The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.29.16

by October 29, 2016 0 comments

“Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere—you only have to look to see it.” ~ Bob Ross

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“abandoned church” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Jennifer’s’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe were star-struck, fooled; we saw red, by Autumn schooled; we received what was given; we gave poor a way of livin’; we gamed love’s system, winnin’ and losin’; we got our own through jealous shmoozin’; we fizzled our fire to fix a flat tire; we wound up the week in an easy speak. No cover. All wonder… ~ MH Clay

THE PICCOLO BAR by John Najjar

for Vittorio

Feeling like a piece of debris
In life’s flooding flow
I come here to enjoy the show.
A place for the dispossessed.
Its dark cave light
Offers a coffee-cup shield
Against the ticking clock.
A cafe patronized
By interesting people
Or so the sign said.
Wonder why I am here
Hiding in this blue cloud.

Remember it’s a place
To sit and dream
Drifting with memory’s stream.
Anguish just lost moments
Searching the menu board
While Billy Holiday’s voice
Filters into the night.
Safe in this warm glow
I sit in the corner
And watch characters
Exchange masks
Playing the night
With these star-splashed themes.

editors note: Walk right in, folks. No cover. Masks optional. – mh clay

With each hand… by Simon Perchik

With each hand the same turn
you learned to take apart
put together, tighten

and though the wrench holds on
the tire’s slowly going flat
the only way you know how

– you let go, circle
spring-like, for keeps
around the pin-hole leak

already planes falling into place
as a training song from the 40s
louder and louder, struggling for air

– at last the tire goes down
half under the ground
where you need both wrists

the way flowers wilt and each breath
takes in more smoke, still black
on course, end over end, almost there.

editors note: Meek machinations to maintain mobility, leaking languor. – mh clay

THESE DAYS OF OUR LIVES by Joseph Lisowski

This lady up the block
got this daughter across the street.
They ain’t exactly buddies
but, you know, they get along.
One day the girl’s dad, her ex
comes visitin’ with his new wife.
I mean it’s like nothin’s said
but soon there’s this parade of guys
knockin’ on the lady’s door–
five of them ina week by my count
an’ once two in one night, all comin’
in clean, shiny cars, them spiffed,
knockin’ ona door it seems
whenever her ex is ona porch
across the street.
The guy don’t say, do nothin’.
No tellin’ what’s on his mind.
I look again at the woman,
I can’t figure what she got
that causes the traffic jam.

Who knows? Maybe she
makes one helluva omlette.

editors note: Some eggs on a plate to put egg on his face? – mh clay

The Games by Chuck Taylor

Here’s John, honestly in himself,
Wanting his cock in cunt,
Not caring beyond beauty,
The bodies divine, wanting
To stay and walk away

And here’s Mary, unsure too,
Wanting it too, in love
With beauty but fearing
It’s name, calling it “cute,”
Thinking John’s might be

The one for babies,
And they want it
Both soft and hard
Fire quick and molasses slow.
You know how it goes

The Humorous, the intense
The Light, the dark
Forever and a day
Both Liberty and security
The whole swinging ecstasy

And all the while
Here comes the beginning
Of the always saying
You’re the one who’s
Got it all wrong,

And soon they turn
burned with anger,
Righteous as anyone’s God
“Try to learn respect,
I’m not a piece of meat!”

editors note: Just a game, which everyone plays for keeps. – mh clay

Pro-poor by Lawdenmarc Decamora

I got the spirit of the world ninja tuna
I will stay poor my life to experience life
I have dreamed of you so much my sound

My jitney flies and I want to touch bloodbuzz
Blueberry body into the persuading coolness

I don’t have money to enter forgetting
I don’t have money because I don’t like it

The photograph hung against the blue world
Blue pain buzzing bee-bowskidee-doo-beep
Would you like to take a walk and sleep

The morning with simple kindness and bells
Tintinnabulating like my heart church crisis

Come away getting rich what we are not
Before you know it the dream is gone

Logical squares finally squawking
And thinking freer then freezing free
Like a perfect circle caking corners
Crooked imagination and begonia skies

You may be thinking I am limitless
And I have nothing to offer
Yes I have nothing and I’m proud of it

But there’s music in it full of love lions

Looks like it happened again you got them
All capital magisterial magic numbers

Still got the sensible wear-me-out blues
Of moneyheads undervaluing poetry
Of the breeze knifing through shades
Of the thousand blue get real

I will stay poor my life to experience life
Who’s going to disappear write forever

Who’s going to change I say, Go do!

