The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.10.18

by March 11, 2018 0 comments

“An artist is he for whom the goal and center of life is to form his mind.”
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Ujpetre Church” (above) by featured artist Jon Marquette.

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 went word drunk from “get” to “dunk;” we let rang divine ding dang; we spun round a breakdown; we heard a ghost story; we woke to wise glory; we warmed a cold remedy; we spoke a bold threnody. This spring forward was no set back, just a little late coming. ~ MH Clay


on a night of moody jazz
what it means for the burnt out ego
to be fast asleep

watching a computer screen
and counting sheep
while midnight drifts toward three a.m.
the same way smoke drifts
from a cigarette

…a momentary prayer and debt!,
this thing called life!
…sweet breath before oblivion
comes with death and Hell.

Shelter from a hurricane
and the rest
of Satan’s spell.

March 10, 2018

editors note: A few more waking hours required to conjure the counter-spell. – mh clay

Medicine by Luke Ritta

In a small snow covered village in the Shaanxi Province in central China an elderly man in his cabin sat at a small wooden table methodically pealing cloves of garlic. His fingers nails were covered in brown dirt from cutting wood and purple skin from the garlic.

On the crooked table there were two porcelain bowls, the first was filled with a steaming, spicy vegetable broth and the latter had four cloves of recently peeled garlic resting inside.

A small fire cracked away in the corner of the cabin, frost covered the windows and vapour poured out of the old man’s mouth as he breathed. The man in question had a small white moustache and a shaved bald head that was covered with wrinkles.

The man picked up a clove of garlic and chucked it into his mouth where he crunched it between his strong teeth. He picked up his warm bowl of broth and took a long slurp. He then placed the bowl back down and repeated the ritual until both bowls were totally empty.

The freezing wind rattled the frosted window pains while the old man shut his ancient eyes and rested.

March 9, 2018

editors note: You know what they say about “a clove a day…” – mh clay

Asleep No More by Harley White

The dawning day is like an open door
for voyagers adrift in living stream
to waken from the dream asleep no more.

When out of slumber’s seas we’re cast ashore
and consciousness resumes its heady beam,
the dawning day is like an open door.

With dialectic feet upon the floor
the thinker frames a philosophic scheme
in lieu of wakening asleep no more.

Stargazers, poets, let their fancies soar
into the realms beyond what things may seem,
for dawning day is like an open door.

Though myriads divinities implore,
within our being lies the path supreme
to reach awakenment asleep no more.

Deep wisdom handed down from ages yore
can teach us of enlightenment’s true gleam.
The dawning day is like an open door
to waken from the dream asleep no more.

March 8, 2018

editors note: Within our being, yes! Awake to this. (Read another mad missive from Harley on her page today, more words for the wise – check it out!) – mh clay

Living with a Ghost by Walter Ruhlmann

This could somewhat be fun if only
you wore a white sheet over your head.
Hollow and pale, mute too, dim, dumb, numb,
you keep transparent, spectral does not even define
what you have been since the gigantic blow hit you hard.

Dry in the southern wind you breathe no more,
eerie standing behind the ironing table, an aching back,
your eyes reflect nothing but the content of the medicine cabinet
or the high-speed trains rushing by, darting fast across the land of our dreams.
These lands have become hell, the dreams nightmares; they now give us goosebumps.

You were told this morning
this house has become too wide,
too large for a phantasmagorical thing
haunting a place that has become its jail,
a trap where dreadful thoughts billow in endlessly.

You’ve finally wasted
all the lives won in this game.
You won’t make it to the end of the world.
Doubtlessly, winter will be your shroud, buds and blossoms
will have to do without your usual care and fascination next spring.

March 7, 2018

editors note: Maybe can hold on till Spring, if not till the end of the world. – mh clay

upward spiral by Tess Hunt

There’s beauty in the breakdown –
maybe everybody says that.
Seems like everybody knows that.

i don’t know.

