The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.19.16

by November 19, 2016 0 comments

“What is the poem, after it is written? That is the question. Not where it came from or why.” ~ Allen Tate

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“hag” (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 (should have) changed a shirt to heal a hurt; we drew a new card from an old deck; we made a morn romantic in a swirl of mad gnat antics; we tipped a totem, an idol broken; we reminisced in summer’s bliss; we sought satisfaction in cold abstraction; we downed deception through clever perception; we tipped our tea to clamorous be. We dotted our “Is” and crossed our “Ts,” and didn’t spill a drop. ~ MH Clay

Clamor by Bhargab Chatterjee

from a neighborhood
measure d on the Richter scale
three village folks we re sip
ping tea
in uncle tom’s cabin
the clamor was inter rupted
some) where
in the north bengal tea gardens:
hunger is a prisoner’s out (fit
in coma

the face value of the disaster:
‘self is seen
not as a person al essence
rather as an aesthetic and ethical object
to be create d and cultivate d’

editors note: Sipping tea; becoming you, becoming me. – mh clay

Perception by Dah Helmer

Perception is based on
light’s variations
or one’s point of focus

Something clear
is a glass wing
or a cracked pane

Somebody says
the burnt eyes of noon
are chilly

The first snowflakes
are deep sleep
or a masquerade

The faraway blue
is drifting liquid
or a baker’s glaze

At night
everything starlit
is contagiously dark

Perception is clever
in its ways of leading us
to what we want to believe

editors note: Yes, our poets are pundits. They make us like what we believe. – mh clay

Frost by Monica Beaujon

blue sound stretches
over the everywhere always—
i listen to endless cerulean

pale moon blooms in
the obsidian soil of sky,
has the scent of lilies

i fall in love with
fossilized nothings
remembered as somethings

into my granite bones i
embed crystal eyes; they
glint from lilymoon breath

i am the sunbeams that
bounce off the clouds
and never reach the ground

i am the body that swallows
cold abstraction in the
hopes of becoming it

editors note: First frost; affectation, in time for holiday hyperbole. – mh clay

Granma’s Summer by Vineetha Mekkoth

Summer seemed interminable then.
We lay on straw mats languorously
Limbs at odd angles as only children can do
Our eyes half closed to the world
As one of granma’s hens would suddenly feel
Like crooning sweetly
And then she would raise an arm to shoo
Where it would flap its wings and cackle ‘murder’
In all possible tones and volume of squawks
Till sleep was nigh impossible
What with the flies that persisted
On landing on the lips
Making one spit in alarm
The thought of some contagion
Rising alarmingly with pictures
From the science textbook
And the fan would drone on and on
As the juicy mangoes dribbled
down gluttonous throats
And the water in the earthen pot
Was the coolest and tastiest in the entire world.
The summer
That will never return.

editors note: As cold approaches, here’s a delightful look back to warm. – mh clay

Talisman by Jonathan Beale

After Marianne Moore

There, by the de-barked tree
There was once this figure
An embolismic statue.

This totem

Lessons in the day gone by
The one craved ”you must”
A goblin in the sky

A portent

Beauty is never a reality
It’s the frailly human reflection
The broken images

The broken idol

Here are lessons for men
Here! Long dead long lost
Even to memory – gone, here

In this totem

editors note: Tokens of remembrance; creators, long forgotten. – mh clay

December Journal: Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Don Mager

Midmorning sneaks calm pools of light in
between abrasive chilly breezes
and drops them where sun patches stand still.
The breezes flip ivy leaves upside down
on tree trunks. Theirs is a tireless green
whose knotted twines mesh mercilessly.
The pools swim their calms with haloes of
gnats that lift swirling plumes, dizzily
suspending themselves inside the air,
then, as if air dropped out its bottom,
plummet en masse toward dead grass like a
fumbling diver. The last moment and
morning catches its breath to push the
gnats spinning helix back toward the sun.

editors note: Gnat magic on a winter’s morn. – mh clay

Metallurgist of Symbols by Brendan McBreen





a cypress


then chant
ten times

the names

you wished for

as a child

editors note: A new tarot for divining these strange days. – mh clay

Drake’s Neck by Megha Bajaj

And who would have
the colour of betrayal
was bluish green.
Note to self:
Ask him her lipstick shade,
before it burns.
The white shirt.

editors note: An entire soap in 8 lines… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

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

This week’s featured short story at Mad Swirl, “In the Summertime” comes from long-time Contributing Writer, Oleg Razumovsky. If you already know Oleg’s works, you know this read will be rowdy & raw with a Russian flavor that no one but Oleg can deliver. Here’s what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

“Old dogs and their old bones are our oldest stories, from night to day, especially when someone in love waits by the window for the reason their heart beats to come home.”

Here’s a bit of “In the Summertime” to get you goin’:

(photo (above) “Sorry, No Cruisin’ for a Boozin'” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I remember one outstanding summer day. Not very hot, with occasional warm rain, but also with a lot of sunshine when you can sit with your buddies in the yard, in the shade, and drink vodka.


The day before I had drunk with my wife all night long and in the morning, she, as usual, went to look for a job. She did it every day. No luck yet.

 When she went, I immediately go out. There on our stone under Shiryai’s window sat a couple of our guys and that fat man from the other neighborhood, who sometimes came there to drink with us. I didn’t like him. Forgot his name. It wasn’t important. But fuck him, the motherfucker.

 By the way, he had a hideous nickname and looks like shit. Shiryai respects him and that was his personal business. That’s why I drank in this company only one glass of vodka and left. I had nothing against Shiryai and other pals, but this dumb fat fucker irritated me and I still don’t know why. He was as stupid as the stone on which he sat and drank. Shiryai respected him and he told me once that this guy was a tough gangster, but I didn’t care a fuck. I just didn’t like him, that’s all.

Now I remembered his name. Hera. What kind of a name is it? Fucking shit. Maybe right now he is still alive, though unlikely, because them gangsters were shot and killed pretty regularly during the past years. 

Well, I left Shirjai, Hera and some other punks to talk about their fucking problems and went to our bench…

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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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