The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.07.17

by January 7, 2017 0 comments

“Poetry is man’s rebellion against being what he is.” ~ James Branch Cabell

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Learning to Fly” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe reposed to rise and pour; we sauteed what we’re sorry for; we pulled a prince from off his horse; we watched revenge in raging force; we helped a hill to show we care; we combed a beach for lifetime fare; we pulled a soul saver from a rutting raver. Heaven rains while we rule. ~ MH Clay

Billy by Tricia Marcella Cimera

The old Bohemian lady, formerly of Cicero,
who lived across the street slyly claimed
she witnessed Billy Graham fornicating in the
field once where my house now stood, long
ago when he was young, well before my family
moved to the evangelist’s old college town.
It was him alright, she swore. Years later,
I took my Chicago Southsider husband to
to visit the Billy Graham Museum. We saw
the famous Heaven Room; its’ blue cloud-
filled ceiling was rain-damaged at the time.
If heaven has water stains, I don’t want to go,
my husband loudly proclaimed.
Billy, you couldn’t save everyone.

January 7, 2017

editors note: (Cracked) plaster in Paradise? No, say it ain’t so. – mh clay

Beach Comber by Andrew Sano

To walk between the waves and wrack
with ankles numbed and eyes salt squinted,
glints of room things wash away,
while sandy soles forget what’s far.

A comber as it ever was
encompasses and brings to shore
all glories and unnoticed moments,
periwinkles, paradigms.

To take the hand of who did skirt
all continents, an edge addressed,
a mighty Kingdom made of village,
hamlet, hearth and heart, a chain.

But not a fetter, more a necklace,
on a fair throat, throbbed and kissed.
In mist we find what’s missed and cherished,
with averted eyes, we stare.

A care, in soft, uncanny daydream,
all our being, beams in brief,
like tern cries half imaginary,
rookeries of ghost and thief.

January 6, 2017

editors note: Gather as we go… – mh clay

Aliens by Randall K. Rogers

Look at this little anthill
he has created;
it’s a little world

look, they don’t know
where they came from

each one has a mind
like us of it’s own

their animals are like ours

they have mass
(slowed down and congealing
matter) shootings

we need to help them

Let’s get’em.

January 5, 2017

editors note: Think we can do better? – mh clay

RAGE by Gina Nemo

Rage swallows her heart
While roots entwine her soul
Tearing it to shreds
Yanking at her hope
While she comes up for air

The sun hides behind clouds
Anger climbs the stairway
That circles around those tunnels
Trapped behind those walls
Someone needs to disappear

Torches shimmer in the room
The thief stands with his shadow
This is the night to hurt someone
Edgar Allen Poe would do it
The ink leaks with those dry thoughts

Revenge was never so sweet
The note plays over and over again
Tortured memories amplified
Screams that echo in her mind
He died a slow death with time

January 4, 2017

editors note: “Hell hath no fury…” – mh clay

Deception by Daginne Aignend

So prince charming
Has fallen off his horse
And without any warning
He changed love into force

A rose with a poisoned thorn
So now everybody knows
That this guy is a bloody unicorn
Who likes to piss rainbows.

January 3, 2017

editors note: Oh, when icons topple… – mh clay


When she asks, Would you like to seduce me?,
I scissor her illusionist hips & say,
I live here, even though I’m passing through.

She folds four porcelain knuckles
beneath her chin & muses, This universe
needs work. A slave is a slave is a slave is a slave
& time to abolish this ungodly nonsense.

I agree & pursue what I came for: Quantum
lightning in every sector of my brain before
she fluffs one 4000 thread jasmine wing,
twists & says, I’m buried to my chest in sin. It’ll take
more than guilty kisses to set me free. How about you?

Not hearing well, these days, I sprinkle organic
thoughts into a skillet primed with extra virgin,
cold pressed olive oil, Greek, & sprigs of Italian
parsley, immune to the future.

January 2, 2017

editors note: Salvation by sautee, best served without guilt. – mh clay

Reposado by Devon Balwit

Oh you, Oh me, Oh the small skerch of the cork
pulling free, and the gurgle plash of amber in the

bell-shaped bowl, the sudden cool of stray drops
evaporating on skin, the lift of it, both the glass

and the anticipation of what’s inside the glass, and
the sips heating the tongue, spreading molten

down throat into belly, and the day, Oh the day,
Oh them, out there, melting away, Oh like Lazarus,

I rise from the crypt of small disappointments,
I rise, pour, and rise some more.

January 1, 2017

editors note: I’ll drink to that. A Mad Toast to the New Year! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well Mad Swirl has a really hot story to share with you from Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Mike Fiorito!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Mike’s story “Pale Leviathan“:

“No ghost, ever, except for what once was. That’s the forever haunt.”

Here’s a bit to “warm” you up:

The heat had become unbearable that summer.

“Make it stop, daddy,” Liddy’s son, Torin, said, as they walked home from school. The sun glared down with a vengeance, its rays like vicious lapping tongues. It seemed to Liddy that the sun was angry at the earth.

“I can’t make it stop,” said Liddy. “But we’ll be home shortly. Mom will have the freezing air on.” People had to get special solar powered freezing air units to maintain livable temperatures in their homes. The sun rained down relentlessly, as if hurriedly punishing the earth.

Holding Torin’s hand, Liddy felt the heat blasting his face, too.

“Please, daddy,” said Torin.

The shine beat down on his eyes, even with the sun goggles on. Without the goggles you couldn’t open your eyes, or your eyes teared and became blood shot.

When they got home, Torin cried, the temperature so powerful it made his skin break out in red blotches.

“Rinse your eyes with cool water,” his father said. Torin stopped crying once the cool water hit his face.

As they prepared for dinner, Liddy lifted the canvas shade covering the window. Outside the sky looked hazy and dense. The sun’s rays rushed in like a swarm of bees, even though he just peeked out the window…

Did that lil teaser get ya all hot & bothered? Follow the link to get the rest of this heated read!

••• Open Mic •••

If your New Year’s resolution was to create more madness in this world, you mad ones did it this past 1st Wednesday at our first open mic for 2017!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…

Johnny​ O & MH Clay​


Mad Mic Cast:
Chris Zimmerly
Reverie Evolving​
Paul Koniecki​
Nadia Wolnisty​
Elliot Pickens
Laurie Lynn Lindemeier​
Paul Sexton​
James “Bear the Poet” Rodehaver​
Desmene M. Statum​
Suza Kanon​
John May
Misty Amber Moore​
Brian Cox​
Hector Ortiz​
Annika Michelle​

HUGE thanks to Swirve (Tamitha Curiel​, Gerard Bendiks​ & Chris Curiel​) for taking us to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

Thanks to all who came out to the City Tavern & shared this beat-utifullest night of poetry and music with us!

and last but NOT least…

Thanks to The City Tavern​’s proprietor Joshua Florence​ for blessing us with our new digs and welcoming us mad ones with open arms and giving us a swirl’n space we can call home.

May the madness swirl your way! ’til next 1st Wednesday…

P.S. In case you missed the mic madness that happened this past 1st Wednesday, here’s the Facebook LIVE feed of what we swirled up!


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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