“Art is a habit-forming drug.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Tightening Shadows” (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 recalled past love from a lunar shove; we had a good cry as pooch hit the sky; we made drunk jazz with a “da guh hazz;” we, on reality, tripped, all for lack of a script; we earned our dose of art per diem, just sitting in our life’s museum; we examined the last of prophetic past; we called out the catch in a shouting match. Worn, wicked, or weak; words are all we’ve got to speak.. ~ MH Clay
Apolune by Sanjeev Sethi
Infirm like filo in caking of my fleshment
you push me to candy of other kinds. In
reality there isn’t wordlessness. Subtlety
isn’t the brief. Nuance is in short supply.
Klazomania hits. I scream like a panelist
on a news show. Audibility isn’t hark-
ened only by headsets. In this sublunary
animus has to be adhibited.
July 28, 2018
editors note: Scream loud and long; there’s gotta be someplace better than this! – mh clay
The Boy from Bartlesville by John Dorsey
prophets were born and raised here
their bones in the pipeline of the past
when each man was his own tribe
when the lenape cried out
in the sunlight
for mother’s milk
after the jug of the spirit
had gone empty
when the boy from bartlesville
watched young girls dance
just outside his window
pacing the ward floor
waiting for muhammad
to seek his advice
when invisible prairies still offered
the possibility of young love
when the cosmos was powered
by white bread & gasoline
when wind ripped through these fields
like the last gust of breath from the dead
when nothing sacred
could be held down
by a stone.
July 27, 2018
editors note: When what was, isn’t now; it takes a true tribesman to figure it out. – mh clay
Blue Green and Brown (Rothko 1952) by Marianne Szlyk
She wonders what is intimate
about an enormous canvas hung
up on a museum wall.
Museums are silent except for
garbled conversations, docents’ lectures, spills
of sound from someone’s device.
Nothing is intimate, not even
silence, the pristine space between
each person in a public place.
She sits at home with
the image on her screen,
all other lights off. In
twilight, blue, green, and brown
envelop her, keeping her company
in this humidity. Cicadas call
outdoors. Indoor and outdoor sounds
blend: buses’ wheeze, the washer’s
slosh. She feels the space
between her and them dissolve.
July 26, 2018
editors note: Exhibit vs. experience; one to see, the other to be. (Congratulations, Marianne! This poem is one from her latest collection, On the Other Side of the Window, just published this month. You can get your copy here.) – mh clay
Exit Chased By A Bear by Joseph Farley
No, the mountain will not crumble
If you stare it down.
No, the sky will not change
To a shade of green
Because your palette calls for it.
This is where you are.
The scenery is your life.
If there’s a story to this,
You’re in it,
Maybe not the lead,
Maybe just an extra,
A face along the way.
Where? I don’t know.
I didn’t get a copy of the script.
July 25, 2018
editors note: Author! Revisions requested. How about the bear will be chased by me? – mh clay
After a Few Drinks by Arun Budhathoki
After a few drinks
The world shuts me down
The world shuts me up
And the head spins
The world’s din becomes sonorous
Fire spreads in the breathing tunnel
A numinous dragon entering and leaving
The sixth finger trembles
The seventh just mocks at your stupidity
After a few drinks
Thoughts abandon me
And I’m stress-free
Instead, images pop up
Like bloody nuances of Kathmandu city
15 minutes later I ramble nonsense
And liquor writes what I write not
And it speaks the words of underworld
I yell: I can still dance
These shaky touches rattle the revolving phone’s screen
And the room screams da da guh guh hazz hazz
I yell: stop the damn cacophony
(the world shuts me down)
After a few drinks
I empty the half-full Old Durbar Black Chimney
And fill the dwarf glasses
And empty self
After a few drinks
I shut down the world
A crow cuts this city into two
I think I passed out.
July 24, 2018
editors note: That’s pretty much it: empty glass, empty self. – mh clay
The Last of the Load-Ups by Sharon O’Callaghan Shero
A dirge for Not So Famous Amos, the Goofy Newfie, 2001-2011
You made the man
who collects your pooh
cry, seeing the blood,
and so did we,
as did they all as we left you behind.
After the man cried and the evening before we left you behind,
your head owled around your shoulder.
Rolling that imperious shark eye
over me, and then back to your dinner
(all ground and awash in a primordial gravy),
“All right, but this is the last time.”
