The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.14.18

by July 15, 2018 0 comments

“All art is erotic.”

Gustav Klimt

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The Wind’s Unfinished Kisses” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak

To see more of Bill’s crazy collages, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we dawned a day, put omens away; we lamented o’er the beauty of a misanthropic cutie; we shared one to please two; we historied from bad seed spew; we spun lack into maybe to shape our cloud baby; we learned from a sage short of voting age; we watched one scheme to live the dream (there’s no losing if you just keep snoozing). ~ MH Clay

Mona in Amerika #2 by Mike Zone

She’s thinking of meeting
the man in the yellow hat
in tight cut-office denims and a butterfly tank top
she needs a job
enter: Hamburger Joe’s
nearly a trillion served
deep fried burgers, slaw-fries, bacon topped ice-cream
at lightning speed
a stupid hat, $40 uniform fee
must be available: days, nights, weekends, holidays
7 days a week
expect between nine and twenty-four hours
starting pay 25 cents above minimum
it’s within walking distance
saves on bus fare
allows for minor contemplation
on the receding homeland and Sisyphus boulder
mom’s at the axis of it all
which is really the cross roads of delayed death
or immediate death
walking in front of a bus as factory doors close
a dollar over minimum, cashiering at the mart
a circus of value and conflicting time changes
Mona fingering Baltic curls, gazes at her younger sister
back from daycare, sores on her mouth
still hungry but refusing to eat
macaroni hotdog, sloppy joe sauce surprise
call it a “Tidy Joe” on a bun
in her uniform before work
tighter pants for job security
appease the manager with wolfish eyes
light on make-up
so as not to signify
instant give-away
Mona sighs and asks “is this Amerika?”

July 14, 2018

editors note: Three squares rounded down to one (or none); still groping for the special prize, hidden in that happy meal. – mh clay

Eighteen by Lillie Davidson

The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Because until then, you are just a teenager.
A lazy, entitled teenager who’s on their phone too much and should have a summer job.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Until then you are just a teenager.
A teenager who sits on the floor of a dark classroom
Next to the body of your best friend.
And you scream and scream out to a world that will never hear your voice.
A world that is too loud to hear your voice
Too loud with its own partisanship and hatred
A world that will never be quiet enough to listen to a last breath as it escapes the body of a fourteen year old.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Because until then you are just a teenager
A lazy, entitled teenager who’s on their phone too much
Little do they know, you are on your phone to watch a list of casualties climb
Hoping to God you will never recognize a name.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen
Because until then you are just a teenager
And the adults in your life will decide what is right for you
And to speak out against it makes you lazy and entitled
I ask them now, have you witnessed the horrors that we have?
Can you really tell us what is right?
I ask the government now, do you hear us?
Do you hear us hiding in the back corner of our classrooms?
Do you hear us reading the eulogy at too many funerals, for too many friends?
I ask the government, now do you hear us?
Because if a gun fires inside a classroom, and there’s no politician there to hear it, it will always make a sound.

July 13, 2018

editors note: “It’s more complicated than your young minds can comprehend,” we say (all the while hoping they will just get back to their snap chats). – mh clay

The Song Plays On by Gary Glauber

Stuck in a unidirectional flow,
staring at ocean view out our window,
sharing wisps of last night’s dreams,
connecting to colors, old melodies,
a wide realm of touchstones,
spinning lack into another great maybe.
Abundance is here, merely hiding,
waiting around the nearest corner,
whistling a happy refrain.
That cloud looks like a heron,
a sign of hope, omen of portent,
potent with potential, a coda
full of unresolved possibility:
wanting warmth, needing love,
not ready for that requiem yet.

July 12, 2018

editors note: Cloud watching to wend wonder, fend off the wake a bit longer. – mh clay

Taxonomy of History by Ethan Goffman

There are three main branches in the study of History:

The History of the Past
The History of What Happened
The History of What the Hell Happened!

The last, less respected than the others, is sometimes known as The History of One Damned Thing After Another.

There are three even less reputable branches of history:

The History of the Future
The History of What Might Have Happened
The History of What Never Happened

Most historians don’t recognize these branches. Even some of the more refined poets look down upon them.

