The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.10.18

by on February 11, 2018 :: 0 comments

“If this be not love, it is madness, and then it is pardonable.”
William Congreve

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Ascent” (above) by featured artist Jon Marquette.

Mad Swirl proudly welcomes back longtime contributor & bad ass artist Jon Marquette to the Mad Gallery because, to be quite honest, we really can’t get enough of his work! Marquette’s shapes and colors always keep us captivated. Sometimes minimal and most times abstract, we could easily stare at Jon’s mad canvases all day. There is a profound depth to Marquette’s work that is irresistible & we’ll feature him again and again and again until he runs out of paint! Treat your mad imagination & check out Jon’s latest canvases (15 of ’em) out for yourself… ~ Madelyn Olson

To see more of Jon’s mad canvases, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we started with a Sunday stroll; we did unfeeling folks (in finery) extoll; we were impatient horologists; then licentious symbologists; we saw no ghost by a guarded coast; we saw what matters not, in the light of old snapshots; we sustained daily hydration to best support our life gyrations. This world will turn with or without us. Learn to lean into the spin. ~ MH Clay

Scenic Reflections by Jenean McBrearty

I live in the world of the old California,
of yesterday’s music and slang,
and speak a little Spanglish.
I remember sights and smells of my individuality,
yearning to meet others who understand
what it means to traverse a landscape
where everyone is from somewhere else:

Old Spice aftershave
English Leather cologne
Duck tails and pompadours
Cheaters and Cuban boots
Patchouli and sandalwood
Green apple splash and Cashmere Bouquet
Petti-pants and pleated skirts
A blue Chevy Malibu meeting
an old white Impala at a drive-in movie
Dancing that fueled passion
Coke and Winston cigarettes
And a busted condom that killed my dreams

I drive north on the Coastal Highway,
or up the middle to Bakersfield,
or east to El Centro,
playing “tunes” and just driving
through the desert space oddity
that was cruisin’
with Mary Wells in the Mojave,
learning survival skills
and to this day
I go nowhere without plenty of water.

February 10, 2018

editors note: See all. Stay hydrated. – mh clay

Mirror by Milenko Županović

of last
in the dark
of quarters

in the secret
of the universe
dark matter

February 9, 2018

editors note: Self revealed, secret no more. – mh clay


Bitch of a ladder.
Tiny and impractical.
Mother, sister voiced the pointlessness
resting on uncushioned seats
complaining of apocalyptic joint pain.
The captain commiserated impatiently
his wife the Medium was waiting.
The stairs down, narrow almost non negotiable.
We bumped our heads & wailed.
Mother fell into the Medium’s larger chair,
wouldn’t move. “I am sitting here!”
The small boat rocked in somnolent mood.
A fog or misery mist hung down too low.
The Medium groaned, dealt a few tarot cards.
Pausing, she couldn’t sense any spirits close.
There would be no refunds.
She eventually acknowledged our sincere threats
with reference to The Coast Guard Of The Eternal.
A substantially larger boat took us to shore.
Endeavoring to neutralize the Medium’s hand curses,
we held up three of our own as the fog dispersed.

February 8, 2018

editors note: A big production for a no-show. – mh clay

3 Feelers in the Feeling Room by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

3 feelers in the feeling room
curb stomp nemesis weather patterns
down the dirt of country roads

Himalaya high on rock
crushing sound of the power band

a zoo for the wild ones
Thomas Wolfe as a showerhead

the blood I bleed was never mine
erect neglect in barrier reef

3 feelers in the feeling room
tanta-lies for a horny truth
shimmy wires in a playground play

3 feelers in the feeling

February 7, 2018

editors note: Feels good to me. Was it good for you? – mh clay

it’s about time by Rob Dyer

I’m a horologist
of sorts
my interest in time wanders from trepidation
to abject repulsion
fearing ineptitude in understanding it
only compounded by my hatred observing its hungry maw
but clocks are innocents, simple faces of man’s vanity
as if the need to pace one’s self could have a purpose

I’ve felt this way for quite a while
how long
I certainly do not care to know

I mean, to know time
requires admitting my folly
and well, I don’t have time for that

February 6, 2018

editors note: Second(s) that! – mh clay

the beautiful people by David Susswein

the beautiful people
visit hairdressing saloons
criss-cross their feet, in relaxed posture
laugh at the stylist’s sly comment

the beautiful people
link elbows in human chains
dance across busy roads, gaily
ignoring puddles of rain

the beautiful people
sail-through high pressure jobs
air-kiss their way to the top,
delighting even the office-cleaners

the beautiful people
fall out of love as easy as breathing
leave a wreckage of lives in their wake
and continue on, with even less than a sigh.

February 5, 2018

editors note: Beholding beauty for what it’s not. – mh clay

Indifferent by David Subacchi

On Sundays they come
To walk off lunch,
Or linger in coffee shops,
Some to continue last night’s
Unfinished conversations.

For there is a purpose
In every step,
Every spin
Of pram wheel,
And every meeting of eyes

Across the streets
And potholed
Of this seaside
Grid iron town.

A place where waves roll
Lazily across the bay
From the cliffs to the harbour,
Indifferent to any pause
Between one week and another.

February 4, 2018

editors note: So, go not weak to week; indifferent force not seek. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-read that also delivers some warm-love-fuzzies, seek no more ‘cos Lost in Translation? by Kaushiki Saraswat delivers both most beautifully!

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

Nothing is for us, we only exist here and now. The stars, the oceans, how our hearts beat, it’s all for time to forget. Still, we can pretend it’s all ours. And we pretend so well.

Here’s a tease to tug your heart-strings:

(photo “Beware of What Wants You” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

It didn’t take me a second to fall for his eyes. Hazelnut brown, a tinge of blue and there I was. Flat on a floor, heart beating on the ground, tongue-tied. He was the only man in the room that did not mind me whistling. In fact, it appealed to his senses so much that I’d be greeted with surprise kisses and nudges. The only man that saw me for who I was. He didn’t care if I was too cranky after a period night, or too happy to pay attention to his endeavours that made things right. He was there. He is always there. He didn’t allow himself to see perfection in anyone else, that’s the definition of love maybe (I laugh at my attempt to cage such a freeing feeling, or free the caged?), his wagging tail punishing me for eyeing other dogs taught me so. And he is right.

He was the one who threw me in the ditch called love. Made me love love. I ran away but his leash dragged me to it.

Then began the love affair with love…

Get the whole shebang right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.07.18) Mad Swirl​ stirred it up again! As always, we opened the mic up to all you mad poets, performers and musicians and as always, we swirled us up a mighty fine night!

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:

Josh Weir​
Opalina Salas​
Paul Koniecki​
Jen Bochenko​
Brett “BA” Ardoin​
Reverie Evolving​
Matthew “Chigger” Haines​
Daphne Moon​
James​ “Bear” Rodehaver
Vic Victory​


Aaron Glover​
Jeanine Makkawi​
Tom Farris​
Emily ‘Knowles’ Britt
Elliott Hill​
VP Crowe​
Austin Caraway​
Marisa Adame​
Christopher Calle​
Brian Cox​

GREAT BIG thanks to Swirve (Gerard Bendiks​ skins, Chris Curiel​ trumpet, Tamitha Curiel​ vocals & guest guitarist Greg Prickett) 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

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