The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.07.18

by on April 8, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
William Wordsworth

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“u wanna hit this” (above) by featured artist Madelyn Olson.

To see more of Maddi’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 followed misfortune, would fortunate be; we slid, insane, sweet soul to see; we swung from the vine of the monkey mind; we stoned away from a life of crime; we whet the whims of a suckling whelp; we sipped the sweetest, no cry help; we pulled and released the pinball ping off neon, off Lorca, off eyes of green. Scoring for the Team! ~ MH Clay

STATS by Alan Britt

Runs scored could be the most important
stat of all; it’s where rubber meets the spikes,
as they say, crossing the plate like neon
numbers sparking a 1950s pinball machine
flashing gypsy green eyes with torn purple
dress & left breast spilling out, holdover
from La Barraca, a la Lorca’s mercurial

Of course, runs batted in are equally important.

April 7, 2018

editors note: From farm team to the big league, you can count your own ribeye. – mh clay

Nocturnal juice by Hem Raj Bastola

Depth of night
Where your shy lips
Were shivering
But the smile
Was attractive.

I fondle you,
Your coy smooch;
Attacks tenderly.
As you huddle me,
A pair of clementine,
Ask me to peel.
They were
So soft.

A sweet,
Juice of night
You serve;
to my thirsty

April 6, 2018

editors note: Ah! Sweet, surreptitious squeeze. No juice fast for me. – mh clay

Milk Moments by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Go away little growl,
Little Guy demanded nursing,
Head held back, catching my light
In your growth of lips, cheeks, tongue.

My cups wash limpid, free of darkness,
As we share the wisdom of lactation,
Chaff’s only culled as we pause for air
Or for lesser needs.

Then, during diaper changes,
Flickerings of serious poetics totter,
Coupling your vulnerable parameters,
With history more than nature.

Greater immolations,
You impecunious thief, come
When our mutual articulations
Sing home the moon.

April 5, 2018

editors note: Babe at breast sings milk from moons. (This one comes from KJ Hannah’s recent collection, Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties. See how to get your copy here.) – mh clay

The Day We Didn’t Do a Robbery… by PW Covington

We talked all afternoon about maybe
Robbing a convenience store
Out on 550
Or maybe a bank
In a tiny Texas town
That Barbara knew

We all agreed,
It would be easier with a helicopter
Stashed somewhere
To make
Our get away…
Like Mexican drug lords

The football game was on mute
Pow-Wow music played on the
Albuquerque public radio station
We ordered a pizza
And packed the pipe
As a light snow began to fall

Sunset painted the Sandias
And, by the time
Domino’s® arrived
Our International District
Chama Street
Criminal conspiracy
Had ended

Up in smoke
Down with the sun
Like John Wayne’s Teeth
And the drums of the Northern Cree

April 4, 2018

editors note: Another bad idea, arrested by the ole 13. (We welcome P.W. to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

‘monkey mind’ of natalie goldberg by Carl Kavadlo

it’s not the lack of focus
or the lack of a coherent
statement, like they teach
you in the schools and jobs.
it’s the critic jumping around
moreso; the critic sniping
at you, blaming you for
trying, citing your
demanding propriety,
demanding truth, telling
you to quit, telling you it’s
only right, feeding you
stories on every level:
genetics, societal labeling,
innate talent vs. your lack
and ‘let’s get honest’:
the fairness—and you!
stopping the balance
of the scales which are right.

the norms of the old south,
when all understood who
was who and what was fair:
the voice, and truth—
telling what to do.
close your notebook,
shut your computer.
i mean it speaks with
such vengeance, pull
your paper from the typer
cartridge, if you still
use those— don’t get
so poetic: don’t look
at the sun in the morning.

i still care enough to
write this, breaking all
taboos where you’re
not even supposed to
think the thought.

i’ve already made
a mistake against the tyrant.

