The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.19.19

by on January 20, 2019 :: 0 comments

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.

Edgar Allan Poe

••• The Mad Gallery •••

In Pursuit of Magic – Tony Gentry

Mad Swirl welcomes to the visual arts stage, Virginia-based writer and photographer, Tony Gentry. The thing that spoke most loudly to us from Gentry’s work is the otherwise everyday nature of that which seems to beckon to him. There is something ironic to some of his photographs – a bride walking down a dirty city-street with her groom in tow or a reference to magic on a dingy, graffiti-covered surface. This is the kind of mundane madness that we’re talking about – the kind that beckons to Tony and beckons to us, too, when we’re looking for it. There is art and magic and madness surrounding us all. We’re just thankful that Tony knows exactly how to capture it. ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all of Tony’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit Mad Swirl’s Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we dropped our vanity in a sea of humanity; we lost the lazies, engaging crazies; we gilded as glamorous the things that are bad for us; we struck a last spark to make a last mark; we made vice our friend, stocked up for the end; we sought a safe venue, but neglected the menu; we bucked winter’s blue with a spring haiku. Beginning to end, the pen is our friend (flighty, if not mighty). ~ MH Clay

Haiku by Gregg Dotoli

busy grey squirrel hears
fall acorns pit pat bounce
dashes out of nest

sun sets on pine run
shadows sprint for tilting sun
branch and bark flashes

bored black calico
studies scuttling beetles
planning an attack

quiet sunrise mirror
orange purple clouds and moon
off wet bullfrog eye

bright red cutthroat trout
sense dancing beetles
plash wakes desert fox

hissing fall raindrops
tapping rich soil and roses
night scents meander

red grey woodpecker
scuttles and hopscotches
listening for ants

January 19, 2019

editors note: Read between the syllables, stare through the season’s snow; a sweet spring in view. – mh clay

The Bob Dylan Traveling the Lincoln Highway Blues by Jason Baldinger

I bet you Ruthie
gives no fucks
about her honky-tonk lagoon

Ligonier Beach
closed, no more
or Laurel Summit
moons, no more
debutantes kissing
in the dark

I guess it doesn’t matter
I’m pretty sure
this is the end
we’re doomed
to instant
mashed potatoes
again and again

January 18, 2019

editors note: People! For better post-catastrophe cuisine, plan ahead! – mh clay


Parched to a silence like giggling gibberish
…craving ice cold liquids
…sorry cigarettes that forget all dreams
…I was the last in line
for a mayhem which never graced my bones.
They rattle now and squeeze dry blood
…ignoring the fact outside!…the flood!

January 17, 2019

editors note: Apocalypses pale in comparison to individual addictions. Get in line! – mh clay

the final breath by James D. Casey IV

not born
what ground
i listen
in goodness now
we all change
i miss you
and your paper airplane
suicide notes
you were by the fire
in glorious
from here
had typewriter
to the point around that door

January 16, 2019

editors note: It’s all a matter of how long we can hold it, right? (Or, how much we can type before we run out of paper?) – mh clay

Sugarcoating a Burnt Loaf Doesn’t Work by Swagi Desai

Dark Circles

I wish saying that
We got these wounds
Because the dark night
Likes to leave its mark
On those who fight its dear friend sleep
Makes them glorious
But it doesn’t


I wish saying that
We blew pixie dust
From moist, little rolls of ivory
Dusted with burnt gold
Makes it magical
But it doesn’t


I wish saying that
We sipped on the souls
Of the gems that adorn a vine
From sand frozen from heat
Makes it fantastical
But it doesn’t

January 15, 2019

editors note: Glorious, magical, fantastical fails; sweet in the trying, blameless in the lying. – mh clay

Becky’s Clap-back by Desmene Statum

I am invisible
to the mind fucking
gas lighting cunts
cut off the gangrene
before the septum rots
from too much
cocaine and child abuse.

Rule #3:
Do not engage the crazies.

I am immune
to the stank eyed
hater-aid drinking
flakes flaking
off of rubber sheets
in round rooms
this is all the therapy I need
mother fuck your mama
divorce diva is divine.

You ol’ one-bullet-Barney
limp wristed slack jaw
sideways speaking

Don’t break your fool neck
eating twat waffles.

Who is this fuck face user loser
banking on bets & black horses
with broken legs
racing the nuclear clock.

Shouldn’t have quit
smoking and drinking
Shouldn’t have quit
fucking for the experience
fucking everyone
who can
lie the best
with their smiles.

Then maybe,
you could’ve
drank the Drano
or went out
like a cartoon cigar
exploding landmine situations
in black bars with
too much fucking light.

Dammit mama,
it’s gonna take
too much
alcohol and coke
to dissolve all this
self loathing
because you’re too
with marrying the big time.

The necrotic never see reverse;
backwards fisting
whatever excuse
gets you high.

January 14, 2019

editors note: It’s hard not to break #3 when you’re the crazy. – mh clay

SUBWAY CITY by Roger G. Singer

It was a social painting
society moving
a tradition of going
and places achieved
the divide of space
sacrificed for destination
remarkable for determination
embroidered hearts
safe from strangers
each a star
without a shine
a name hidden within
rivers of shoulders
a universe of faces
each with a history
like waves under a

January 13, 2019

editors note: Running the race to save face, but never recognition. Objects in motion… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re hoping your need for a read will be fulfilled today, hope no more because Mad Swirl has got ya’ covered!

This week’s featured short story, Name of Hope comes to us from Contributing Writer Lorene Holderfield and just might be what the doc ordered to bring some much needed light to these sometimes dark days.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Ty Malone has to say about this hope-filled story:

“There’s no beauty like love and there’s no failure like hate, but they’re both with us at every breath. What will you exhale.”

Here’s a few lines to get you started:

Photo Cred: “Street Love” by Ty Malone

“Where do good feelings come from? They are tucked away and concealed in a calming, charming, and uplifting voice; they are within the frame of an embracing, delightful, and warm soul; they are within tiny acts that aren’t oft committed in the world; they are within the reassurances of the words “I’ll always be here”; they are within every smile and every laughter felt; they are within the tranquility that a place provides. Good feelings are hidden in many facets. They are beautiful gems oft battling the bad feelings, sometimes even smothered by that foe. But if one simply pauses, breathes, and carefully looks and observes, the true beauty of this world is revealed before one’s eyes, even if it may lie in a person, a place, a thing, or a hobby or passion. Even if it may lie in the tiniest of actions. And when you find and take hold of every good feeling you cross paths with, it warms the soul and liberates it. It uplifts, enlightens, inspires, emboldens, and carries one along unafraid of the trudges and selectiveness of society. Every good feeling is worth fighting to take grasp of and hold on to. These good feelings etch themselves into one’s memories, an unforgettable and beautiful moment recalled during silent, solitary times of the day…”

There’s a whole lot more hope where this came 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

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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