The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.17.18

by March 18, 2018 0 comments

“If poetry and the arts do anything, they can fortify your inner life, your inwardness.”
Seamus Heaney

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Resilience” (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 made tough talk on a dog walk; we followed frost in a moment lost; we struggled in strife o’er buried life; we got the gist of a missed tryst; we had to fold’em in a game of hold’em; we stood aslant by a mad one’s rant, dressed our mortality in death’s positivity; we ran some words ‘neath an orange moon, listened to future, none too soon. Cuz, sooner or later, that future will pass. Listen… ~ MH Clay

a hanging moon in the west. by Brendan McCormack

moon starts off heavy and orange
just over the stark naked trees
wintering west of this stand

some idea of where the sun is
some feeling stretching out
a distance to that sun and it
aint in the west or the east

we just hanging here
it hangs out of sight
it’s unfathomable where it’s at
numbers can say it

numbers can make up a length
but it’s out there
in all of this
and i’m out here in all of this

and here, in here, in this flesh
this living thing
this making a sense within speaks
“orange moon, unseen moon”

after that you can do anything
with words – you can make anything up
you can make any place real
but it ain’t, is it?

and as night, something, moves
that moon softens out of orange
climbs into the sky
makes a way towards the west

and i can’t fathom the stars
and they can’t fathom me
and i’m asking for something
and i don’t think it’s there

it is some form alright
in all this formlessness
inhale, breathe deep and look out
i could cry but for what

no one said to go there
but go there i go
all the words run out of themselves.
all the words run out of me.

making up all the men and women.
in this place. so vast. listen to it.
the moon ain’t orange anymore. just listen.
until the next time.

day will come and all this
will seem strange
as everything is normal in the light.
but it ain’t. and it never will be.

and this is where we are now.
the past is gone. the future
is yet to be. listen to it.

listen to yourself.

March 17, 2018

editors note: As words waste away, like the waning moon… listen. – mh clay

rant by Rob Plath

fuck thinking positive
you just have to be insane:
say “cheese” to the gun barrels
of pain aimed at you
give yr demons a piggyback ride
gather all the parts of yr brain
that hate you & make a necklace of them
marry suicide & adopt death
& dress it up like a lamb

March 16, 2018

editors note: Yup! You carry them, or they carry you. – mh clay

BULLETS by K.W. Peery



March 15, 2018

editors note: Do you duck and cover? Or, depend on the luck o’ the draw? – mh clay

BEWILDERED by Beate Sigriddaughter

You didn’t wait for me
at the unfamiliar
fork in the road.

I was only lost a little
while, then found my way
home anyway.

That’s all I have to say.

March 14, 2018

editors note: In her search for love, her way is found instead. – mh clay

Buried by Lisa Moak

I don’t know the day it happened
nor the time
I only know
I had a dream
and then one day
it was gone.

Was it age
or busyness, I do not know
when I grew up
lost my childhood
and became

Me who was
is not
me who is,
when did the laughter fade?

Was it pain
or loss
that took the dream
the youth
the me,
and buried them away?

March 13, 2018

editors note: Under that dirt lies memory. Keep digging! – mh clay

FROZEN DAWN by Patty Dickson Pieczka

Your footprints left
thin as ghosts.

Silent branches flower
their glass
through my brittle dreams

as a script
of ice vines its grief
toward sunrise.

Crystal bells ring
as the last star
falls to the treetops

and this lost moment
becomes a drop of frost
melting to earth.

March 12, 2018

editors note: Stolen sleep in Winter’s wake. – mh clay

Angel by Michael Holme

is a dog:
canine, ASBO, punk.
We love her loose wires.
She has extra needs.
I thought I’d stretch
my neck out for her.

She ate my Apple Mac lead:
sixty five quid on top of Michelle’s slippers;
anything but the Ox Blood ten holer Docs.

I don’t get the jogger destruction gene,
or the random furry death squad triggers.
I think she’ll require understanding.
You can get a ‘dog’ MSc.

How she did the Houdini
was a sleight of paw. She just wanted
to tower over terriers.
Dogs have egos too.

I pretend to eat her tripe.
I wonder if she’s smart.
I’m the top dog, however,
at bedtime she divides us: gooseberry.

She has a two ton dog chain.
With skinny jeans and leather
I walk her looking like a CHAV.
I don’t give a monkey’s what locals
make of Angel. She has the best excuse
for how she randomises:
once a stray, now a daddy’s girl;
expect the odd surprise.

ASBO – a UK term, meaning anti-social behaviour order
CHAV – means council house and violent

March 11, 2018

editors note: In this world of “dog eat dog,” it pays to have your own Angel. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re in need of a quick read then feast your eyes upon Jin Yoo’s 239 worded tale titled The Spongebob Toy

Here ‘t’is ain all’o’its entirety!

(photo “Hold Tightly, Let Go Lightly” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I walked into a very strange looking room. There were bright lights everywhere and all I could make out of the room was that it was very huge. I asked myself why I wasn’t blinded by the bright lights. Then all of a sudden, I felt something on my face as soon as I thought of that. Sunglasses appeared on my face. I looked around to see if anyone else was in the room. In the corner, I saw a dark shadow. I made my way towards and it and started to go closer.

“Excuse me? Who are you?”

There was no answer. I started to go closer and closer. There was faint music playing in the background as I was getting closer. I stopped right in front of the dark figure.

“What in the name is this? Why is there a Spongebob toy in the corner?”

Taken aback, I grabbed the toy and then there was a loud squeal.

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

I look around and see nobody around me, but there’s music blasting out of nowhere. Just then the Spongebob toy starts to glow.

“Is this real? What is happening?”

The room starts to get brighter and brighter and all you hear is screaming. My eyes open and I realize that this was all a dream. I look next to me and find the Spongebob toy on my bed, staring at me.

editors note: What we trust, what we know, that thing we hold, that’s what haunts. ~ tyler malone

If you’re needing more reads, our short story library is chockfull! Check them out here!

••• Mad Speakeasy •••

LAST NIGHT Mad Swirl had us an Irish Sprang (A St. Patrick’s Day Speakeasy Thang) event! We featured Irish Poet Brendan McCormack, along with Mad Swirl’s very own Johnny O & MH Clay (with musical accompaniment by Swirve’s Chris Curiel) We followed that madness up open mic featuring a whole handful of local loco poets!

Thanks to all who came & appreciated & participated in the festivities! If you were there, you know the mad vibe we had goin’ last night. If you weren’t, here are links to all three of our LIVE feeds:


MH & Johnny O…

Open Mic…

And THAT is how we do it! …’til next Speakeasy!

••• Mad Swirl Swag •••

LAST CALL to come & get some Mad Swirl swag!

On March 19th we’ll be closing up our swag shop so you best get yourself some mad merch to purch before then!

We have mens & ladies tees in all sizes & a wide variety of colors. New to the line-up: mad mugs (also in a spectrum of colors) 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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