April 3, 2018

editors note: The worst wrench in your works is you; that tyrant has no teeth. – mh clay

“goodbye sanity” by Kyle Perdue

she’s got
and they’re ridiculous
she has,
style like no other
I can picture her now:
waddling like a child,
a cigarette hanging from the mouth
and just behind it:
a smile
she wouldn’t approach quietly, no
there’d be a noise,
some kind of laugh
and she’d throw her arms in the air
dancing with life
she’d twirl
for it’s all she knows
she has to
it’s her style and
her soul is just too good;
I fear for my dwindling sanity
I can feel it slipping away
dripping from my hair to my toes
I see the bangs
I watch the style
I love the dances, the movements,
the wild soul bursting from inside
there’s just something about this one
hello, wonderful
goodbye, sanity

April 2, 2018

editors note: No point to careful when crazy is wonderful. “Hello!” – mh clay

Dollar Store by Phil Huffy

Her face, oddly square,
affronted by years of defeat
has an expressive sadness
highlighted by wormlike lips

Her purchase, an ordered array of
frozen things, soups, fruit drink
and packs of knee highs
bearing health claims

“I’ll leave the bleach”
The bleach will stay behind;
for what sanguine purposes
had it been intended?

She bumbles away as I advance
my Snickers and settle,
then drive off, passing her,
walking, resolute, surviving

April 1, 2018

editors note: Leave the bleach, keep the positivity. Don’t need white to make right. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If your need for a read has got you feelin’ a bit crazy today, Mad Swirl​ has got just what the head doc ordered!

This week’s featured short story, The Mitzvah Gig comes to us from Contributing Writer & Poet, Ann B-D.

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

“Music should be madness, but it’s noise manipulated into something that doesn’t need language, self-control, or to explain itself. It’s what in us, only freed.”

Here’s a small dose to loosen up your loco:

(photo “Bent to Broken” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)


I don’t remember her name. Let’s call her Sarah. I do remember where she worked: the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital, as some kind of psychiatric social worker. Like me, she was a new immigrant to Israel, and we both sang in a chamber choir in Jerusalem.

“Is it true you’re in a band?” she asked me one evening during a break in the choir rehearsal.

“Yes,” I said proudly. “I’m the girl singer in a country band. It’s me and three guys.”

“And are you getting a lot of gigs?”

“Well… no.” It was 1979, and Israelis were not interested in American country music. “We’re kind of digging around for places to play. We don’t even care if we make any money.”

“Then I have an offer to make you,” she said. “Would you like to come and play for my clients?”

“In the hospital?”

“It’s a psychiatric facility,” she said. “Not a hospital. My clients would love it if you came. They don’t get a lot of entertainment. And look, there are staff members there too. Believe me, it would be a mitzvah if you came. A good deed. Think of it like that,” she said encouragingly. “A chance to do a mitzvah!”…

Get the rest of this mad mitzvah read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of April (aka 04.04.18) Mad Swirl​ stirred it up again! As always, we opened the mic up to all you mad poets, performers, artists 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…

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 04.04.18
(photos courtesy of Rob Dyer & David Parham)



Johnny O
MH Clay


Swirve (with special guest Aaron Gonzalez)

Live Art:

Edward Hatter

Mad Mic Cast:

Johnny O
MH Clay
Elliot Pickens
Rob Dyer
Opalina Salas
Brett Ardoin
Joshua Balis
Carlos Salas
Elliott Hill
Christopher Calle
Jack Ritter
Chris Zimmerly
Poetry Teacher
Desmene Statum
Aaron Gonzalez
Josh Battenhorse

GREAT BIG thanks to Swirve (Chris Curiel​ ~ trumpet; Gerard Beniks ~ skins; Aaron Gonzelez ~ bass) for stirring the Swirl the best way in the world!

More HUGE thanks to City Tavern​’s Joshua Florence, 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…

Last Swirl in the Tavern by Edward Hatter
(painted LIVE during Mad Swirl Open Mic)

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…




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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