The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.07.17

by May 7, 2017 0 comments

“Imagination is the eye of the soul.” ~ Joseph Joubert

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“SOAPBOX” (above) by featured artist David Ross. To see more of David’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 Forumwe acquiesced arborially; we perused an apple bruise; we watched hate come with swipe of thumb; we crooned a swoon song; we danced to free bird eternal; we hitched a ride in god’s machine; we loved another, sleek and clean. Putting pen to metal, pulling Deus Ex. ~ MH Clay

She whispers to me by Johnny Olson

She whispers to me
Lures me in
With open arms
She’s ready.
But then again…
She’s always ready

I gently caress her
And she greets me
With her seductive smile
Her sultry purr
She’s always so
Wickedly friendly

But I’m no fool
I respect her wild fiery
Wide chromed hips
I know she’s in charge
She’s thrown me & shown me
A time or two

I ride her curves
Her fine figure glides
I hold her tightly
Her rubber kisses
Caress the concrete canvas

Her bright eye lights
Pierce the tunnel night
We fly by cages
Waging silent bets on
What move we’ll make next

Heading home thru
Sleeping Big D streets
Green-light tempo
Keeping our beat
Our moans get thrown
Playfully ricocheting off
Urban canyon walls

We become one
Her heartbeat pistons
Twisting and turning
Our journey swirlin madly
As our smooth move grooves
Burn the miles away

May 6, 2017

editors note: Ain’t no love like scooter love! – mh clay

Arguing with love in the city, IV by Tristan Cody

Pontiac purrs soft
in the carcass field/garage
where god [quiet] walks.

May 5, 2017

editors note: Yes, a place to purr. – mh clay

Moon Over Eufaula, Oklahoma by John Dorsey

for Victor Clevenger

just south of muskogee
dumpster cats guard crumbling pyramids
& discarded bbq grills
in the moonlight

the creek nation girls still dance
in honor of their own virginity
covered in dust
& humble bones
yelling free bird lives

free bird lives

here everyone is loyal
& your breath just hangs there
as heavy as a cloud

& apartments are shaped
like tombstones

& the outline of a girl’s hips
in the shadow of a lonely gas station
can still transport you back
to a better time.

May 4, 2017

editors note: free bird lives, yes! – mh clay

swoon by Kristine Spinner

I have fallen under a swoon. I no longer breathe air. I am under water and breathing fire. There is magic flowing through my veins supplying my every atom with a flicker, a quiver. The constant vibration passes through me and spreads outward whispering up the backs of strangers expelling a song that surges forth from the depths of their souls but only I can hear them singing.

shhh, it’ll be our secret.

May 3, 2017

editors note: shhh… (We welcome Kristine to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Odd by Timothy Pilgrim

Folks don’t send cards now,
write happy holidays,
lick the glue, add stamps.

Busy instead, stand off,
emoji, scoff, use tired thumbs

to text or tweet. Weird, too,
tendencies, let cruel jokes pass,
ridicule gays, label women

slut or tramp. Who groped whom,
grabbed whose ass. Way too easy,
alone, head down, virtually together,

busy with phone. Most odd, sad
in a huge way, people loving love
less than loving to hate.

May 2, 2017

editors note: Sad, we sods, for whom this is not so odd. – mh clay

Bruised Skins by Heather M. Browne

Sometimes apples do fall far
Bruised skins
Splitting with that smack
Ground a hard place to fall

Open hands aren’t always welcome, wanted
You said you were strong stock
Deep roots
The salt of the earth

Too much is deadly
And you, an expert at slicing things thin
Not one to waste
You can always chop off bruising

May 1, 2017

editors note: Pie baking? Concession making (only a pinch of salt). – mh clay

Trees Yield by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Trees yield,
To grass or shore.
Budding boughs, shoots,
Defined by vertiginous
Stems, two leaves wide,
Yellow-green life passels
Pressed like hands, jointly
They’re prayer.
Us, birds,
Ever so freely.

April 30, 2017

editors note: Imparters sate takers, never sated. Breathe deeply – while we can. (Channie’s got a new book out, Can I Be Rare, Too?, available on Amazon here.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well need no further because we got just the read to fill you up!

This week’s short story, Blanco comes from our very own Mad Swirl​ Short Story editor, Tyler Malone​.

Here’s what guest short story editor, MH Clay has to say about this week’s featured read:

“Can’t have brand-spankin’, when pre-owned is all you can afford. World – 1; Young Love – 1/2. Go Team!”

Here’s a few bites to feed your need-a-read appetite:

(photo by The Second Shooter​)

Rubber tires don’t stick to asphalt in August as boys stick to bragging while drinking. Longnecks and short stories in a shuttlebus jammed on a Texas highway nowhere near wide enough. “Don’t say anything about what we’re talking about, we’re different. We just needed to get out of high school and grow.”

I assure groomsmen and their groom I’m as trustworthy as the dead.

“All that matters,” continues the best man, the library of a groom’s affairs, “was none of us were with the same girl.”

The groomsman, still smelling of youth and aggression, leans in from the seat behind me as sweat pearls break free from his hairline. “A town of 3,000 is a shallow pool. Same rules too. Have too much fun and end up with a broken neck.”

“Us city boys give you all our pity.”

“We never wanted anything from a city, just occasional handjobs.”

“And,” says the groom, remembering his present day no matter how slow we journey under skyscraper shadows, “a place to get married.”

Smoke rolls in a reverse waterfall a hundred yards in front of our bus. The groomsman, driving the re-purposed church shuttle stuck with a greased dancing pole and a tessellated disco ball enflamed with sunlight, runs his hand over his newly shaved neck, feeling the tingle of pared hairs becoming damp in heat. “Looks like a wreck ahead.”

Ignoring what’s behind us, we look to destruction.

“That’s turning into a goddamn inferno,” cuts in the youngest groomsman’s older brother. “That’s the city for you,” says the groom.

“A place to get married or a place to die in a fire.” The groomsman from the back of the bus sits with his beer can like a man who holds God in the palm of his hand. “That’s the same thing. This is your wedding ceremony, right, on a stagnant highway in flames?”…

Read the rest of “Blanco” right here!

••• Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.03.17) Mad Swirl​ kicked off the 2nd Annual Dr. Googily-Eyes Healing Circus & Mad Swirlin’ Medicine Show: Inciting the Rise of YES and the Fall of NO.

We YES’d it up in the swirlin’ mad live way that we do every month. Our purpose to invoke positivity was quite successful thanks to all the mad poets, performers and musicians!

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

(click on the pic to get ’em movin’!)
photos courtesy of Dan “the man” Rodriguez

Johnny Olson​
MH Clay​


Mad Mic Cast:
Paul Koniecki​
Jen Bochenko​
Brett “BA” Ardoin​
Annie Benjamin​
James “Bear” Rodehaver​
Reverie Evolving​
Tom Farris​
Hector Ortiz​
Tamitha Curiel​


Jolee Davis​
Elliot Pickens
Britt Bratt
Daniel Evans​
Jeff Stevens
Todd Buckley​
Jake Kinnard​
Connor Stratman​
Rebekah Armstrong​
Austin Caraway​

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!

More HUGE thankseses to City Tavern​’s Thad Kuiper​ & Noble Tse​ for makin’ our stay most righteous.

And lastly, but not leastly, thanks to all who came out to the Tavern & shared this beat-utifullest night of poetry and music with us!

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

P.S. Click here if you wanna see the LIVE feed action of our OPEN MIC set.


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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