The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.12.16

by November 12, 2016 0 comments

“The modes of expression of men of genius differ as much as their souls…” ~ Auguste Rodin

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“journey” (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 took a swing in a love thing; we perfected our imperfection; we conspired with a cobbler; we unseated an idol; we factored the math of existence; we vivisected vision to find what is; we Disneyfied our days gone by; we rambled through a romance, make up to break up. It was a week of yoyo mojo, walkin’ the dog. ~ MH Clay

Last year’s crush by Sissy Buckles

And now you’re feeling pretty
shitty because you just
opened Pandora’s box
and peeked at the fella’s
FB page you’re all sweet on
with cinnamon stickybun
reveries of climbing slowly
on top and running him
up and down all steamy
night long wave his body
hard like a Fourth of July
flag on a pole I swear I’d
walk the line for that man and
oh baby shake the peaches
in my tree until — Whoa!
you see two tatted up
rockabilly chicks’ selfies
posted on his wall typical
hot rod colleens in cuffed jeans
bullet bra and bettie bangs
Ruby Woo lippie enveloping
huge blinding white smiles
and yeah they seem really
nice could be fun to hang out
slamming shots of tequila
and lime washed down with ice
cold beer besides I’ve never been
the jealous type what good
could come of that? Bless
recite the Sunflower Sutra
mayhap a pensive tear (or two)
and move on that’s what
I always say and yeah
you could imagine them
western swing dancing with
each other because the boys
won’t cut a rug creating a
riotous twirling centerpiece
on the dance hall floor like
1950’s girls have done for
years and oh yes this night
they’ve really got the first
place prize all sewn up
hugging each other giggling
and posing provocatively a
little cheesecake softcore
on his massive chopper in
front of the club and you just
stare with dropped jaw while
you’re heart sinks down to
your grubby classic red
Keds sneakers it’s back
to square one again and your
neighbor from the islands’
Maui Wowie classic sativa
medical cannabis that you
smoked last weekend for
DV PTSD flashbacks
must still be messing with
your head because all of a
sudden you don’t even know
what in hell you want so with
ten more minutes of lunch
you steal on over to
Poetry Daily only to read a
grand rollicking poem
something huge and righteous
and glory glory hallelujah
about Ma Rainey discovering
the blues and Son House
“If I don’t go crazy, honey, I’m
going to lose my mind” with
the requisite knives
guitars and squirrel guns
Johnny Horton scratch
pluck and twanging sob
leading down dusk
and sultry dirt country
roads to the original
local chicken shack and
now armed with verse
you can finally expel that
pent up suspended breath
you’ve been holding for the
last half hour because
suddenly all is right once
again in your small town world,
at least today anyway.

editors note: Personal relationship pachinko; “huge and righteous and glory glory hallelujah.” It’s a good day when we make it so. – mh clay

Viva Visa! by Ivan Jenson

perhaps in
a third world country
or in the Far East
or in the Upper Peninsula
or Down Under
I will be appreciated
and adulated
the way I
was when I reigned
supreme in the
Disney World dynasty
of my delicious
tenacious pre-teen
time frame
back when I looked
like I was ready to star
in an afternoon special
about a goody-good
who made good
with all the goodies
a goofball could
get hold of
and I am catching
the next
non-stop flight
heading back in time
to a place
that currently
has a high exchange
but low
currency rate
on unconditional

editors note: Though this could be a week for looking back, to have our past-ports stamped; the good ole days haven’t happened, yet. Forward, Friends! Eyes front… – mh clay

Is and Vision by Gregg Dotoli

Don’t mention memento
Is was there and needs no reminder
trinkets fog reality
only Is is
be with Is
embrace the nowness of you
nose to nose with self
pure you
scramble that past
throw it in that trash
with the kipper and kitsch
Is’s brother Vision
jealous as Caine because
only Is is

editors note: There’s our challenge; to find the is in vision. – mh clay


When all these numbers are finally crunched
As electrical spasms jerk each thought
At equations of such simplicity –
Patterns emerge that were there all the time.
Nothing arrives without arithmetic
Shaping paws – or stripes on a cat’s long tail,
Calculating the way it thinks and purrs
To heal itself as some illness takes hold.
Adding this to what’s seen in cold night skies
That seem far away, everything becomes
Clear, almost algebraic, not simple
But chalked on a blackboard for a child to read.
Do subtracted lives shrink in importance,
Pale figures, vague shadows in the distance?

editors note: Sometimes, our equation seems unbalanced; impossible to solve for “x” when we can’t see “y.” – mh clay

The Idol by Jonathan Butcher

In this evening’s haze, edging down that same
road again, watching you perpetually twitch
as you talk and pull pre-stashed cans of
larger from behind wheels of random parked
cars as we edge towards the city.

