“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Self+Portrait” (above) by featured artist Elvin Armando
To see more of Elvin’s macabre 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 braved one fear to escape another; we found more fear to flee when smothered; we gave a try at starting a riot; we saw a maid, devoid of brio; we tripped a tych for an unholy trio; we saw signs on prayer with no sign of prayer; we pulled the peace which never ceases from the flesh of god for 30 pieces. Our edifices, our intentions, our precipices, our inventions; a wordy crew we be.
mh ~ MH Clay
The Fall of An Ancient Order by Chigger Matthews
the Masons released a demon
in Salina, Kansas
captive at the Temple
of fez-hatted ghosts
hostage of chicken little
the sky isn’t falling fast
enough – ghost hope
into the daystar
a reaving we will go
you men of wolves
into the distant light
into the skyward stair
on constant horizon
of cubic existence and
flat world mentality
spin the dome for
church of word
waving snakes and eating
the flesh of their God
tipping goblets of blood
at 30 silver pieces
May 26, 2018
editors note: A rare reaving; riches rendered into something greater than 30. (We welcome Chigger to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
SIGNAGE by Robert Demaree
The mainline downtown parishes
Think it undignified
But you see along the road to Durham
Small churches with signs out front,
Some electronic these days
But most where you put up letters
One at a time
Like a 1940s theater marquee.
You wonder about the sources,
Magazines, newsletters, I guess,
The internet these days,
(God will accept broken hearts
But he must have all the pieces
Or Gossip is the Devil’s radio—
R U his DJ?)
Or to announce the next revival.
I noticed one near Mebane,
Just after New Year’s:
Pray hard for Lucas, it said.
But then they took it down.
May 25, 2018
editors note: What would your sign say? For whom do you pray? – mh clay
Haiku Trio by Eneida Patricia Alcalde
Goblins under oath
Lie like priests in a brothel
Without shame or clothes.
Vampires and moths die
Betrayed by flames and sunlight—
Church, cross, candle ire!
Adam’s maker schemed
Forbidden apples for Eve,
A snake accomplice.
May 24, 2018
editors note: This is one tripped out trinity; goblin, moth and lying snake. Amen-not! – mh clay
Drudgery by Dennis Moriarty
Most days she imagines the broom
Is a pen,
The lino floor a blank page begging
To be filled,
And most days she fills the vacant
Space with words
She has constructed from dust and the
Left over feelings of motherhood.
Not the long drawn out words of the
Oxford English dictionary
But the short blunt industrial words
Of her youth.
And now and again she wonders what
It would be like to be heard,
To be listened to, her innermost thoughts
Acquiring a voice
That could rise above the bombastic roar
Of the vacuum cleaner,
Negating the monotony of the washing
Machine and it’s
Seemingly endless wash rinse cycle
Of all her days.
She replaces the broom with a mop
The damp head
Swiping away the words the space so
And at mid day every day she opens
The first bottle
And for a short while the clock calls time
On her drudgery.
May 23, 2018
editors note: If she can’t speak, the bottle (and the bard) will speak for her. – mh clay
Outcasts by Stephen Jarrell Williams
We’re back but not bent
On the bottom list
Darker down here
Easier to walk streets
Unnoticed and malnourished
Scribbling notes with a sharp pencil
Ignoring background traffic
Our brains on lines of poetry
Words and feelings struggling
On breaths of hopeful wisdom
Never knowing if we’ve started a riot
Robot flesh still kicking us aside
Deleting our factual history
Ultimate maze of misery
They pass us blindly fixed
As we taste the final fruit of Spirit
They snake higher up their skyscrapers
For a longer lean into a fall
Funny how the few of us
Outcasts to oracles
Usually end up in silence
Sitting on a mountaintop
On breaths of hopeful wisdom
Never knowing if we’ve started a riot.
May 22, 2018
editors note: Prophets or perpetrators; maybe one in the same? We may not know, but we hope so. – mh clay
My Name is Fear by Adithya Nair Satheesan
My name is fear.
Yes, I am that guy.
My name is fear and I have a complaint,
A bone to pick with all the talks of blame
That label me a straitjacket,
a restraint, a limit,
an enemy to conquer,
a hurdle to sprint over,
a goddamn stumbling block,
handcuff of dreams,
a black pit consuming your leap of faith-
heard enough, I want to set the record straight.
I am an emotion, nothing more, nothing less.
I am a feeling, timeless, ageless,
Yet a tiny tot who knows nothing–
About that untrodden path you are taking,
About that market that may rise or crash,
About ‘hey, is that pimple a rash?’
About the truth that you want to say
With all conviction keeping silence at bay.
I am just a warning for you to prepare,
to not clutch at straws, gasping for air
when outcomes flood and leave you adrift.
I am a newsflash, a headline, a paradigm shift.
What I am not is an excuse
To favour silence over conscience,
guilt over redemption,
defeat over protest,
sticks and stones over life,
hate over basic understanding, forget love.
My name is fear- I am an imperfect argument,
Not to be ignored, but to embrace
Not to be blindly followed, just to be reasoned with.
My name may be fear but you are stronger than me.
My name is fear but you are better than me.
My name is fear and you need not fear me.
May 21, 2018
editors note: So, if we take away our capitalization, it must bow to capitulation? (see what we saw yesterday) – mh clay
Hierarchy of Fear by Alexandria Biamonte
He asked me why I chose to board the plane
If I was so afraid to fly.
“Because my mother would
If I didn’t.”
“I mean, of course
A joke, naturally.
It had to be.
Because if I thought I would
On the plane, I couldn’t be
Of my own mother.
May 20, 2018
editors note: The greater fear gets a capital “A.” – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Whether you think you Need-a-Read or not, fate brought this story to your screen!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this week’s featured tale, “The Fates“ by Bruce Mundhenke:
“All fallen leaves are to curse their branches—it’s their fate.”
And with that said, here’s a few lines of fate for ya:
(photo “The Curse of Branches” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
As I looked out the window, leaves were randomly floating to the ground. It was their destiny from the time they were formed on the trees in the Spring to lie scattered on the lawn this Fall.
It had been my destiny to go to war, survive, get married, raise two kids, and become divorced. Now this…
My thoughts drifted back to a conversation about fate with an old friend.
Before I was married, a friend I worked with, a drinking buddy, had suggested a road trip to Tucson, Arizona. We were on strike at the mill where we both worked, had a little extra money and some time on our hands.
We were both excited about the possibilities that such a trip might present. We were young, with vivid imaginations and a sense of immortality that is common in youth.
We took off down the highway in his Lincoln, crossed the Mississippi, then continued on toward Tucson, rock & roll blaring as we went.
We both wanted a beer in New Mexico, so we drove into a small town just off the interstate. Driving down the main drag, tumbleweeds were rolling along in front of us down the empty street, hurried along by the wind.
We parked in front of a bar and got out of the car. Loud Tejano music was playing. As we opened the door the song ended. We stood at the end of the bar closest to the door and ordered two beers. The men at the bar were staring at us. Every one of them were Mexican. It was obvious we were not welcome…
Get the rest of this wicked read on right here!
••• Best of Mad Swirl : v2017 •••
This year Mad Swirl has engaged the necessary resources to publish a print anthology, The Best of Mad Swirl: v2017!
This will present the best of last year’s works posted on MadSwirl.com; poems (52 to be exact), short stories (a cool dozen) and art (four to feast upon)!
We are excited about this anthology, the first print copy of Mad Swirl to be published since 2009.
We expect to complete this collection in the next few weeks & goin’ to press by late May/early June.
Watch our website and our Facebook page for more details…
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