The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.14.17

by on January 14, 2017 :: 0 comments

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” ~ Cecil Beaton

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Untitled Portrait of Brooke” (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 started life’s reel with a spin of the wheel; we drew from the dark our dead from the shadows; we dallied a night with disco desperados; we clamored for common, to make one from two; we made a pawn purchase to buy blues from blue; we screamed at the death bridge, nightmared numb; we ended to start with a satisfied hum. So it goes… ~ MH Clay

Resonance by Lisa Shields

You never expect or plan for resonance.
It is never a gradual, logical linear progression,
rather it is rare and random,
like finding a perfect diamond where lightning fell,
burning everything around the strike
leaving a bit of wonderment in carnage.

I could not, never did count on you,
did not believe in such wild magicks
after life bled me white or romantic notions,
but there you stood, and I felt
insane connection, owing nothing to “compatible”.

Not suitable. Not Appropriate,
tell that to the force elemental
who seized us both after each hello.
She doesn’t give a damn for decorum,
leaving us stone and tinder
to strike flames without intention.

Love is the human construct offered
to those who will never touch as we do,
unplanned and unasked.
I can’t hate you for wanting calm,
for needing an even keel,
but I can’t deny
that we will never NOT touch each other
in this mad, feckless, breath stealing fashion
so long as we draw breath.

And you are not allowed to hate me
for the pounding in my chest,
because we have been too long away
from the force of life we became
too close to not ignite.

Resonance is not the individual pulse,
the thud of blood, heart, or bone.
Resonance is the matched beat
that quiets the ravening parts,
we never found another way to feed
save in each others arms.

January 14, 2017

editors note: Allegiant appetites aflame; harmony from hunger. – mh clay

Paranoid scream by Hem Raj Bastola

Dark of the night
Silence creeping
Dead is alive.

Rattling among the bones
Cracked ribs I hear
Nibbling skin, rats are enjoying
Smoking kiln active
Invisible fireworks blasting.

What a celebration
When life is in transit
The bridge is needed to cross.
A thread of hope is blinking
Far ahead the phosphorus flame
The grave is shining, a ghost
Emitting phosphorus
Enacting to live.

And I, as in dream
Terrified and
Paranoid, scream.

January 13, 2017

editors note: Even with the bridge in sight, it’s a terrifying unknown. – mh clay

blue guitar by Carl Kavadlo

there’s a musician
falls in love with a blue
a blues guitar
a blue guitar.
a poet, a heart
of music,
a beam of light.
bought it in
a pawn shop.
with plenty of
blues brought
it there in
for rent
cigarette money
maybe a nip
of wine and
received far
less than its value.

then sold to
my friend
way over
the denominations
of a fair price
by the seller
over the glass counter,
saxophones on the wall,
toasters on the shelves,
trinkets in glass counters
with wrist watches, slacks
on hangers, jackets, skirts.
who falls in love with a blue guitar
in a pawn shop window?
somebody wanting to pluck
the strings for jitterbugs
across long, wood plank dance floors,
like the poets running to puddles
to record the raindrops,
while everyone else
misses the dance.

January 12, 2017

editors note: Best when played with eyes closed. – mh clay

Life’s Prisoners by Darryl Wellington

If I can breakfast with them
then I can frugal repast with you.
If I can socialize at the early table with them
and trade throat lozenges in between the laughter
then I can share planetary accoutrements
and iron chains
with you.
Sad that you make it so difficult.
Whoever you are,
and this will make the second time I have caught you,
speak, speak, speak to me in sighs instead of
perusing my mail.

January 11, 2017

editors note: Continuing the search for common ground. Speak! – mh clay

War Zone by Julia Cirignano

Lipstick containers lined up like black glossy bullets
Little black dresses meant to burn your eyes and steal your soul
The ticking of the clock and the beat of the music
Counts down the minutes until your death
Eye liner drawing out the rules and the game plan
Eye shadow hiding our secrets and romanticizing our pupils
Our heels make you gag and stare
Hallways and bright lights, cold air and warm breath
You taste vodka on my tongue like I’ve poisoned you
But I’ve only poisoned myself
Sweat drips down my smile as I dance
My hair tangles itself around my neck
You can see your victory as if we were already in your room
But we’re not and I’m gone and I’m not even sorry
I’m running and laughing and broken and I want to cry
But I keep running and laughing coughing on the cold air
My sweat freezes as it drips down the back of my neck
I am trapped but I am running
So I will pretend I am free

January 10, 2017

editors note: Dancing away from death by disco, looking for life on the lam. – mh clay

Dead Again by Jeff Stier

The dead are all around us
they are as alive
in their way
as we are
in ours

We share a world of shadows
with these manes
and step awkwardly
into the light

Every breath of the wind
is a dead soul passing
every autumn leaf that falls
a secret hieroglyph
from the beyond

Beasts in the wild
know this
thus the coyote
sings his mad lament
the raven turns his dull eye
toward the east
expecting not light
but a flight of dark wings

And dark wings
command my attention these days
my eye
turned inexorably toward
the night
Where every word
is farewell
where all commerce ends
and I rejoin the stream of stars

Done with all of this.
And surely
it will be bliss.

January 9, 2017

editors note: Yes! If one leads to another, so let it be… – mh clay

8 – 19 by Brittany Griffiths

Diaphragm vibrations
Tongue solipsism
Eye apparatus
Apparent disconnection
To be
Not to be
Methodological contrast
Categorical comparisons
Create definitions
Conscious pigeonholes
Work human verse
Solid space
One without the other
Lost attention
Interval ignorance
Melody steps
A note into the next
Marked transition
Permanence unachieved
Vanity of vanities
Vanity, vanity
Tribal history
Human ferment
Seeking deliverance
World of change
Essential awakening
The wheel –

January 8, 2017

editors note: As in the turning of every wheel; always beginning, always ending… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week we bring you a mighty fine piece from Contributing Writer & Poet, Harley White!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Harley’s’s story “Primal Landscape“:

“Saying what’s never true is what we all can count on most. Embrace something routine and name it love, it’ll get you through the honest days.”

And here’s a li’l view of this landscape to get you goin’:

photo (above) “We Build Fences” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

Day World

Hickory Dickory days, divided into boxes— Time to eat breakfast. (Finish all your egg!) Wash your hands and face. Brush your teeth. (Always up and down.) Sit on the toilet. Wipe front to back. (But never why.) Story time— play time— lunch time— nap time. Take the key and wind her up. If she hollers, shut her up.

(She never did.)

Everything was pink and ruffled and always in its place. There were music boxes, animal crackers (Only two!), and a winding staircase down.

(She always said please and thank you.)…

Get the rest of your read on right here!

(You will.)


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…

Bein’ Different,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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