The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.27.18

by January 28, 2018 0 comments

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Dialogue” (above) by featured artist Fabrice Poussin.

To see more of Fabrice’s fine photos, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we got no relief from an ancestral thief; we constructed answers from questionable motives; we fired up three from a quitter’s votives; we exposed the predator in an artless editor; we suffered paralysis from beauty analysis; we talked some trash ’bout a trinity splash; we coaxed some pie from a painted tie. We conjured, constructed but never obstructed this succession of creative expression. ~ MH Clay

Night Thoughts to Raymond Scott’s Suite for Violin and Piano by Jeff Grimshaw

On the landing.
A hand painted neck tie
wrapped around my knuckles.
Somebody doing the dishes and singing
a song about summertime.

My mind needs more colors
only softer.
She gotta wash the sheets.
One of her toe nails looks funky and
I don’t like it. She doesn’t
like it either.
Painting it bright red isn’t the answer
to anything. I like the light
around the edge of the door,
It makes me think about
a party happening in there.

So now I’m on the subway
dreaming about carrots.
Now I’m on the subway
thinking somebody here didn’t change his socks today.
Now I’m on the subway
wondering if the end of the line is somewhere
nobody is allowed to talk about,
someplace a thousand miles away and
You have to get on the right car
at the right time. Someplace with ice.

It hurts to make a fist.
It hurts to make a decent pot roast.
It hurts to make a moon pie do the things
a moon pie don’t wanna do. I think that’s a song.

When you remember to water the plants
everything is better, even the things
that have nothing to do with the plants.

So now I’m tying the tie around my neck.
It has the Chrysler Building painted on it.
It made me happy when I bought it,
I dug into my pocket for ten bucks
and thought, ‘wait a minute, how do I wash the thing?’
and that made me happy, too.

Just pick the bugs off, I said, walking down the street
on the balls of my feet like a boxer, like a dancer,
Pick off the bugs and watch the fork
when you’re eating pasta. You’ll be fine.

January 27, 2018

editors note: This really ties things together; happy be. (To get that extra layer of smile, listen to the suite here.) – mh clay

Baptism by Frank Phelan

The priest stood over me
in the name of the father

And he splashed me
in the name of the son

I screeched my protest
and still he splashed me

All stood by at the altar
as he splashed me

in the name of the holy
fucking ghost

I never asked for this appointment
never asked for this anointment

Lamb of God… he without sin…


January 26, 2018

editors note: Sin without we, our father, etcetera. Hail mary, that’s a hoot! – mh clay

The shine on your face. by Hem Raj Bastola

A hook in the eyes,
Fishing a dream.
Enthralled, pulling: a rope
To net your mute beauty
Unmatched, climbing high
To harvest on eyes.

In the vacant horizon I play,
Reading every silence.
Find you are my life, when I am alone.
There you stand in front,
What is that of you?

Unreserved, planted deep,
A memory; missing: I cry.
Recurring dream of a foreign beauty
Haunted deep flying high.
I walk alone,
In a lonely street.

Tickling my roots of:
Involuntary sleeping nerves,
rubbing on a flint you spark.
The fire of: your beauty,
That you ornament and
The shine on your face,
Paralyze my mind.

January 25, 2018

editors note: The bliss of a fish afloat in muse waters; delightful paralysis. – mh clay

Submission Unheard by Gregg Dotoli

editors gleefully
rejecting words to be unheard
a proxy poetic deterrence
of graceless gloating rejection
spitting on Art’s fresh buds
the dispiriting crew
keeps em blue

January 24, 2018

editors note: Unappreciated procurators with museum motivations, only. – mh clay

three cigarettes today by Aekta Khubchandani

three cigarettes today
but today is a brand new day, I remind myself
I’ll get through alarms, reminders and to-do lists

a pile of jumbled words running in my head like typists’ fingers – tap tap tap
heart racing, out of breath, collapsing, interrupting to hold another breath
breath-less but still working – thump thump thump

there are fifteen faces I’ve to greet
faces will suddenly grow like omelettes on an oversized pan
from the days I’ve skipped breakfast

spreading, increasing amoeba-like but magnified
cup shaped fingers like fat wires of a blown out socket
reaching out to me like grim reaper’s slimy fingers

brushing their sweaty palms on my cheek
hands gently flowing down to bleach my spine with black sand
arms wide open, thrown at the sight of my body

our bodies will dance robotically to a music in their head
‘free hugs’ are claustrophobic and exhausting
but the campaign in their minds are advertised otherwise

I’ll fold my hands in prayer hoping it doesn’t last long
I’ll find the lighter, after knowing where it is
seventeen times

three cigarettes today
(and counting)

January 23, 2018

editors note: A delicate dance; addiction wins three. – mh clay

new questions by Milt Montague

our eyes are windows on life
filtering all we encounter

a youngster whips perilously close on his scooter…
is he a nasty child
or just thoughtless?

a large dog barks loudly…
is he ferocious
or just playful?

a woman holds her infant…
is she hugging her child
or checking the baby’s diaper?

a pigeon dive-bombs me…
is he vengeful
or just being a bird?

that adorable little dog…
has just urinated in the elevator
was it an accident
or a neglectful owner?

January 22, 2018

editors note: Would our answers be new if we didn’t take the questions personally? – mh clay


Thieves arrest midnight
because willows choke the sky
where a farmer starved

he wore a red hat
along the path to his house
this fits his headstone

now he mocks the ghosts
the ones born with all the stars
shining for no one

he is robbing thieves
they are all cops and judges
they are his fathers.

January 21, 2018

editors note: Fall to sidle up to selfish celestial ancestors; take your place, take all. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you need a read, this week’s featured story is sure to shush your hunger!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week story:

If life doesn’t kill you, love will. Don’t look into the shadows, see what’s in the light right next to us. That’s what you should fear.

We present you Hush, Sweet by Jennifer Benningfield! Her tale starts off like this:

(photo “The Ring of a New Last Name” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Of course I couldn’t find my sunglasses on what turned out to be the most blinding day of the year, also known as the day Jeff and Ally got married.

“It’s rude to wear sunglasses to a wedding,” my own wife reminded me, hand on hip, watching as I lifted everything but the refrigerator in my quest.

“According to who, the God of weddings? Screw him, he’s probably a prick like all the other gods. Are you not going to help me look? They’re LaCroix.”

“We don’t have the time. Worst comes to worst, the maids will find them.”

Jeff’s been a solid friend since grade eight, but I couldn’t think of anything else besides the mystery location of my not cheap sunglasses from the time we approached the club to the time I joined Teddy at the designated smoking area. Engaging in such reprobate behavior on such a sacred day helped blow some of the bubbles away from my guts…

Will sunglasses be found? Will Jeff & Ally’s wedding be nuptially delish? Guess you’ll have to find that out 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…

Lovin’, lovin’, lovin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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