Still they are thunderstorms, pummeling fields of cantankerous, yearning weeds
young weeds that spout from drenched soil and spew outlaw seeds

July 11, 2018

editors note: Damn the outlaws; fix the dirt. – mh clay

Only One by Rachel Broadway

There is only one tree in my forest.
There is only one sail in my sea.
There is only one fork in my salad.
There is only one song I can sing.
There is only one swing on my playground.
There is only one step to my stair.
There is only one room in my castle.
There is only one braid in my hair.
There is only one tooth in my smile.
There is only one space in my fear.
There is only one step in between us.
There is only one leg on my chair.
There is only one breath I am holding.
There is only one rock in my wall.
How can we divide this between us,
or how can we share it all?

July 10, 2018

editors note: A chance for two to make one enough. – mh clay

Stalking My Ex On Twitter by Alexandria Biamonte

How dare she be beautiful in that picture
Laughing, arms raised to the falling snow
Wearing those sweatpants I hated.
In most photos, she looks every part the
Trashy, classless, misanthropic shrew
That I discovered in my bed.
She used me and cast me aside,
And I resent her for good reason.

But sometimes,

There is a pure moment
And she resembles the
Witty, vital, fearless Valkyrie
That I fell for.
How dare she remind me how it felt
When she was mine.

July 9, 2018

editors note: The cake you ate and no longer have; doesn’t mean you don’t like cake, just not THAT cake. (We welcome Alexandria to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

The Honeymooners Drive to California by blue


Third day.
They’d made it
to a trestle bridge in Tennessee.
Watched a sunrise light the mountain fog
and had the musk of morning raise
a chill along their arms.

At a diner,
waiting for more summer,
a shift change waitress war
reminded them of stinging nettles
they’d stumbled into
eighteen hours east.

A day they prayed wouldn’t be an omen
as they moved out into another dawn.

July 8, 2018

editors note: One odd occurrence need not indicate unfortunate eventualities… right? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re in need of a read then feast your eyes upon this week’s featured short at Mad Swirl, “Through the tunnel” by Contributing Writer Robin Wyatt Dunn!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this one:

We’re not only a man. Only a woman. Only living. The most we are is the most we think about what we are.

Clocking in at a slim 268 words, this fine poetic tale will grab ya quicker than we can tease this read…

(photo “The Damnation of Distance” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

…so what’cha waitin’ for… get to clickin’!

••• Best of Mad Swirl : v2017 •••

“The Best of Mad Swirl : v2017” is available NOW!

The Best of Mad Swirl : v2017 is an anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on throughout 2017. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

Featured Poets (in order of appearance):

Devon Balwit
Tyler Malone
Brian Wood
James Brown
Lisa Shields
Megha Saha
Miceál Kearney
Clyde Kessler
Stephen Jarrell Williams
Adam Sometimes
Tom Hatch
Mark Senkus
Sanjeev Sethi
Samantha Hawkins
Mel Waldman
Joseph Farley
Heather M. Browne
Aekta Khubchandani
Sarah Karowski
Jeff Grimshaw
Sissy Buckles
Brittany Griffiths
Stefanie Bennett
Gayle Bell
Terry Severhill
Paul Hellweg
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Volodymyr Bily
Beate Sigriddaughter
Harley White
Lisa Moak
Chris Zimmerly
Cheyenne Gallion
Hongri Yuan
John Dorsey
Bradley Mason Hamlin
Peggy Turnbull
Bradford Middleton
Brendan Gillett
Julia Cirignano
Christopher Barnes
Ndue Ukaj
Christopher A. Calle
Peycho Kanev
Opalina Salas
Timothy Pilgrim
Steven Minchin
Marisa Adame
Alexandra Corinth
Johnny Olson
Bijaya Biswal
Sam Silva

Featured Writers (in order of appearance):

Donal Mahoney
J.D. Hager
N.T. Franklin
Philip Kobylarz
Taylor Evans
Ron Gibson
Tyler Malone
Ron Riekki
Carl Perrin
DL Shirey
Mike Fiorito

Featured Artists (in order of appearance):

William Zuback
Joseph Shepard
Mike Fiorito
Bill Wolak

Get your very own copy of this Best of Mad Swirl (v2017 style) collection 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…

Turned On,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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