“If you believe you’re a poet, then you’re saved.” ~ Gregory Corso
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“The Same Lost Wind Reflected in Every Dream Mirror” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak. To see more of Bill’s mad illustrations, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we networked with real nets; we must-ed could from dark regrets; we recalled the taste of honeyed light; we seized a shocker, brain put right; we began at the end with silence on skin; we dabbled in dada, played three to win; we stretched some incredible shrinking wrap (avoidance of conflict achieved in a snap). We did everything but disappear. Still here? ~ MH Clay
Downsizing by Nadia Wolnisty
I’ve sure you’ve all heard about it by now–
That Crazy Wrap Thing by It Really Works!
Before you roll your eyes and scroll past this on to pictures of kittens and babies, please just hear me out.
I’m a brand new representative, and,
I gotta tell you, I love working for It Really Works! It’s a great career for me, because I’m a busy mother of three kids, and I get to be my own boss!
But most importantly, it really does work! Just look at the pictures below and see for yourself.
I gotta admit, though, I was skeptical at first, so I tried it myself, and the results are astounding. It’s so easy too!
You by take one of our wraps and affix one end inside the front door, securely.
Make sure the door is shut firmly. Take the other end of the wrap, and wrap it around the outside of your house. Be sure you are working counter-clockwise.
Walk in a complete circle around your house, pulling the cloth firmly so it doesn’t sag. When you reach the front door again, carefully open the door, go inside, and attach the other end of the wrap.
Do not open the door again.
You can see results in less than three weeks.
You can lose up to 200 square feet. (I only lost 150 feet of house, because I’m such a klutz and didn’t wrap tight enough.)
The results will be slow, at first, but dramatic once you take it all in.
The first thing to shrink was that purple abstract I have over my armchair. The lines got smaller. Then the couch got thinner. The unflattering lumps went away.
Other things in the living room, too. Books you’ll never finish became as slim as volumes of poetry. The faces in family portraits became closer and closer together.
Other rooms, too.
My king-sized bed became a twin.
My bathroom lost its extra sink. Whole rooms got tightened, tidied.
My kitchen is now only one foot wide and can barely accommodate my ample hips. Whole cupboards’ worth of dishes got smashed, chairs look like something from a dollhouse, and my spare room shrunk so much that only the cats can go in and out with ease.
I became a giant,
surrounded by objects so small and easily stored.
Everything tidy and still.
Private message me for more details!!!
March 25, 2017
editors note: Be the first on our block to disappear. (We welcome Nadia to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
Not your Mama’s DADA by Tom Hall
Two people sitting, facing each other.
One vase stands stoically, silently between them.
Bisected at the sides in neon beige and neon black.
One person sees beige; one sees black.
Both are telling alternative truths.
But neither is telling the the vase’s truth, the complete truth.
Either side could have easily had a puppy fetus stapled to it.
Jennifer and Jack both start with the letter J.
Not implying they are intrasexuals or hermaphrodites.
I like desserts and people
Who bleed out sherry, not nonsense.
Unlike vases, Jennifers and Jacks can’t bisect and live.
That you want them to makes no difference
To those you’ve bored with your desires.
Relativity is the only all-absorbing entity.
If it were a river it would be dry and not a river.
If it were a theory, it would be over my head.
And if it were a floor, only tall people would survive.
Four alternative truths,
All based in my perception of truth, not relativity.
It follows this stanza should have five lines.
But I rarely live up to expectations.
The reason there are three is so it’s not a couplet.
March 24, 2017
editors note: For those who don’t give a good zip-a-dee-doo-DADA. – mh clay
BOUNDARY by Mark Senkus
the silence that is missing will
come back to us
the womb we were unaware of
with its embracing cave of stillness
only the drum of heartbeat off
through the distance
through a moving galaxy of blood
river upon river
before the lungs invented air
we knew this silence so different
from the lack of sound
we knew nothing of sound
only this silence surrounded
by the hearing of ears not yet
connected to thought
the first born birth of silence
felt through the skin this silence
that is missing will come back
when it chooses
to quiet what remains of us.
