“But I can only write what the muse allows me to write.
I cannot choose, I can only do what I am given…”
Ian Hamilton Finlay
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Unbeknownst” (above) by featured artist Mike Fiorito.
Mike Fiorito once again brings us a collection of collages that our eyes feel happy looking at. Fiorito’s works of dark, warm hues are quite the treat. Sometimes sexual, sometimes spiritual and sometimes a little bit of both – which mean you can guess why we dig it the most! And we’re bettin’ you will too. Get an eyeful right here! ~ Madelyn Olson
To see more of Mike’s crazy collection of collages, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we minded our Ps and Qs (and Xs and Zs); we chanced a disconnected dance; we ran and roamed for house from home; we bunkered in, gave trowel for pen; we stripped seed of fact for story; we ducked the danger of loveless anger; we staggered and sank as deep love suckers. All week we were Mad over matter…. ~ MH Clay
DEEP PURPLE by Jeffrey Park
You have to imagine a color darker
than black, swirls without movement,
reflections of alien landscapes
beyond human conception,
and all in glorious stereo – two sultry eyes,
two things like eyes, perfectly round,
unadorned by lash, lid or pupil,
taking in who knows what,
two tantalizing ripe cherries
waving at the ends of twin tendrils,
juicy and inviting and seriously toxic.
You could, if you chose, further imagine
yourself drowning in those eyes,
assuming your body were dense enough
to break their viscous surface.
Those eyes, those mysterious orbs,
I fell in love with those breathtaking eyes –
but in the end I married her
for her many-suckered tentacles.
October 28, 2017
editors note: Love by hypnosis; captured into co-dependence. – mh clay
Flood Bucket Formula by Paul Tristram
Juggling scissors, wearing her best dress.
‘Red’ is not just a colour but an attitude.
Your daisy chain smile
is merely a collection of misprints
stuck to the entrance of a hollow rock.
She loved his veins, they never lied once…
whilst the rest was made up of smoke and shadows.
It’s raining again, of course it is…
for your hooded eyes are cast longingly elsewhere.
This ‘Blood Sport’ spills
and is ruining such delicate emotions.
Sandpaper smooth, as always…
the Bite is almost soothing
after the insane fury of the Bark.
There’s such depth to your anger,
you could pothole it and get lost forever…
whilst your love remains without a proper pulse,
Stepmother mirror gazing,
and as flat and clinical as a hospital sheet piss-stain.
October 27, 2017
editors note: Anger leaches the love out of your potion. – mh clay
Wag the Dog by Rose Aiello Morales
I planted a seed
and they think it’s a story,
now see the tree,
a twig with branches everywhere,
oak in the land of disease
but gypsies keep the semblance of arbor
congregating where the page is moth eaten.
I planted a story
and they think it’s real,
they drag it in coffins
when my birthday comes near,
non-celebrations alight with years
no editor will touch,
there are no additions, no subtractions.
Tales add nothing to the fact,
created just to wag the dog,
now the dog’s alive and well
but cats no longer venture near,
felines can fall for several stories
but this fiction has no end as tributes grow like rivers,
the beach is rocks but never sandy, cats know litter when they smell it.
October 26, 2017
editors note: It’s all story; just some smell worse than others, as any discerning cat can tell. – mh clay
Mid Century Modern. by Christopher A. Calle
Lines, blocks, and chambers.
Within this space an unmistakable mass.
The regular cadence of its tumbled edges cast watercolor shadows on a grout that matches forgettably closely. And though these walls have not witnessed the exposure of weather in over 60 years, their brusque marriages of wood, paint, carpet, and metal indicate many lives lived here.
In this hopeless cell, choice is amplified.
Breath, and control.
The subtle din of a fan gives way to graphite spilling its truth.
In this field nothing exists.
Struggling effortlessly, a hand guides its implement, leaving crumbs for a chapter yet written.
October 25, 2017
editors note: Home as homily; the poetry of place. – mh clay
HOUSING by Clyde Kessler
The sky will close inside a willow
like all the blue riddles, like all
the scientists a million winters after
all the leaves fall.
I have not danced much with the sky
or its lightning, or along the dirt road
where the river birds refuse their wings
and begin gaping up from their roosts
because the moonrise squeezes against
every feather and reveals the distance
they must migrate against their own shadows.
