The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.01.18

by September 2, 2018 0 comments

“One thing that I do ask myself when I’m in the creative process is, ‘Does the world need this?'”

John Zorn

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The hyena comic slays his audience” (above) by featured artist Stephen VanderHaar

To see ALL of Stephen’s innocently twisted & mad illustrations, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we lost what all our words could be, we could not pay the reader’s fee; we suffered through by self derided, mixed up in a love misguided; we felt the pangs of hungry souls, feeding from a dish served cold; we found old crones could not avail to keep the tiger off our trail; we, by summer heat, were fried, muse-abandoned, stupefied; we, memories sought, from train of thought; we storied stars as tales from far. We write of future and of past, in all attempts to make now last. ~ MH Clay

Infinite Rondeau by Harley White

Infinity is what we sense
when musing on the vast immense
with universes yet to mold
in starry heavens still untold
awaiting gazers in suspense.

Astronomers of why and whence
search stelliferous pathways dense,
as dreamers dreamily behold

The great sidereal events
in views the firmament presents
upon the cosmic canvas scrolled
shall neverendingly unfold
for poets of the future tense

September 1, 2018

editors note: Imagine – stars in heaven, lost in time, await unwritten cosmic rhyme. (Another of Harley’s musings awaits on her page; while time allows, read it now.) – mh clay

MEMORY GHOST by Roger G. Singer

Railroad Avenue.
Cinders and broken glass.
Warm engines blowing smoke.
Old men with hats, suspenders,
stained work boots and pants.
Great stories of Louisiana bayous,
marshlands, mountains and oceans.
Empty freight cars transporting
lost souls and homeless dreams.
Wooden platforms, benches carved
with names. Trackside families.
Steady work. Scars and sweat.
Creosote and oil, steel and shovels,
the tissue that connects.
A whistle in the distance,
forever gone.

August 31, 2018

editors note: Train of thought, recalled from rails; wistful whistle stops stay the passage of time. – mh clay


Please dear nodding muse
forever washed by June storm
…then, a rag, dried out!

come, give me a word!
…a jazz chord!, a caw of crow
singing in the South!

Forgiven, these riffs!
…stupefied in summer heat
and made pure by Sun!

August 30, 2018

editors note: Transubstantiation for a summer situation. – mh clay


Next week –
Ten –
A new set of bones
Old and burned white
By the dead tiger moon

Will I climb up?
Or will I stand down?

I don’t think there’s a choice
Or a need to explain

To wise men
To fools
To doctors
To books

All they carry is baggage
More grist for its teeth

Leave it alone
And leave it all there

Look to the distance
No need to look back

I have seen the carnage
And it’s far safer here

The clean sun of my shelter
Covered not casting
Any more blood for the trail

August 29, 2018

editors note: Keep a cozy cover, a clean count, and your blood to yourself. – mh clay

The Living by Gayle Bell

Isn’t easy Sister Pigeon
you could be screaming inside your head
This city wouldn’t know or care
Trust me on this
the connective cries of so many

Common truth alone is quickening
There are no tender arms
No listening heart
You can try to weave the impossible
from the possible
join the illusion of what everyone knows
Full of the luster of lies easily told

You find shade and balm in forgotten skies
the singing of nature bodes warnings
harmony of a million beats

Lean across the stanchion beams of reality
embrace the sudden shock of your lack of uniqueness
Clasp to your soul the unending pleasure
Scoop it up
Get a platter of wisdom
That dish they serve cold

August 28, 2018

editors note: Hard lessons, somehow softened by a hard life. – mh clay

misguided love by J.J. Campbell

embrace your
failure as effort

your father’s
hands around
your neck as
misguided love

the harder he
squeezes, it’s
simply passion
and the desire
for a better you

look into the
stars at night
and simply
god was out
of the office
when it was
time to decide
who was the
one for you

think of the
lesbian that’s
the love of
your life as
simply a way
to find the
time to come
up with

at least he
thinks you’re
worth that

August 27, 2018

editors note: Grateful for some time to change affections when object’s unattainable. – mh clay


‘We are looking for
exciting, daring and
works of poetry,
words that sting,
dark and humorous,
words that loiter
like a street-thief
in the reader’s head
long after reading
and what we’re also
looking for is a
$5.00 reading fee.’

August 26, 2018

editors note: Ouch. It’s bad enough the price you pay from pen to page. Insult. Outrage. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read, then feed that need right here!

This week’s featured tale at Mad Swirl,Black Rooms comes to us from Edward St. Boniface. Here’s a few a few lines to tease you with:

(illustration by Contributing Artist Norman Olson)

I was in a considerable state of nervous overload when the Black Rooms made their first appearance in my young life. That life had been one of panic and slip sliding instability. Evictions again and again from a long succession of scabrous hovels the merest step from wretched homelessness.

All of them grotesquely filled with gobbling monstrous ghouls. Such places had dominated long distorted years at my most impressionable. Sly tripwires of Fate apparently intent on casting me painfully down at every new step.

Cataracting my psyche. Violating with squalid humiliations every nuance of my pale existence. Fear corrupted and coloured everything…

Get the rest of the Mad-cabre read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve (with special guest Max Oepen) this 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.05.18) 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!

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!

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 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! 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Mike Fiorito
Guest Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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