March 23, 2017
editors note: It’s all womb; from silence to silence. – mh clay
This Clonic Earth by Brittany Griffiths
things come slowly
pass the time
–>> seizure <<– abrupt convulsions jittery grand mal experience it effects – “electrical changes in the brain“ she read that on the Internet somewhere she thinks she is dying debt compounding she returns to normal continues on following day purchases a 10-year term life insurance policy conscience cleared pellucid sky waiting for death meanwhile… the sun sets on an indifferent landscape March 22, 2017 editors note: Sweet security, guaranteed (for the insurance company). – mh clay
The Sea of The Golden Palaces by Hongri Yuan
Happiness is the memory of heaven
And the soul is the sweet sun
On the canvas of death
You daub the smile of the gods
Oh, that is light，the honey of light
If you can hear the music of heaven
That is the sea of the golden palaces
Over the space of sapphire
March 21, 2017
Translated by Yuanbing zhang
editors note: Oh, to fly in such a firmament… Remember the honey? – mh clay
Crack of Shine by Harley White
The sky was dark and dreary
as I trudged along the path,
with vision dim and bleary,
under thunderclouds of wrath,
one foot before another,
plodding onward through despair,
yet knowing of no other
road to lead me anywhere.
With blackness fast descending,
though my journey incomplete,
the trail became unending,
and I gave up in defeat.
Surrendering my proneness
to stouthearted courage prove,
I foundered in aloneness,
too dispirited to move.
Every hope and dream was gone
as I lay me down supine,
having no will to go on…
Then I spied a crack of shine.
Light was streaming through the cleft
in a sort of golden haze.
The impression that it left
was of some illumined blaze
which had kept aflame within
midst my melancholy mood
and a mindless inner din
that begot disquietude.
The fissure in the shadow
letting in the rays of light
summoned forth an inner glow
which was hidden from my sight.
I stayed there lying prostrate
for what seemed eternity,
speculating on my fate
as to be or not to be.
At length I managed to rise,
unsteady but striving still.
For life goes on – great nature’s wise –
it can, it must, and it will.
Yes life goes on – the truth there lies –
it can, it must, and it will.
The vision that was present
has never lost its power.
What I saw plus what it meant
comes back in my darkest hour.
It reappears through thick and thin –
that crack of shine that dwells within…
It’s always there through thick and thin –
that crack of shine that dwells within…
March 20, 2017
editors note: Yes, it can, it must, and it will. Thanks, Harley! – mh clay
The seine by Hem Raj Bastola
By the shore
I spread, the seine
My sinkers drown
Loosening the rope
Waiting for her sight
Do we live
Face to face
Dissemble not, please
To embowel in arms
Come into the waters
I will pull ashore
March 19, 2017
editors note: The original network; before FB, fish. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If you are hungerin’ for a read, Mad Swirl has just the tasty tale for you!
Here’s what short story editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:
“Life should be lived off fries and stories, no matter what happens between first and last breaths.”
Here’s a samplin’ of “French Fries“ by J.D. Hager, to get your taste spuds goin’:
photo “Spud Pile” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter
“The day of the fire, Jasper called some guy a douchebag in the drive thru right before dumping a tray of milkshakes in the backseat of said douchebag’s Camaro. Mr. Bowdon had a conniption. His face turned red and that one vein in his forehead started bulging and throbbing like it was about to explode. He screamed, That’s the last straw, taking a straw and crumpling it between his chubby fingers in an attempt to look, what? Menacing? Pathetic was more like it. I noticed a smear of ketchup on his crooked tie and sweat stains under his pits. Even though Bowdon was a total dick, I felt sorry for him.
Bowdon marched Jasper into the back office and closed the door, and when they came out Jasper looked about ready to put another dent in the shake machine. Jasper was no ray of sunshine even on a good day, thanks to PTSD from two tours in Afghanistan. Bowdon would have fired his ass long ago, except Bowdon knew how bad it would look to can a veteran.
“Bowdon put me on probation, fry station only,” Jasper said. “Told me I can’t speak to customers under any circumstance.”
“Probably for the best,” I said. “You hate customers.”
“Yeah, but I hate French fries even more. The order goes Bowdon, French fries, and then customers.”
“Those fries aren’t going to boil themselves,” Bowdon yelled from the back of the food prep area. “Chop chop, soldier boy.”
“Fuck French fries,” Jasper said. “And fuck Bowdon.”…
Get the rest of this tasty read on right here!
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Short Story Editor