The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.24.18

by November 25, 2018 0 comments

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

Aldous Huxley

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Waking Diogenes – Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

To see ALL of Sharon’s madly systerious 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 wound sweet while, a pebble for a smile; we shivered at the scream of the devils whistle; we let too small be bigger than all; we bounced off the wall of manna fall, best find fig from thistle; we sought to sustain a thanksday gain; we scratched in the scrape that comes with the cape; we sapped the strength of those who secret their penile length. The long and short of us is told by the words of us. ~ MH Clay

Penis Meditations by Ann B-D

How interesting it must be
To have a penis,
To be accompanied always
By a creature that is part of you,
Yet completely independent,
With its own opinions
And its own proclivities
Not necessarily the same
As your own.
How interesting it must be
When the head says no
And the penis says yes, or
The head in its wisdom
Wants and desires,
And the penis sneers and shrinks away.
Or should one say
Not so interesting as all that,
Frustrating, in fact
When the penis decides on its own.
Still, you can have fun,
Can dress it up in little hats,
Can coyly hide it away,
Or have it peep forth with a grin and say,
Look at the gorgeous shape I’m in!
Don’t look at that big Bobo beyond.
Look at me! Am I not beautiful?
My telescoping majesty is a thing to admire,
And my spitting opinions are so raw, so true!
Where else can you
Come across honesty like this?
Really, it is a crime
And very weird
To have to hide away
Deep in the depths of pocketed pants,
Airless and damp,
Breeding grounds for bacteria,
Prey to the dreaded Crotch Rot.
Why can’t all penii
Hang out in the breeze
Flying and flapping
Or tight, drawn-up,
At the very least, we would know
Whose was bigger.
Imagine the problems that would prevent.
But no. The generative organs
Are not to be revealed.
And so it goes.
And so do we all go on
Hiding away the best parts of ourselves, the
Most intriguing, most honest,
Most real,
As unfit for public display
In the open air and the light of day.

November 24, 2018

editors note: Hmm. I thinks it’s so, cuz… well, tape measures. – mh clay

The Black Cloud by Susan Wiggins

My darkness
Is unbearable
I lay underneath the covers
Curled up and blinking

Do I feel so wretched?
If I had the strength I would change this terrycloth robe
Wash it maybe
Look out the window and not have it burn my eyes

Instead I lay here
I push the blankets away and
Look up at the pimpled paint job on the ceiling
The craquelure of antique white
I loathe that color
It pierces my soul with
Bland forbearance

What am I to do?
Take a pill. Talk about it.

The phone rings as it does
My maid enters
There’s someone on the line
There’s a problem
It’s always the same

A rather large stegosaurus ravaging the south seas
A rich magnate with bombs and a timer
Laocoön’s prophecy coming true
It’s just too much

She holds the phone with her hands on her hips
waiting impatiently
I know that she has work to do
and that I am no help, stalling
There are dishes and laundry
She wants to wash these sheets
I crawl out and put on my tights
My belt
My cape

She hands me
my multivitamin and my smoothie
as I leave
but I’ll be back
and will slip like a python
into the new ironed sheets
before the evening darkness
Which awaits patiently for me
And I will stay there
Until that phone rings again

November 23, 2018

editors note: The prophet could not foresee the angst of superheroes’ existential ennui. – mh clay

On this day… by Johnny Olson

On this day we give thanks. The origins and the traditions do not matter so much to me as does the attitude of gratitude. Yester tales of olden day feasts contrasted by modern day pigskin games and black Friday freaks are not what this day is about (to me).

On this day we reflect upon the blessings we’ve been blessed to have received. These can range from the bare necessities of shelter and sustenance, to extracurricular extravagances that an abundant life allows.

On this day we freely tell others what’s flowing deeply in our hearts, of the gratitude we feel for the love given and the love received. Our happy hearts are hard to hide today.

On this day we feel the direct connect to our kindred spirits in this collective community of hearts and souls who also walk this same orb, who also breath this same air, who also see these same scenes, and who also dream these same dreams of peace, of love, of unity.

On this day I wish, as I do every Thanksgiving day. I wish that every day was designated as a day of giving thanks and not just today. But either way, at least we got one day, and for that, I give thanks…

…on this day.

