The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.16.19

by February 17, 2019 0 comments

“Art is for everybody.”

Keith Haring

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Love Coming and Going – Tony Gentry

To see ALL of Tony’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 Forumwe remarked as renowned a tremendous town; we ran, refugees, to the shelter of trees; we taught paper rock on scissors fall how song is strong to break them all; we brought self-sight nearer through arm’s length mirror; we turned those relapses into flash of synapses; we paused to exalt in the work of Walt; we found no law of all for awe. Find one for you to get you through, and if you do, that one is true. ~ MH Clay

A Little Bit Of Awesome by Paul Sexton

The truth I’ve found
is that most people just
aren’t all that awesome.
They’re just ok.

I’ve met a few over the years though
that had an awesome streak
in one way or another
and I’ve tried to love that in them
as much as I could.

Of course I acknowledge
the possibility
that this truth is just
a matter of my own perspective
and the awesomeness
I have found
in the few places I’ve found it
is meaningless
to a broader audience.
In which case humans
are all just ordinary
and predictable.

But I prefer to remember it
the way I remember it.

With a little bit of awesome.

February 16, 2019

editors note: Pick your awesome. It’s your perspective all the way. – mh clay

Yesterland by Bradley Mason Hamlin

to Nina Simone sing “Ooh, Child”
I let my mind roll slip trip
back reverse into yesteryear
while considering
my love
a crazy place called
the Magic Kingdom
and it’s almost impossible
to know the who
why where
of the emotional attachment

you have a magical time as a child
and you imprint events

The smile on your mom’s pretty face
Christmas mornings
summer always
but of course, Disneyland…

some of us grow
out of the dream or
the wish the heart wants to make

concentrate on work
blood pressure tests
or no guns
or not enough abortions

As the purple balloon rises
you’re losing it
the string
cutting across the soft skin
of your lifeline

And how fucking sad is that?

February 15, 2019

editors note: Sad, indeed! Thanks (for nothing), Walt! – mh clay

Codes by Sanjeev Sethi

Far away from voluptuary urges
I’m an exemplar of austerity, of
sorts. Justification is a justificat-
ion. Perceptions fly quicker than
any makeover. We’re what we’re
in our minds.

February 14, 2019

editors note: Hard to decipher when perceptions come faster than the speed of mind. – mh clay

Who am I and why? by Rajumoni Saikia

Who am I
And why?
I am standing before you
Tell me
Explain me
Interpret my inside story.

You are clean.
You reflect the clean.
Do I? And why?

You are inside me.
Tell me honestly today
Do you see me as I am reflecting?
Tell me what is the wrong that I did
knowing or unknowing?

I have faith in me,
I am the best friend of mine.
I respect the brotherhood,
I am simple.
Want to be humble,
I didn’t make drinking water dirty.
Never cut any tree on roadside or inside forest.
Loved all freely
Never laughed feeling sad inside.

Tell me how much pain is waiting for me
Tell me how much joy is lying in wait,
Tell me how many wishes twinkle on my forehead?

Yes, reflect me
I am giving up crying today,
Yes, I am keeping all of my joys in my behind.

Tell me who am I
And why?
Oh, looking glass
I am standing in front of you without facial and makeup,
See me,
Tell me,
Reflect my inside story
As I am reflecting.

February 13, 2019

editors note: Self-evaluation as a mirror game; maybe need to reverse the response. – mh clay

BIRTH by Vern Fein

an egg of pain
fingers flutter atop
sway and fro
what can break the pain?
song snaps glass
a song can…

shell crack
struggle out


flex wings


February 12, 2019

editors note: What the break makes from song sung. (We welcome Vern to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Trees by Mike Fiorito

Reaches down into
Itself. Where demons mingle.
Knotted roots signal battle.
The blackened soil, a hollow
For unseen wars. Muted screams stored into
Silence. The roots coil back,
Like harrowed victims chased home. Once inside
The dark terror subsides and they can rest. Tomorrow, as leaves,
They sing in the sun, their flapping kisses the pearly air.
Where angels cushion
The light

February 11, 2019

editors note: Where birds of feather flock, not scatter; fight fears, threats shatter. – mh clay

Magnificent Coliseum by Bhupender Bhardwaj

Manacled by the rambunctious clematis,
Tiptoed upon by the rust-speckled pigeons
These were the exemplary one-roomed tenements
Whose roofs were the upturned coal-iron boxes’
Blazing plates that ironed the blue fabric of the sky
With the determination of a one-man army
Out to crumble a mountain into a handful of dust.
To a falcon plummeting down from a skyscraper altitude
Cutting the air with slashing pairs of scissors at the end
Of powerful wings appeared this magnificent coliseum
Formed from circular hills which like descending
Terrace plantations came to be inhabited by men undone
By sluggish existence; rotten lives stained by betel nut
And paan-masala, but was not the new generation adamant
To set things right like an iron-box moving across
Old clothes which warble like withered crops suddenly
Supplied water after a summery hiatus?

There were signs, almost imperial, of progress—
Karkhanas manufacturing antique woodworks,
Statues of gods and cell phones together!
And how the erstwhile corners of gullies that
Reeked of garbage stench now glimmered with
Gold-lettered proverbs. This coliseum that is
Touched by the tangent of the railway line
Whose engine’s soft gargling sound is the same
As that emanating from the rust-speckled pigeon’s
Throat presently tiptoeing across the oven-hot roofs
Of my tremendous town.

February 10, 2019

editors note: Certain to set things right; town, hope, and purpose. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read & wanna dive on into a sea of prose, you know Mad Swirl has just what you need!

Here’s what Short Story Editor, Ty Malone has to say about this week’s featured read I, Adam Porter (GONE ALASKA novel excerpt)by Dave Barrett

“There’s a world that waits for us, it only fails when we wait for it.”

And here’s a nibble to get you goin’:

(photo “What Thrives Below, Dies Above” by Ty Malone)

It was near noon and the crisp, sea-refrigerated air had evaporated from the cove. The sun was hot, straight up, hovering above the inland ridge of mountains. I was on the rear deck of a trawler, down to my T-shirt. In my sweaty sunburnt hands was an electric drill, plugged into a portable generator on deck. Wiggling the drill bit back into its groove, I rammed it home through three inches of steel bar. I’d been cutting on this steel bar for the last hour.

The fishermen I found on the docks this morning were of a different spirit than the ones at the Ivory Inn. Like school children released onto a playground at recess, they jumped and hollered and cursed and laughed while performing their tasks. The floating dock beside each trawler was piled high with odds and ends from their cabin’s interiors: tin pots and pans, last year’s dirty dishes, blood-stiff dishtowels, water warped rolls of toilet paper, coffee tins filled with rusted nuts and bolts and screws. Alongside these more domestic items, spread out in neat orderly rows, laid new spools of nylon fishing lines; rubber snubbers; different lengths of gaffs line out like sawed-off baseball bats; steel clothespins; black nylon stopper balls, flashers—and, of course, lures. Lures as shiny as new coins off the mint; detailed with day-glo florescent paints; with gaudy feathers and tassels and jewelry; even one custom jobber with a pornographic photo of a woman on it; anything and everything that might conceivably lure the eyes of those fabled sixty-pound Kings all were after…

If that tease has got’ya hooked, float your mouse right here to get the rest of this read on!


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…

Sharin’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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