The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.20.18

by October 21, 2018 0 comments

“The Poet makes himself a seer through a long, vast and painstaking derangement of all the senses”

Arthur Rimbaud

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Feather in Ice” (above) by featured artist Dan Rodriguez

To see ALL of Dan’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we future told to not grow old; we read request on palimpsest; we noted neurosis in self diagnosis; we got roundabout stuck being shit outta luck; we prayed the odds in dreams of gods; we watched from sand, sails free from land; we lost face in fog, bossed base in bog. We butted and bumped, broke free from slump. ~ MH Clay

Face Value by Bhargab Chatterjee

In the fog it is not possible to read someone’s face. Is optic nerve only reliable? Can it break a concrete surface? Work. Think. Assume. Gravitate. You accumulate all concrete slabs and rubble somewhere else. Say, in a bog. Environment experts gather with festoons of their political identities. Political slugfest starts. Croaking gets sharper through the cracks. At the end, your diapers get soiled with major contradictions.

October 20, 2018

editors note: Clearly, there’s trouble in the rubble; best sit this one out. – mh clay

Gray Sand by Dan Cuddy

wet gray sand
gobs dropping through fingers

blustery day
wind slaps goose-pimpled skin

I create footsteps for detectives to follow
as of now no crime

a house on stilts
a lady holding her skirt above the waves

maybe the past can’t be revisited
but ghosts leave fingerprints

some think they are so smart like
those sails far out on the horizon riding the wind

that far free joy so unreal
as feet here walk around the driftwood, seaweed, rock

there’s something in the pit of the stomach
seawater, salt shriveling the human

everything has been decided
tides carry out the past, return only wreckage

where can one hide a body?
where can one hide a heart?
not in the gray sand.

October 19, 2018

editors note: No tempting a capricious tide. Keep your crimes to yourself, undone. – mh clay

Dreams of the Gods by Milenko Županović

of silence
of gods
in dreams

October 18, 2018

editors note: Our existential outcries are all in god’s head? – mh clay


the camera was freed up
the rep ready to go
he hopped in the cab
the sky turned over
and all the peds spilled out
falling through the clouds

the cabbie blew his horn
everybody got out of the way
he roared through the mountaintops
screaming with laughter

they made it to Union
he thought in the nick of time
he ran down the stairs
and got in line
then they all bailed
and he ran to the counter

all sold out
he crawled back up
and found the same cabbie
idling illegally

he said
can I get a refund
can I get a receipt
can I get a free ride
I’m broke
the cabbie said
you’re shit outta luck

October 17, 2018

editors note: Stuck in the rat race is bad enough; but, to be the losing rat…? – mh clay

Crazy by S. A. Gerber

Crazy like that time
drunk on the high seas
with no life jackets.
Or seeing how high
you can count while
driving with eyes closed.
(Got to 64 once).
Enough about me.
I don’t know if she’s crazy.
She talks as if so.
Seems like some ‘lord’ or
another has got her
lock, stock, & barrel.
Got her believing in…faith;
stuff not seen or known.
Crazy like Russian roulette
with an automatic.
Bucking the odds in a
disreputable casino….
drinking without thirst.
Back to me.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe I’m crazy.
Maybe I’m too crazy
to realize I’m crazy.
Maybe I do come from dust
and not from amoeba.
From women, not apes.
I’m not crazy!
I know those voices aren’t
real…especially the one
that says it’s G-d.

October 16, 2018

editors note: Everyone is normal when crazy determines crazy. (We welcome S.A. to our (normally) crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Okra Palimpsest by Jeff Grimshaw

A quiet night at home
Struggling to unwrap
Her phantom alphabet
‘This is a rare remake
That is better than the original’
She insists, we are talking about
Black-eyed peas & collard greens as
Someone slides a telegram under
The door as if it were 1943 & a
Black & white world, it is a note

On crisp music paper
Requesting us to lower the volume
Of the hi-fi. We do not have
A hi-fi. Do we know anyone
Who composes music? She rubs
The flat of the pencil across the words
& a grocery list emerges
Also a doodle which might be
A turtle or might not. ‘Every vegetable
Is a palimpsest for a vegetable

Now defunct,’ she says. Someone
Knocks on the door. ‘It says so on
The okra can.’ That was a whisper.
‘It does not say that
On the okra can’ (also a whisper)
(Even quieter)
& then no sound at all
Except the pounding on the door
& the man shrieking at us
To turn down the hi-fi.

October 15, 2018

editors note: Over written to right over and request to turn it down. Really! Revisionists all. – mh clay

Looking at the Future by James D. Casey IV

here we go
better take care
think about this
think about that
breathing deep
with our minds
on the countdown

the sky rips open
we fall off the world
never enough
but at least
we’ll never
grow old

take that with a
grain of salt
again and again
living in the age
of technology
looking at the
just like you


bones buried
in the marsh
bells ringing
under the tree
of life

get low
get high
get it on

October 14, 2018

editors note: If forever lives tree, might forever live we. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If your need for a read is needin’ a high-kick to the seat, need no more and feast your eyes upon this week’s featured short story at Mad Swirl, The Day I Went to See David Lee Roth by Nathan Graziano.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone, has to say about this pick-of-the-week:

True madness is thinking Sammy Hagar can replace anyone

Here’s a few bars to get your read rockin’:

(photo by Contributing Artist Tyler Malone)

I read about it in a free weekly that was delivered in the mail to my apartment, one of those local tabloids comprised of advertisements for tanning salons and burrito vans. At first, I was incredulous. In no way did I believe David Lee Roth would come to Manchester, New Hampshire. But it turned out to be true. He was doing a radio spot then a book signing at Barnes and Noble for Crazy from the Heat, his memoir about those rockin’ times on the road with Van Halen, when he wore parachute pants and did Teddy Bear jumps on stage and slept with so many beautiful women that their beauty became an afterthought…

Get the rest of this Roth read-on right here!

••• 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

Tyler Malone
Guest Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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