November 22, 2018

editors note: With some said more, and others too much; here’s one we can’t say enough. Thanks! – mh clay

Bouncing Along by Joseph Farley

All the things inside me
real or imagined
only exist as
chemical charges
bouncing along
tangles of neurons

while outside the sun
burns in distant space
and birds flock
into my garden
on this rainy day
snatching what they believe

will sustain them
as I search
inside and out
for manna flowing
from the fingers
of trees.

November 21, 2018

editors note: We snatch what we can catch; before heaven snatches it back. – mh clay

It Depends by David Thornbrugh

In the afternoon
we argue about the meaning
and spelling
of infinitesimal
you thinking it means
infinitely large numerous extending
me just the opposite
and though I am right
we settle on the infinite
which no one can take in anyway

November 20, 2018

editors note: When extending vocabulary renders us speechless. – mh clay

The Rage by Robert L. Martin

Out in the wild where danger lurks,
She curses and stomps her unholy feet.
She moves ahead at a speed unmatched,
Without warning, striking like a viper,
As she devours everything in her path.
She sings to the Sultan of the wicked wind,
To the glory of Mother Nature’s strength,
To the power beyond all earthly power,
And whistles from her colossal pipes,
A song to the devil, her romantic fling,
Her love affair with the macabre,
An ode to disaster and what it brings,
A digging into the bowels of the earth,
And dragging out the life once lived,
Stuffing it through her fat salivating lips,
Swallowing it like the hungry seas,
Laughing at the way it goes down and down,
Like a dying ship on the way to its fate.

She is a lady with no love nor tears.
Her perilous beauty is in her vortex.
She plays with life as if it were a toy.
She hides high up in the skies,
Then strikes without warning,
And sweeps up everything in her way.

She’s that wild twisted wind,
That impenitent tornado,
That unwelcome guest,
That devil’s whistle,
That hungry child,
That bestial one,
She is, she is.

November 19, 2018

editors note: We can only hunker down, till she passes; clean up after. – mh clay


In my country
we only dressed for church
and let our privates dangle
otherwise. We studied
the webs of spiders, the
flight of swallows, the
whims of the wind.

We never learned much.
How to catch a fish.
How to dip in dance.
How to wait out the weather.

Back there we thought
that was enough. We
honored dogs, fed them first,
sprawled in the sun and tried
to howl in greeting.

We had some rules. People
brought things they’d found
to church and took other
things home. Sometimes
just a smooth rock or a flower
or a feather.

It was like touch chess here.
If you picked it up you had to
keep it and if you brought
it back the next week
people shook their heads.

But nobody would bite you,
not for that. I left before
I learned how we reproduced.
Maybe the same as here, dipping
and howling. I’m trying to
figure it out. What’s
different, what’s the same.

I’d go back. It doesn’t seem
right to wear jeans all day
scrunched on a sofa out of the sun.
I miss my dog. But I’ll
get over it. It’s part of the game.
I gave this girl a pebble
and she smiled.

November 18, 2018

editors note: Custom can be consternation for newcomers. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read is best teased by Short Story Editor Tyler Malone’s thoughts on the featured tale, Thelma and Louise by Contributing Writer Carl Perrin:

“That kernel of humanity that is built into the middle everything we do always rises to the top: failure, chaos, total destruction. Most don’t leave pyramids, just piles of wreckage.”

(photo, “Long Due Reclamation” by Tyler Malone)

And on that fine fiery note, get your read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Holidaze Merch •••

Extra! Extra! Read ALL about it! Mad Swirl Merch available just in time for the holidaze!

The whole mad swirl of merch begins right here, at our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some mad threads to sport, then you’ve come to the right place.

We have Mens & Ladies tees in all sizes & even MORE colors. We also brought back mad mugs to fill with your favorite coffee, tea and/or whiskey!

New to the line-up: Hoodies! Tank Tops! Phone Cases! Stickers!

Come browse & if something catches your eye, get a little something-something for yourself & while you’re at it, get a little something for your nearest & dearest mad ones in your swirlin’ world!

••• 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…

Goin’ Mad,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Guest Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Leave a Reply