The next morning
we did our perp walk and there you were,
installed in the usual place.
Your tail swept the floorboards,
but that was all. It was time.
We loaded up,
you making a big boy leap of hope,
the back seat impersonally received your scrambling mass.
Charging into the waiting room
(could there be other canines who thrived on being probed
and stuck and flipped and opened up as much as you?),
you had arrived, your beloved sanctum, your journey replete.
On the crabbed exam floor your head nodded, down with a sigh,
and peace sucked all the oxygen out of the space.
A glassine stillness shivered through us all.
Through my mind’s peripherals,
your blacky boy girth slipped past and lumbered down the corridor.
On to the kennels, to hobnob once more.
July 23, 2018
editors note: It’s a sad-sweet, end-of-meet event; when down to the kennels, all! – mh clay
YOU AGAIN, DAMMIT! by Ruth Z. Deming
Reading the love poems of
Rupi Kaur, I’m forced
Once again to remember you.
Doris said I’d like you
When she sent me to your
Carriage house on Chew Ave
To put you in our magazine
The love was instantaneous
A cake loving the icing
The clouds, the sun
The moon her earthbound romantics
And so I loved you.
You died without me
Thirty years ago.
Did you bring our shattered love
With you to your grave? It’s still
Inside me, forgotten, for the
Most part, but easy to revive,
Like moonlight when I step
Outside at night.
July 22, 2018
editors note: Memorial moments where grief is gain. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Need-a-Read? Need no more! We got just the fix…
This week’s featured short story, A Digital Copy, comes from Contributing Writer Carl Perrin! Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week:
“We’re all derivatives. Copies of copies of copies of copies. In love with copies, working with copies, all pretending we’re the legitimate original.”
And here’s a few lines to tease your need:
(photo “Humanity’s Ghosts” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
This article first appeared in the Portland Press-Herald on February 8, 2046
Milton Schaefer of Portland was the first American to have a digital copy of his mind implanted into a robot. Schaefer, who had been in ill health, started going to Eternity, Inc. in Freeport last July. At Eternity, Inc. technicians were able to make copy the contents of his mind on a neural network. After he died, the digital copy was transferred to the hard drive of a specially-made robot named Dmitry.
The technology was developed in Russia over 25 years ago by Dmitry Itskov. Itskov’s goal was to prolong his own life by moving his consciousness to a robot. When Itskov died in 2042, the neural network of his mind was moved to a robot. Itskov’s life as a robot was not very long. The machine kept breaking down because of technical problems. After a little over a year, it was discarded.
William Landsman, a computer scientist at the University of South Maine, had studied at Itskov’s laboratory in St Petersburg. He thought he had solved the technical problems that had plagued the Itskov’s attempt, and he opened Eternity, Inc. in Freeport a year ago. After interviewing 20 candidates, Landsman chose Milton Schaefer for the first project.
Schaefer was well-known in Portland. He had been a member of the city council at the time of his death. He was also president of Gadgets, a company that sold electronic devices online.
From the beginning, the Eternity, Inc. project created controversy. People who spoke to Dmitry/Schaefer were amazed. Some wondered, has science finally defeated death? Can I live forever?
Others saw multiple problems arising from machines with human consciousness…
Get this rest of this man-meets-machine-meets-man read on right here!
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
Join Mad Swirl & Swirve the 1st Wednesday of August (aka 08.01.18) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our NEW mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ Regal Room at the Independent Bar & Kitchen!
This month, besides breaking in the new digs, we will be showcasing the local and worldwide works from our “Best of Mad Swirl : v2017” Anthology:
- MH Clay
- Lisa Moak
- Christopher Calle
- Opalina Salas
- Chris Zimmerly
- Alexandra Corinth
- Johnny Olson
Come on out, one & all… share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.
Come to participate.
Come to appreciate.
Come to swirl-a-brate this new Mad chapter!
For you ‘bookers out there, check out our Facebook event page to get you a spot on our list!
••• 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 MadSwirl.com 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):
Stephen Jarrell Williams
Heather M. Browne
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Bradley Mason Hamlin
Christopher A. Calle
Featured Writers (in order of appearance):
Featured Artists (in order of appearance):
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…
Gettin’ a fix,
Short Story Editor