The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.03.18

by February 4, 2018 0 comments

“The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.”
Felix Mendelssohn

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Work of a Great Hand” (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 paid a puppet to peep at stars; we longed for a lover, seen from afar; we saw a thing we could not say; we self perceived from brain belief; we swallowed a sky in yellow day; we took away sorrow, counting on grief; we opened, unfurled, invited to leap. We pray these words our souls to keep. ~ MH Clay

I want to open myself by Trier Ward

I want to open myself
like a flag unfurling
in the hot wind of
the night,
like a wave of froth
undulating before
the soft sandy shore,
like a flower full of nectar
inviting the buzzing honeybee,
like a tiger leaping
across a waterfall.
I want to open myself
so wide I split
and become infinite
I want to open myself
so you can see my
naked soul shaking
with delight.
I want to open myself
without reservation
or cover and bare myself
to your flesh.
I want to open myself
because I’m tired of
only going there by half.
So tonight is the night
I will throw away
my armor
and pierce myself
with a knife-
the knife of resistance.
And here I will lie
open to you
and only you
at last.

February 3, 2018

editors note: Ever close, never closed; open at last. – mh clay

Counting on Griefs by Kiriti Sengupta

Sorrow is as amazing as the sky
as it allows rainbows to appear and
I see the flashbacks fill the air
even faster than how a flock of birds
strives to guard the sun.

And then, agonies are those tiny worlds
three-quarters of whom are the waters and
the rest is where men make castles
on sweat or blood.

February 2, 2018

editors note: Maybe sweet sorrow might assuage the agonies inflicted upon us in our sweat and blood; maybe… (We welcome Kiriti to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Two swallows in a yellow sky by Joseph Farley

black swallows fly across yellow sky,
morning maybe, or setting sun.
the world seems so small,
no bigger than a postcard.
you feel you could reach out and take
the whole scene in your hand
and carry it away in your pocket,
but all you have is your eyes
and mind and memory and two swallows
flying across a yellow sky.

February 1, 2018

editors note: We see (n)one in hand, two in the wind. – mh clay

pareidolia by Logen Cure

the eye takes in
a mess and the brain
tidies up
assesses threat
knows instantly
the angle of the mouth
that means violence

we are born
to identify faces
mimic a smile
win favor
from our loved ones

more than a trick
of the light
more than survival
or psychosis
ancient mechanism
in a modern world sees
a sly grin
in the grill of a car
Jesus on toast

you look in the mirror
you look at a painting
a mountain a cloud
your mother
recognize yourself
your self

January 31, 2018

editors note: More on what we see; the random pieces we pick to define what we are. – mh clay

THE EYES HAVE IT by Roger G. Singer

A drawing on the wall attracts
An old couple shake their heads
and then their fists.
A young woman reaches out,
touching the colors.
A dog walks by.
A pregnant woman scans the image
while rubbing her abdomen.
Two young boys on bikes laugh
and ride off.
A city bus stops. Passengers step
off and separate, noticing nothing.
A man and a woman contemplate the
wall, arguing as they walk away.
A nun passes by quickly, her eyes
rigidly forward.
A soldier presses his hand to his
A rabbi stops, looking intently and
then begins to cry.

January 30, 2018

editors note: Eye couldn’t say what art walks by, what heart makes cry. – mh clay

The Days by Ray Sharp

Thank God it’s Friday
is the only prayer I know.
Saturday and Sunday are twin snakes,
the product of sex times two,
One joyous and wild after so long,
the second slow and sad
Like premonitions of parting,
the little death.
Monday is the country
of the poet’s ex-lover.

January 29, 2018

editors note: And, as on every Monday, we look forward to sweet reunion… – mh clay

Street-Walker by John Najjar

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. – Oscar Wilde

After the money
Has changed hands
Puppet of fantasy
To what silent place
Do you retreat?
On the street
They snugger and stare
Behind closed doors
They come in despair
To have fears
Cleansed in tears
As you walk that twisted street
Head turned to the sky
Many admire you

Your temple desecrated
All ruin and decay
Yet in that compost
Heap of the heart
A tiny seed struggles
With the earth:
One tenuous shoot
Reaches for the stars.

January 28, 2018

editors note: It’s all compost; fertilizer for the soul. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you are Need-a-Read, feed it on this week’s featured short story, “Shade of Silhouettes” by Russ Bickerstaff.

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

There are voices in your head, we all hear them too. In the dark, when they think the world can’t touch us, that it can never touch us, the sounds find us. Familiar voices sharing an angry, sharp language. We hear it too. It never hears our answer, either.

And “Shade of Silhouettes” starts off like this:

(photo “Shade of Silhouettes” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

The shadowy figures were looking in on the captive with great interest. There was a mist that was shifting across the room that made the shadows seem all the less distinct. The entire room seemed to be saying perpetually. There was a kind of exhaustion about everything which wouldn’t exactly be defined. It was what it was. And it was exactly what the shadows didn’t want at that moment.

The captive told the shadows that they would have what they wanted from him over his dead body.

The shadows considered this. The captive could hear the shadows whispering to themselves as they huddled together. Perhaps now it was his turn to wait. It was his turn to sigh. It was his turn to consider the full weight of the situation. He had no idea what they wanted. He just knew that he didn’t have to give them anything. He didn’t owe them anything. He didn’t…

Get the rest of this shadowy read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve (with special guest Gregg Prickett) this 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.07.18) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ City Tavern!

Come on out, one & all… share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is 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. For you Facebookers out there, check out our Facebook event page and get yourself a spot on our pre-list!


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…

Mixin’ it up,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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