It was within that tower of innocence that
the front you developed blossomed; and
we allowed it’s fatal breeze to penetrate
our group, if only to keep the peace, and
to allow your voice to echo.

As I frown once more, you intimate your
confusion at my repudiation. I gradually learn
your presence involves more than a little risk;
that creeps upon me slowly,like a sudden,
unwanted bout of reduced inhibitions.

Though these idle crowds your anxiousness
never settles until each eye is penetrating
your own. I gaze forward again, keeping your
back protected, yet at arms length as I slowly
await the end that only appears at your request.

editors note: By our repudiations, all idols topple. – mh clay

SHOEMAKER by Akeredolu Tope

Hello, Mr Shoemaker!
On empty and naked soles I have traversed
This lengthy and thorny path
you I have sought unbidden
like Delilah to Samson.
I wish that you make for me a pair of Sandals
Let the soles be stocked with valour and hope
Since they’ll come handy on my voyage
Lace the floor with painted patterns
From life’s many canvases of stages
That it may remind me when the next stage beckons
I do not want a uniform sandal
Paint the right with shades of green and white
That I may see my fatherland when I behold it
Paint the left in rainbow
Let me behold my brothers
From the seven shades
I know of leather sandals
Of rubber sandals; he said
Not of Sandals with soles of valour
But Since that’s what you wish
Let’s get to work

editors note: Sometimes, you gotta make them before you walk a mile in them. – mh clay

CRACK FEIGN by Cassaundra Bingaman

Put up your perfect
The world can have that
I’ll take the broken
So I can fit between the cracks

editors note: Step on a crack, dial the judgment back. – mh clay

Sway by Dawn Marie

Ecru weave, damp from rain.
The fresh of a rainy morning, light softened gray, a fade of blue and sun hazed out.
Taking a seat on the swing, motion makes the sway.

In the muggy air, the handles sweat on mugs of chilled coffee.
The aroma faint, the taste rich.
My attention is on those eyes of his.
He is huddled in a cocoon naked in comfort.
The gleam and grin on his face makes me sway.

Listening, learning, revealing.
Thoughts tumble out, questions raised.
Laughter and a smile.
Swinging or floating? I can not tell the difference when looking across to him as I sway.

The sun breaks across the space.
There is calm and quiet. The rain has slowed from drizzle to mist. Then we rise and embrace as we walk away.
Leaving only the sway.

editors note: So sweet to swing in this sway. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week’s featured short-short “The Golden Sunshine,” by Chuck Taylor just might feed your read need Here’s what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

“The simple life is the most complex life. Don’t waste life watering withered vines growing under a cracked foundation. Look to the sky and know there’s a home for us all.”

And here’s a bit to get you goin’:

(photo (above) “Hello, Sunshine” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I saw Jadene, my neighbor across the street, take a sledgehammer to her small brick house. She was working on the east side, smacking the red bricks cemented in a row right above the cement pad, cracking bricks and then removing chunks with a small crow bar.

I don’t know how long Jadene had been at the task. When I noticed, it was around nine on a Monday in June and I was late for work. She had a bottle of water stuck into a fanny pack at her hip.

Jadene managed a convenience store down on the nearest highway. We rarely spoke as neighbors, but I went to the store regularly. When the place was empty, we’d chat a bit. Jadene said she had once lived the high life—grand food, unlimited drinks, drugs, and partying all the time—as an undercover DEA agent who’d infiltrated a major Austin drug ring. How she did this she did not explain, but now she has a new name and new identity. She found her present life dull and unsatisfying.

“You get hooked on the high life,” she told me…

Keep this read goin’ right 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…

Expressin’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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