The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.23.17

by July 23, 2017 0 comments

“Style is whatever you want to do, if you can do it with confidence.” ~ George Clinton

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Bodies Awakened (above) by featured artist David J. Thompson. To see more of David’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 saturated senses with a peek from a peak; we papered proof that, after gone, we still can speak; we darkened our night in fire without light (the lingering scar will be a sight); we honed our hate on the sole of a shoe; we pilfered pearls to make our soul’s cotillion; we wrote (many) words to wrest meaning from few; we deferred each day to differ from a million. “Like this bus, the wheels turn quicker,” still we try to freeze life’s flicker. Write to be read and so resurrected. ~ MH Clay


Split tan shoe
Ripped blue shirt
Patched green jacket
And some super glue

All of them
More than enough

For this Monday
For a month on Friday
For this ticket backwards

For never in
A million years
Will bones laugh back
Or skulls make cracks
About a lack of success

Like this bus
The wheels turn quicker
Ever quicker still

From there to here
And back again

Like this bottle
Like this tobacco

Like this unstamped postcard

July 22, 2017

editors note: Destination the same. Wish you were here! – mh clay

Silence by John Najjar

I sit here tracing these words across this screen
Looking for other possibilities
That can slide beyond the measures of reason
These days my day’s measure is spent
Searching possible futures
That leave me stranded here
In this distant present:

Measuring each word written
I sit in a shady place
And pace each line away
Writing a last refuge
A prisoner pacing the yard
Each word a step
In this battle with meaning

Experience will remain
A mixture of loss and gain
I am torn between a head
That reasons
And a heart that knows

I trace borderlines
Weighing possibilities
One past with another
Looking for connections
Still experience remains
Wrapped by silence
I will not let this rocky world
Shatter me.

July 21, 2017

editors note: A little shredded, but never shattered. We make what meaning we can. – mh clay

RESPECT, LOVE, PURPLE FLOWERS by Beate Sigriddaughter

I kneel in gravel, no tears, just
fascinated with six tiny purple petals
poking through light snow. I don’t know
their name. I have arrived
here limping through decades of searing
masculine entitlement and much
benevolent contempt. Six tiny petals
like sunbeams, like foxes, like stars,
reminding me—I need no respect, no
love to exist. My splendid body,
like a purple flower, does its miraculous
thing, even as my soul limps on
in disbelief, knowing how
lovely it would have been to dance.

July 20, 2017

editors note: Can’t steal the shine from the stars we are; we CAN dance. – mh clay


I was an incredibly angry young man
Those times at primary school were hell
Plagued by a restless energy and a sense
That I was never going to fit in
Not with these people; my contemporaries
Just left me wishing they were dead

I was always in trouble as classes never
Interested me and the playground
Was ruled by the football crazy sporty types
I was never going to be one of them
But there was too much time just hanging around
Until one day a new kid arrived
A fat bloated youth of my own age
And that first lunchtime we went at it
Fists and feet flying until both of us had enough
But by that point all the kids were watching
Cheering for the new kid making me realise that
‘Shit, they all hate me’

A few weeks later and I saw him again
Hanging with the sporty types and
Something deep down inside just clicked
And I lost it; I ripped my shoe off and
Flung it with all my might right at
The stupid fuckers empty head. It hit
Him hard and he fell to the floor and
Moments later I was in front of the Head
One shoe lost but still full of hatred and youthful
Exuberance realising that I hated school
Since then my hatred has blossomed but
Now I realise the price of shoes and the
Fact you can’t buy a single one, even as a replacement.

July 19, 2017

editors note: Fling hard words instead and keep your shoes on. (Happy Birthday to Bradford; today’s his day!) – mh clay

TRUMP AS A FIRE WITHOUT LIGHT #193 by Darren C. Demaree

We know the cut, but we don’t yet know the scar. We were never pretty, but this, this one is going to be an identifying mark. This will be what the world remembers about us for a long time.

July 18, 2017

editors note: One American poet’s POV; our collective embarrassment. – mh clay

Paper Memory by Kimberly Madura

When the colors swirl on a moment
preserving a thought, marking a place in time
a piece of life, that freedom in form
caught on one piece of paper
edited to contrast
an image, color, creating a perfect moment then
a perfect thing now
forever captured for me to hold onto
each paper aligns with one concrete memory
ageless and preserved
how the colors appear and fill in this moment
of my mind, my eyes, transient human reality
embossed, glossed, matted into something tangible
even while not truly understanding how that works
I am in awe of the mystery of it
mysterious proof of life
proof in my hand / proof I can hold
that then I lived.

July 17, 2017

editors note: Why we clamor to be in the Book of Life. – mh clay


On plates that ring in plenty comes each overture
Like foundling season ready to lavish expand ,
The top patch on which we stand, the beautiful curvature,
Gives but a glimpse of expanse all round, the whole land.
What beauty there is in sheer great doses
Iced, spun like constellations at night at its core,
Our planet’s many mysteries that fathoming proposes
The world idyll we see, the country on its open door.
Like orchestras overwhelm us, all opulence offered,
A banquet’s delectables in huge quantities,
A heady night’s music, all nuances proffered,
In its all-revealing stamp of exalted sanctities.
A colony of gannets in full swing impressive flight
Look as though they’ve temporarily forgotten their breeding sites.

July 16, 2017

editors note: Enough to make us forget our nesting site, too. Fair land. (We welcome Saloni to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week’s featured short, Hands of Home comes from our very own Short Story Editor, Tyler Malone!

Here’s what guest Short Story Editor MH Clay has to say about this week’s featured read:

“The cardinal rule of horror movies: Don’t walk into that house alone! Especially the one in your head. There’s ghosties in there!”

Here’s a few hauntin’ words to get this read goin’:

(“Disrepair Despair” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter​)

Chevy stepside rust fades when Texas horizons distort from blue to grey, promising only the crawl of darkness. Stark against crepuscular atmosphere slants a white house filthy from foundation to deteriorated shingles. The frame sags into dry Texas soil. Ancient worms and creation’s bones partially devour what’s inside, memories of no one who returns here, hands in pockets hoping to receive nothing by arriving with nothing but curiosity and hate that home holds.

A yard’s garden is nothing but fuscous weeds that replace the arched bricks that once mapped parameters. Gardens and foreign growth have become one as the old forgotten world becomes a meadow. Roses are beyond ruined, same as when I cared for them years ago. The flowers taught me my angry language. My grandmother’s arthritic hands were too twisted and unresponsive to groom them, so she’d watch me disbelieve that God created beauty, believe that earth was cruel. Goddamn these sharp fucking flowers. I’d snip stems before the condemning arthritic hands of God would judge me and my words under the sun, creating shade for some but shame for me. I’d never be a good man if I used those words. From dirt, a better man could be built. But I had to bleed.

Home draws me to the side yard. I walk over collapsed fence chain as easily stepped on as sleeping snails. Grass is overgrown where dogs used to huddle by a shed…

Get the rest of this swirlin’ trip down memory lane 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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