – mh clay

Hope by Lisa Moak

Now rising, now giving, now flowing,
Winding, testing its tendrils towards the sun.
Blossoming, straining, slipping,
Secretly budding before the hollow eyes
Sense its growth, coming then with shears,
To cut down the tender stems.

editors note: Let hope shine brightly; blind the hollow eyes. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Who Needs-a-Read? You, that’s who! And we here at Mad Swirl have got quite the read to fit your need… “The Wall” by Contributing Writer & Poet Harley White!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:

“Build yourself, make you who you want to be. See yourself shine beautifully, then crumble. Destroy yourself.”

Here’s a few lines from “The Wall” for y’all:

(photo “The Greatest Wall” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Like hoping, wanting, wishing—in fact I gave up as many feelings as I could get rid of.

Strange how that works. You decide—only semi-awarely—to stop feeling pain.

You put up a wall—invisible, impenetrable—surrounding you.

Seems reasonable enough. If the wall is thick enough, no one can hurt you, disappoint you, reject you.


Ready to continue this climb of “The Wall”? Get the rest of your read on here!


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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