editors note: Yes! Do! Cuz, before you know it… – mh clay

Received by Akanksha Varma

You, me, ripped jeans,
cigarette ash, beer, iPod.
That was seventeen years ago
and that is seventeen seconds ago.
Nothing much has changed
except those superficial
wrinkles next to our eyes,
the rings on our third
finger and the slight
loose fat on our arms.
Nothing much has changed
except when our song
came, we felt a tingle
imagining our future and
now we feel nostalgia
imagining what could’ve
become of you and me, us.
Nothing much has changed,
except that our previously
clandestine meetings are
now known to our husbands.
Nothing much has changed,
except that I’m afraid to tell
you how I still feel about
you and that you are now
afraid to hear what I may
say, even though you know.
Nothing much has changed
in these seventeen years.
It is still a small party.
You, me, ripped jeans,
cigarette ash, beer, iPod
and our unsent vestiges
of love, received.

editors note: A love, once given, once received; still given, still received. – mh clay

Pomegranate by Lana Bella

you thought you saw
red in the autumn foliage,
fraught with seeds of
spilling pomegranate –
a concentric witness to
the same gravity that kept
seasons fed in aviary
restraint and embryonic
tantrums, you had been
introduced well to
this old story that became
new, while palace of young
leaves burst into blades
of grass, cold spells snaked
through roots, stitched
runnels from beads of rain –

editors note: A whole world constructed from what we think we see… – mh clay

Empyreal Heart and Soul by Harley White

O Nebulae of Heart and Soul!
In infrared portrayal WISE,
your colors grace the stellar skies.
Have you a core celestial role?

Supernal presences you seem
that steal one’s fancy unawares,
far-off from earthly human cares,
inspiring a soulful dream.

Does music of the spheres resound
in utterness of heavens’ art
to beating of a boundless heart
we seldom hear here on the ground?

You bring to mind the vintage song,
where lovers fell in love and kissed
one magic night in moonlit mist —
a classic tune, still going strong.

Six thousand light-years from our Earth
is where you two evince your charm —
part of Perseus’ spiral arm —
in cosmic womb for starry birth.

That limb is in our Milky Way.
Cassiopeia holds the Soul
east of the Heart, to make the whole
of the mosaic on display.

Your archetypal names evoke
Cupid and Psyche myths of old,
tales allegorical untold,
poetic visions you awoke.

In concert you’re a perfect pair.
Befittingly you reign on high.
Lest we forget wherefore and why,
our true humanity is there!

editors note: Again, these storied stars tell tales of us. What tales do we tell of them? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? This week’s featured short-short “A Swan’s Memory,” by Christopher Iacono just might trigger your memory! Here’s a bit to get you recollectin’:

When I was seven years old, my father dragged me onto one of those swan pedal boats they used to have at the beach.

It was so hot the seatbelt buckle burned my fingers every time I touched it. Staring at the water, I wished I knew how to swim so I could jump right in.

While Dad was peddling, I sat back and watched the other people in their boats. He grinned the whole time, but I was bored and imagined all the boats colliding like bumper cars.

The whole time, he kept rambling on about swans, grinning at his own knowledge of such things. “Did you know swans remember every kind thing you do for them?” I didn’t care. Instead, I imagined treating the boats like bumper cars and colliding with the one carrying a girl with blonde pigtails.

Sweat stung my eyes. I tried to wipe it away, but the moisture coating my arms made it worse, so I cupped some water in my hand and threw it in my face. What a relief! I flung some more, but then Dad said, “Stop it!” So while he wasn’t looking, I unbuckled the seatbelt, straightened my knees just a little, leaned over the side of the boat, and stuck my whole forearm below the surface, the waves licking my elbow. The boat tilted a little, but I didn’t think much of it. I turned my body and put my other arm in it. Dad was still looking straight ahead. My knees were cramped, so I stretched them, tipping the boat even further.

“Hey! Dad shouted. “Get down from there.”

As I turned around, I lost my balance. I spun my arms in a pinwheel motion before tumbling into the water…

Keep this read going’ right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.02.16) 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 are celebrating our 12th year of mic madness by hosting us a MAD HOOTENANNY! And nothing says HOOTENANNY like musical MAD-jazzyfunkyfolkyyes-NESS from Swirve-Tree (featuring Chris Curiel, Gerard Bendiks – MH Clay, Chris Zimmerly, Greg Robinson, Chris Hunter).

Come on out, one & all. Get a heapin’ helpin’ of musical mad grooves from Swirve-Tree, share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our open mic 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!

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…

Seein’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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