“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”
Leonardo da Vinci
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“she saw something we couldn’t” (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 denatured the natural; we nose-thumbed the theological; we confused the fact with fiction; we obsessed o’er unspoiled addiction; we were happy together apart; we praised a pair of puppet hearts; we sought alternate control of imminent deletion. Not found, an emoji for pondering past in future, perpetually present, while perennially perplexed. ~ MH Clay
Tears In My Inbox by A.J. Huffman
Sadness rains from lines of dotted eyes,
permeating scripted font, selected
to emulate long-handed care. Scanned
briefly before being quickly dismissed.
Discarded as corny self-indulgence,
the browser, closed without second
thought. They are trapped
in sentient cell, mourning lack
of salvatory filing, counting down
their days to inevitable deletion.
April 14, 2018
editors note: But, wait – how about the Cloud? Everything lives in the Cloud forever, right? – mh clay
Marriage by Ann B-D
Two wooden dolls
With their heads on springs
Nodding to each other.
One sets off the other
Till the mechanism wears out
And their heads fall off.
April 13, 2018
editors note: I do. You do. We do. Till – Done. – mh clay
TOGETHER by David Subacchi
You knew more lyrics
I more chords
For a while.
I could sing and remember
You looked good
Let me fill in
We were OK
Or so we thought
A good team
For a while.
You got fed up
Neither of us
Could write our own.
I turned to poetry
Let dust gather
On the fretboard
You went instrumental
Writing in isolation
Sometimes I think
We’re happier apart
But so much better
April 12, 2018
editors note: Gotta do something. Why not together? – mh clay
UNSPOILED by John D Robinson
Let me catch you,
with blood and
dreams in your
breath, with a fierce
heat in your words
and a baby
tenderness in your
let me see you in
harmony with the
time you spin like
a child’s toy across
the roads of your
amongst the tragedy
of everyday living,
just one time,
be with you
for a moment is all
is needed to taste an
April 11, 2018
editors note: Does “just one time” keep it fresh; how can we not go back for more? – mh clay
In Prison by Randall Rogers
So many things
April 10, 2018
editors note: From one inmate to another… – mh clay
AND IS IT TRUE? by Brian Wood
And is it true? Is it true? –the poet
Said, over and over, willing belief.
That God had become man, had, like us, his
Ups and downs, his good days and bad, a fierce stare,
A charming smile, some days all agape,
Some days all cloud.
Like the poet, you’d like to believe too,
That salvation isn’t just an old word
In the big dictionaries at the back
Of the library, away from blu-rays
And new cds, so far back you don’t see
Like faith was something we tried once and then,
Our receipt intact, brought it back, unused,
Untouched. Like a belief in God only
Thrives in the “people’s” republics run by
A tyrant, the water foul, your family
Rotting in jail.
You would believe the story of Luke,
The poor couple in the inn, a light sent
To save, but in our day the birth of what
Some called love and some called forgiveness, just
Means fights in the parking lot, and lineups
Right out of Lobachevsky.
Yet to complain about money’s chokehold
On Christ’s birth is to say water is wet.
Everyone agrees with you… on their way
To the store. What is the hold here, what keeps
Us writing cards and making sure the paper
Is red, and green, new and fresh?
One Christmas morning my mother-in-law
Was so excited over a nice gift
She almost fell, dizzy. Had it been up
To her, she’d have given presents all hours,
Her heaven a house where people she loves
Open things she’s wrapped and taped.
Which may solve the mystery, which may be
Clear cut glass… we put up with this nonsense
Since to give a gift you wanted to, meant to,
Not had to, is one of the few ways we
Have to see love visible, not a part
Of a heart sometimes well hid.
The fresh flowers bought the night before,
The new perfume that smells like Paris,
The new books by your favorite author,
The new sweater that will dazzle all year,
The front row tickets, all a compact,
Saying I love you, I love you.
April 9, 2018
editors note: No time for introspection in the midst of the holiday hijinx, but now, these months past, we have an answer to, “Which came first, religion or love?” Do you see it? – mh clay
It is by Christopher Calle
It is human nature to defy nature.
Take what is self-limiting and impose facility.
From the center of the universe wells time.
Improbably patient, like water.
And about that spring the chaos, brambles
Through, we amble
Warm when warm, cool when cold, solid when needed.
Always at peace to flow.
April 8, 2018
editors note: That’s us; naturally unnatural. (We welcome Christopher to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week’s featured read at Mad Swirl, “Durkin’s Time“ comes from Tim Dadswell.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:
“Our time is always someone else’s time, that’s the only deal that we’re dealt.”
“Durkin’s Time” starts off like this:
(photo “Alien God” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
In an apartment near New York’s Central Park, Carl Durkin sits in his study, oblivious to the street below.
At first sight, he has a tanned, healthy complexion. Up close, his skin is damaged, pockmarked. Despite the portentous financial news scrolling across his TV, he is relaxed.
During a lull in the broadcast, he is joined by a visitor. Someone who generates his own gravity, Klaus Morax wears a slate suit that fits perfectly. His eyes—dark brown irises framed by pure white arcs—protrude below sloping eyebrows. His skin resembles Durkin’s.
“Morax! I wish you wouldn’t just appear out of nowhere like that. And it’s too soon. There’s a month to go.”
“I’m glad you recall so well, Durkin. You’d be surprised how many of my clients pretend to suffer from amnesia. What you say is true. You’ll have your month. But I like to see contracts through to their safe conclusion.”
“What do you mean by safe?”
“I think you know very well. First, I must conduct a thorough scan.”
He fixes Durkin with a relentless stare, repeating a solemn, rhythmic phrase, “In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas.”
Durkin’s eyelids droop and close…
Wanna know where this twisted tale goes? Then you best get the rest of your read on 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…
Short Story Editor