The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.08.18

by December 10, 2018 0 comments

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

John Lennon

••• The Mad Gallery •••

You, Me – Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

To see ALL of Sharon’s madly mysterious 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 tried our best for the wicked’s rest; we learned like a man to take what you can; we howled like a beast at a wide-eyed feast; we sought strange gains in ankle chains; we drowned our fears in drunkards tears; we struggled with the strife of a chemical life; we dressed on the chance there’s an after dance. Our words dance forever whenever they’re read. ~ MH Clay

Immortality by Beate Sigriddaughter

Just in case
bury me in a dancing dress.

December 8, 2018

editors note: Love this – agnostic optimism. (Read another optimistic missive on Beate’s page – check it out.) – mh clay


Leave it to the news to tell me that the drugs don’t work.
Just after I’ve consumed a dozen of them,
and have warned my pain of what lies in store for it.

The Food and Drug Administration says that I’ve been misinformed.
And while I’m at it, no shampoo in all of Christendom will save my hair.

The FDA has just begun to prick all my balloons.
They inform me that a man can’t resurrect old love just by listening to a song.
And when I look deep into a painting, I’m not in touch with some artist’s soul.
It’s all just paint. Lick it and you die.

The FDA adds that its chemists have spent years attempting to validate
the meaning in my life
but the results so far have all proved negative.

In fact, they’re closing the book on this one.
They recommend drugs. Then they tell me the drugs don’t work.

December 7, 2018

editors note: No more cred in the catch-phrase, Better Living Through Chemistry. – mh clay

At the Drinkery by Sanjeev Sethi

Predictability of patterns cry for yawings
of earlier phases. Comfort of certitudes
are like broken down loves or authors and
auteurs who once stirred our sally but fail
to quicken. Colors of my canvas aren’t of
my making. Rigidity is an enterprise of the
spirit. Hierarchies aid and aggrieve. Moon-
shine dulls sensory aches. Lips widen when
liquor soaks the esophagus. I’m an argument
against myself.

December 6, 2018

editors note: The inevitable skewing of self-pasts depicted by other painters, as tears in our beer. Or, regrets, straight up with a twist. – mh clay


Vacuum everywhere.
My fist
Your fist
Our hope
The river of love
etc and etc.

Nothing is comfort
The road we walk
The air we breath
The weather we deserve.

Vacuum everywhere.
The holyness we tried to be admired.
The brotherhood we tried to be exercised.
The fellow feelings we tried to be continued.

The heaven of peace is burnt up.
Chaos prevailing all around.

We have to remove the history of this time.
We have to create a new world for the new generation.
The intolerance to be tolerated.
The chain of our feet has to turn into anklet.

December 5, 2018

editors note: Will we create anew? How much can we take to make shackles shine? – mh clay

These days by Polly Richardson (Munnelly)

Walk to beckon sun
proclaim all roar roaming
interlocking tongue till salivating purple
as king of king’s stuff apple
bore-less head turns on spit
knead the dirt, regurgitate butterfly,
hold up bones skinned and howl
leave your eyes
your eyes.

December 4, 2018

editors note: Eat to see, see to eat; the eyes have it. – mh clay

“I love You” by Dana Al Rashid

“I love you” is a liability
A heavy burden; a responsibility
“Let’s just have fun”, you say
Let’s have fun until you decay
Till all of your beauty
Fades away
I waste your life; 3 months at a time
I get what I want in this victimless crime
“I love you” is a hook
And you’re easy bait
I will screw you over
Then blame it on fate
Hope is a carrot
I dangle in front of your face
The moment you complain
I’ll leave without a trace

December 3, 2018

editors note: Sweet to hear, sweet to say. Beware! They’re not always meant that way. – mh clay

Another Night by Ann Christine Tabaka

Twisted bedsheets, tangled limbs.
The fury of another night, war torn

and scarred. The enemy, myself.
A battleground of my mind.

Relentless images invade
with incessant word. Pillows

and blankets litter the floor,
innocent victims of the onslaught.

A glaring clock mocks as
minutes turn to hours, and

a litany of worries parade across
the ceiling, no redemption in sight.

I pray for peace. I count my breaths,
waiting for sleep, an elusive friend,

to take me by the hand. Another night
of fury, and still no rest within reach.

December 2, 2018

editors note: Augh! If we’re counting, we damn sure ain’t sleeping. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read, we think this pick of the week, BONES by Edward St.Boniface. Will feed that need quite nicely.

Here’s what Short Story Editor, Tyler Malone has to say about it:

“From what rises, we fall into it. Under foot, under shadow: a new foundation for new millenniums.”

(photo, “Deathscape” by Tyler Malone)

With that said, we urge you to get your read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of December (aka 12.05.18)Mad Swirl continued to whirl up our mic madness at our mad mic home, Deep Ellum’s Regal Room!

HUGE GRATS to all you mad poets, performers, artists and musicians who helped swirl us up a mighty fine night!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with your words, your songs, your divine madness…

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 12.05.18

(click to start the slideshow : photos courtesy of Dan “the MAN!” Rodriguez)


MH Clay
Chris Zimmerly


Chris Curiel (trumpet)
Tamitha Curiel (vocals)
Clark Walker (drums)

Open Mic:

MH Clay
Chris Zimmerly
Tyler Malone
Harry McNabb
Elliot Perkins
Colby Charles
Mitch Ridgeway
Elliot Hill
Susan Duvall
Christopher Calle
Aaron Kelley
Sam Hudson
Cortlynn Blankenbaker
Charles Tuvilla

GREAT BIG YES to Swirve, for stirring the Swirl the best way in the world!

More HUGE YES’es to Regal Room’s Thad Kuiper (sound), Elana & Lisa for makin’ our stay most righteous.

HUGEST grats to our Patron Saint of we Mad Ones & proprietor of the Independent, Joshua Florence!

And lastly, but never leastly, yes Yes YES to all who came out to the Regal Room & shared this loving, laughing, lasting night of poetry and music and Swirl-abrations with us!

May the madness keep swirlin’ your way ’til the next Mad Swirl 1st Wednesday (01.02.19 @ The Regal Room)

••• 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Guest Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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