Same for my mother, a widow now,
chopping out bamboo roots, because
they have inched to the basement wall,
and so far they are only growing parallel
to the cinderblocks. It’s not a dream,
she says, not a home for a bear cub,
or the ghost beagle, or baby chickens
teasing after June-bugs. It’s the work
asleep in itself, beginning to end.
October 24, 2017
editors note: When where we want to be is not where we are. – mh clay
Air Dancers by Robert L. Martin
Where homes are houses
And shoes are anchors,
Bound to the earth that
Sings out of tune,
The flight of music is a wounded bird
And dancers all have weighted wings.
Poetry is the hub of assorted data
And stories are lists of vital instructions.
Sleep is a refuge for all the rebels
And dreams are for the disenchanted.
Sound is an obstacle to the flow of music
And the passion is for heated lovers only.
Air dancers leave the earth while they dance.
They roll with the sound of the silent clouds.
They twist their bodies to the mood of the rain.
They fly into stories of space and beyond.
They kiss the angels and jump into heaven.
They sing with their feet in the mystical air,
As they dance with the poetry
Of their playful minds,
And laugh with the wind
As they sail into forever,
While disconnected to that rocky sphere,
That planet of various
Weights and measures,
That earth that touches the dancers’ feet.
October 23, 2017
editors note: Yes! For the dancers who have broken free; may we follow them, rejoicing. – mh clay
Inquiring Minds by Terry Severhill
Where do photons go to get some sleep?
Away from all that light?
Where are the “W”-rays, the “Z”-rays?
How come the “Xs” get to have all the fun?
When gravity waves… should we wave back?
How many PhD physicists does it take to change a light bulb??
“Oh, that’s a problem for a psychologist,” was their reply.
(And the bulb has to really want to change).
What is a gathering of “scientists,” who ignore some facts
but endorse the findings of others who ignore facts, called…?
Who warmed up the earth?
You know, way back when the earth was covered in ice?
As in the last Ice Age?
How did that happen?
Perhaps from Humans or,
hugging to stay warm?
October 22, 2017
editors note: Let’s reverse the process; aloofness all around! – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If you’re in Need-of-a-Read, “Mehr,” from Kaushiki Saraswat, strikes terror quite close to a sad reality most of us have never experienced before.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week story:
Build. Cherish. Destroy. Cherish. Repeat.
Here’s a bit of “Mehr” to get this read goin’:
(photo “Build Ourselves, Destroy Ourselves” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
The excitement of the new project had begun to fade away. Adventure became regular in face. My enthusiasm level was at five then, not completely worn off but I was in need of a caffeine shot to wake up from the drowsy non-happening routine. I had already been to all the markets and captured culture on a reel. The initial terror of being in a slight war zone area had also withered down the scale- mercury didn’t shoot up when I heard the local clamour. The neighbours had accepted me, though I still felt out of place. I was hesitant to ask them to lower their voices. I didn’t ask the landlord to provide me with darker, heavier curtains, I got them done on my own. I realised that it is not my home and that people will not be aware of my preferences: silence and darkness.
I had to be there for another seven days. I lay crouched on my bed making a list of farewell gifts. I made a couple of new friends. I have been a fan of goodbye gifts so that if it is the last time to see a person, along with their glistening eyes, even their smile that hides unuttered emotions is captured in my eyes.
I remember waking up from this dreamy patch in a frenzy…
Get the rest of this terrorizing tale right here!
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
‘t’was a dark & cold November night in the year ’04 when Mad Swirl first hosted our 1st Wednesday Open Mic… and here we are, 13 years later, still stirrin’, still swirlin’ & still Mad!
Got a chill? We do too! And that’s why we think you should join Mad Swirl & Swirve (with special guest Hanzu) this 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.01.17) at 8:00 SHARP & help us ring in our lucky 13th anniversary by swirlin’ up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ City Tavern!
Come on out, one & all… share in the Mad Swirl’n thirt’ween festivities & if the spirits are movin’ ya, get yourself a spot on our list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!
P.S. To get a spot on our pre-list, visit our FB event page.
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…
Short Story Editor