The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.27.18

by October 28, 2018 0 comments

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.

Sylvia Plath

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Canyo de Chelly, AZ” (above) by featured artist Dan Rodriguez

It’s been our pleasure to feature photographer, Dan Rodriguez, in our Mad Gallery. Dan has been a big part of our Mad Swirl world for years, capturing the swirlin’ scene at our monthly open mic, and we are proud to showcase another side of Dan’s photog gifts!

This one will finish his streak as our featured artist. But don’t you worry, we’re lining up yet another bad ass artisté that is gonna spark your mad-gination’s eye as much as Dan’s work has!

Stay tuned…!

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

P.P.S. In case you get a jonesin’ for more of our featured artist Dan Rodriguez’s photos, there are 4,000+ more of his photos from our monthly mic madness just hangin’ out on our Flickr page! Get you clickin’ finger & check ’em out!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum we opened the floor to see (say) some more; we kept our grip on the Kingdom ship; we railed a rant at a plastic plant; we fresh embraced o’er a sense of place; we got soul-lost and love-tossed; we bore summer’s blur like a roof-top voyeur; we invested much in the love of such. We push and pull to fill words full. ~ MH Clay

Such Is by Christopher Calle

Ere rise the sun
Over sandy dune
wheaten skin, toasted hues
Beauty, though bleakness wait
A twitchy hand, an uncertain state
Never to find peaceful mate
Such is, On the island of hate

Ere rise the moon
Over spotlight lagoon
Darkness, curious beauty hides
On suggested urge
ripples ride
Secure comfort below, as above
Such is, on the isle of love

October 27, 2018

editors note: Whether by capricious current or needful navigation, may we land on love. – mh clay

roof top by Francesca Castaño

things take place
before my eyes

through a blurring
sheet of heat, limbs

flopping along
in an insomniac mood

the road towards dusk
still a desert, a hammer

bending a nail, no cloud
sliding into freshness

except for the light wind
that sweeps the birch tree

under the framed window
where I’m seeing and unseen.

October 26, 2018

editors note: Remember that swelter well, when winter whips us to whine for that swelter again. – mh clay

things we lost in florida by Mela Blust

we used to pick blackberries by the brackish lake edge
praying no gator would come up from the ghost-black depth
we used to hold hands in private
praying no daddy would catch a glimpse
we’d share a handle of whiskey down by the water
hiding from the headlights
now we either sputter or explode
and we both know
you’ll be back in a month
and I’ll let you wander in and haggle my price a little lower
we all get lost that way
see my soul ain’t exactly where I left it
but then neither are my keys

October 25, 2018

editors note: A lot paid for a little gain; but, keys are cheap as locksmiths. – mh clay

First Steps by Phil Huffy

I walked the old street last night
and found your front steps now claimed
by new sweethearts who are probably
ignorant of the historical significance of that
spot, marking as it does the starting place of
our long and harmonious relationship,
except for that rough patch in the late 80’s.

October 24, 2018

editors note: Though place forgets us, we remember place. – mh clay

To An Artificial Plant by Paul Smith

Look at you
as I do
a replica of something true
completely fake
of polymer and wire
and yet
from every angle
in our living room
you look to be a
living bloom
what’s it like
to be a fraud?
Or is it natural for you
To pull off this skit
And con us all that
you’re legit?
In spite of all your artifice
the strain within must be intense
to hold this pose
this civil stance
while deep down
you quake
lest we see
you’re just a facsimile
we could learn a thing or three
watching you
your quiet guile
sitting in a plastic pot
pretending to be what you’re not
smiling your synthetic smile

October 23, 2018

editors note: Questions real from what is fake from who can tell who’s on the take. (We welcome Paul to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

The Interstellar Kingdom by Hongri Yuan

Translated by Yuanbing Zhang

Sometimes I see the sky smiling at me
The limpidity spirit and flower clouds
such as the old soul of mine
watch my shadow on the earth
The ground beneath my feet like a colossal ship
toward the Interstellar Kingdom
Those cities where giants dwell
blossom on the dustless Milky Way.

October 22, 2018

editors note: Let’s get to that place of smiles; this ship is wearing us down, we’re wearing it out… – mh clay

Seeing II by Gary Beck

One peculiar condition
I’ve found in this strange life
that when I think I’ve seen it all,
something new comes along
more horrible or beautiful
than I’ve seen before,
renewing my still eager expectation
for continuation.

October 21, 2018

editors note: Yes! Please, let’s continue. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read, we got what you need!

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

Death is always someone’s cousin, lover, shadow in the past. But it’s everyone’s future.

(photo, “Under the Skin” by Tyler Malone)

We ain’t playin’… we’re deadly serious. So much so, that we won’t tease you with a bit of this play-full story by Contributing Writer & Poet, Tom Hall. We’re just gonna urge you to go to check out “Now’s the Time to Play“… it’s a matter of life & death. Get your 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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