But what we leave out constantly –

or maybe no one knows it –
or maybe it’s so obvious, it shows –

Is the logic.

There’s logic in the breakdown, too –
it’s just not the first thing calling.

Logic is less primal.

It’s more patient,
in less pain –
and it’s humbled in the presence
of a strength it can’t explain.

Cuz there are just some instances
when things come up
that override the brain.

And that’s when you’re the furthest,




from being what we think of as insane.

March 6, 2018

editors note: Here it is; a logical explanation for all this crazy. – mh clay

A Knock at the Door of Divine by Chiranjibi Niroula

I see my spirit is flying in the sky,
From the sky over the clouds, it canvasses with me,
And, I see the creatures around me,
Vexing each other,
It makes me shed tears,
So, tears and tears spill around,
It’s my sorrow as it’s a bohemian glance,
For the hackneyed hostile ones,
See! These settlers in the banal are targeting each other,
They are ready to grind the life of many and more as mine,
But, my spirit applauds for peace and humanism,
My favourable identities always remain at the acme,
So does my spirit and so do I,
I see these adversaries attempt to have my domicile targeted,
But, in vain they’ll cauterize each other,
So they never reach to me and mine,
As my spirit makes me re-awake from my realm,
And, I vow for peace,
Listen! Ding Dang and Ding Dang!
I cry and advocate for humanism,
Listen! Ding Dang and Ding Dang!!

My pulses, my nerves turn into Juvenal plumage,
So, I fly with my spirit into the divine,
To knock at the door of it,
The door of peace and humanism!

March 5, 2018

editors note: Ding! Dang! – mh clay

GAMES by Spencer Smith

get out of your
mind games people
play hard or soft
boiled in oily
bird gets the warm
engine ear nose and
throw the bawl
your eyes outside
chance of rain
man of la munch
kin you hear me
now I layman’s
terms and conditions
have worsened overtime
game winner every
thyme in a bottle
of beer on the
wall of fame
and four chin
music and dancing
contest your knowledge
and whiz dumb
as a posterized him
on that dunk

March 4, 2018

editors note: A game on, pachinko poetry slam… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Who needs a read? All in favor, say “Aye!”

The Aye’s have it!

This week’s featured short story, “Proposition 29” comes to us from Contributing Writer Carl Perrin and it starts out like this:

(photo “Automated Inquiry” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all the slaves. And yet slavery is widespread in the United States in the 21st century. Only today the slaves are called robots. Robots are owned by human beings. They are not paid for their labor. In most places they have no rights. They do not get the nights or weekends off. They are worked throughout the day, seven days a week. When they get worn out by their constant labor, they do not go to Florida to spend their final days relaxing in the sun. Instead they are sent to a recycling center where any usable parts are stripped off them, and what remains is consigned to the junk heap…

If you’re needing more, direct your robot to take you to the rest of this telltale tale!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.07.18) 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:

Vic Victory
PW Covington
Jen Bochenko
John May
Rachel Broadway
Tom Farris
Carlos Salas
Opalina Salas
Jeanine Makkawi
Emily Green

GREAT BIG thanks to Swirve (Chris Curiel​ ~ trumpet; Tamitha Curiel​~ vocals) 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 feedS, it’s not too late to be a fly on the wall. Check it out in all its LIVE glory right here…



••• Mad Swirl Swag •••

The whole mad swirl of merch begins right here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some mad threads to sport, then you’ve come to the right post. We have mens & ladies tees in all sizes & more colors. New to the line-up: mad mugs to fill with your favorite coffee, tea and/or whiskey!

Come browse & if something catches your eye, get a little something-something for yourself & while you’re at it, get a little something for your nearest & dearest mad one in your swirlin’ world!

(And in case you’re wonderin’ why we are selling our wares, all proceeds will be used to fund our PRINTED Mad Swirl Anthology! Yep, folks, we are gettin’ back into the print biz!)


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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