The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.07.17

by on October 8, 2017 :: 0 comments

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel.
Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
John Lennon

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Cosmic Flashes in Spiraling Eyes” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak.

To see more of Bill’s twisted illustrations, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe answered an invitation to love beyond time; we stood by a story for faith to survive; we daily did spasm in our cathartic chasm; we tore the veil of reader as tale; we questioned the expedience of blind obedience; we killed the itch ‘fore the itch killed us; we breathed the sharp air of memory’s dusk. We did, we do… ~ MH Clay

PASSING SUNSETS by Helen Harrison

Evening, and there is nothing
To tempt me indoors.

Warmed from a day spent in the sun;
I spin it on my fingertips,
Pass it, to my team-

Scoring goals
Win rolls of respect. Talents
Swaying to the chants; that
Tribal-like victory dance.

Ball of mesmerising fire –
Football skills that inspire. Cool
Moves; dipping, diving,
Thriving, in the company,

Until friends slip away,
As they are called in –
One by one.

Alone, with a crimson sky;
The breath I take is sharp
Like loneliness,

As the night turns – flat.

October 7, 2017

editors note: Pump the flat full and never go in. – mh clay

Unsettled by Julia Cirignano

Never truly satisfied
Like a constant itch
Almost straight lines
Almost neat piles

Little mistakes
And imperfections
Build under my skin
So I scratch
Until little pieces
Of my body
Flake away

Slowly but surely
I rip through the many
Layers of irritation
Because sometimes
It’s the little things
That eventually
Kill you

October 6, 2017

editors note: We kill ourselves in so many little ways, just to stay alive. (Julia has a new collection, “White Wine & Medical Marijuana,” available on Amazon. Get your copy here. Congrats, Julia!) – mh clay

Like Hitler’s Diary by Jeff Bagato

He said quietly that you
were to follow
and yet not

October 5, 2017

editors note: So, if that’s what he said, what do we say? – mh clay

Words, Words, Words by Sarah Karowski

I can manipulate your world,
infect your heart,
slowly contort your thoughts
to my design—
Who are you really, if
I control your mind?
this sorcery of verbiage,
this spellwork of editing,
through these scratches on
thin trees, I can bring you to your
ragged knees, you are no one—
dear reader—no one
without me.

October 4, 2017

editors note: Wow! The reader IS the story. – mh clay

Catharsis daily by Rus Khomutoff

Lions and shadows
labyrinthine emergence
voice in the chasm
obliteration of the possible at all costs
unbegotten and immortal
words that belong to a quantum realm
catharsis daily

October 3, 2017

editors note: Our looped existence; ecstasy and angst, every day. – mh clay

Freedom by Milenko Županović

dogma of
to survive
of freedom.

October 2, 2017

editors note: Can what you believe set you free? That would be a pillar, indeed! – mh clay

I Urge You… by Anca Mihaela Bruma

To meet me on the edge of the World…

There, where horologes grow their wings,
there, where distances ache our shoulders no more,
where the metronome dissipates our breaths no more,
and unbroken smiles do not grow…

The place… where… you cease to chase
The shadows of Worthlessness!…

To meet me where Eternity has lost its clock!
Where dreams live, unmutilated by tears,
so we can find each other
beyond banal bleached days
of senseless sceneless seasons,
where I may still taste the aroma of your morning eyes,
a Time and Place where I may cease to remember
how my roots were stolen from me,
and I may strive no more within the molasses
of mundane monotonous equations,
and require no more Mathematical solutions
of… this LOVE!…

I urge you to meet me
at the place where answers lose their questions,
with no maps or recipes to touch the Heart,
where words cannot shatter my hearing
and Time is not crammed inside a dusty lost note.
Meet me where the verb “to cry” is non-existent,
no walks on nameless maze of streets –
Instead, arched inside a hypnotic butterfly’s leap.

My Love…
I drew my Eternity under your eyelids,
words lost their senses,
past the borders between our thoughts,
just an additional pulsation for you….
to love me, insanely, without restraint.

No more random rusty routines,
Only… the Mirage of our cosmic Co-Existence!

– October 1, 2017

editors note: Time for timeless love… (View a compelling, haunting video rendition of this poem, with Anca’s own vocals. Check it out here.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well, Mad Swirl has a tasty tale for you! Be warned, this one is chockfull of some delish poetic nuggets.

Here’s what chief editor Johnny O has to say about this pick-of-the-week, “A Gathering of Generations” by Contributing Writer & Poet Donal Mahoney:

Some lessons are best dispensed on poetic wings. But before we enjoy a glorious victorious milkshake, let’s put these wise writing nuggets in our stovepipe hats, stoke ’em & smoke’em!

Here’s a few sips to get you goin::

An old man, a poet of the generation of Kerouac, Corso and Ginsburg, is at the lectern tonight in the auditorium of a small college nestled in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Although widely published for many years, both in the United States and abroad, he has never done a reading of his work. He attended a reading once, back in the Fifties. It was held in San Francisco and given by Gregory Corso. All the literati of the day were there, a number of them under the influence of one thing or another. But the reader tonight was so bored he swore he would never do a reading himself.

Not one to fraternize with other writers, the poet usually stays home with his African Grey parrots and Scarlet macaws. He writes at an old roll-top desk in what a romantic might call a garret, which he says is just a drafty attic over his old garage, part of an estate he inherited from his parents. He writes, off and on, day and night because he sleeps very little–two hours here, two hours there. He disdains liquor and dope but is a souse when it comes to milkshakes…

Delish milkshakes & pithy poetic advice? Sounds like a mad combo! Get the rest of this tasty read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of October (aka 10.04.17) Mad Swirl stirred it up again! As always, we opened the mic up to all you mad poets, performers and musicians.

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


Johnny O
MH Clay



Mad Mic Cast:

Brett “BA” Ardoin
Rebekah Armstrong
Tom Farris
Tony Hernandez
Phillip Todd Brewer
Charles Tuvilla
Jack Ritter
Sam Hudson
Aaron Kelly
Pablo Ortiz

GREAT BIG thanks to Swirve (Gerard Bendiks skins & Chris Curiel trumpet and musical guest Garrett Wingfield sax) for stirring the Swirl the best way in the world!

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

And lastly, but never leastly, thanks to all who came out to the Tavern & shared this loving, laughing, lasting night of poetry and music with us!

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

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, it’s not too late to be a fly on the wall. Check it out in all its LIVE glory 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

Leave a Reply