The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.02.19

by on March 3, 2019 :: 0 comments

“Reflect what you are / In case you don’t know / I’ll be your mirror”

Lou Reed

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Impeachable Me ~ Chuck Hatton

(Before we present to you our latest featured artist, I’d like to say a few words: Mad Swirl has made it a point to not pick sides when it comes to politics (as hard as that has been lately). The few times we’ve featured political poetry & prose on our platform, it was on the subtle side & not a blatant commentary about a political figure and/or party. However, in these tumultuous times, I think it’s overdue to allow this body of work to stir up some conversations that need to be had… Johnny O)

Mad Swirl is excited to welcome artist Chuck Hatton to our mad stage. The Dallas-based illustrator has immense talent (this much is obvious) but there is something to be said for the artists who bravely go above and beyond to use their platform to share their voice, to make a statement, and to inspire important and much needed conversations – all the while making you laugh. With satirical renditions, such as the infamous Donald Tr*mp as the ‘hamberderler’, holding a plate of McDonalds burgers (‘over 8,000 lies sold!’) alongside Putin dolled up as Ronny himself, we here at Mad Swirl must admit that we whole-heartedly are pickin’ up what Hatton is putting down! We feel that Chuck’s illustrational talents and political savvy will get your undivided attention and probably spark some conversation (and at the very least, a laugh?) as we absolutely believe it should. ~ Madelyn Olson

To see ALL of Chuck’s satirical renditions, as well as our other featured artists (45 total!), visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe let fly an alibi; we did star befriend, were born again; we slept through the scheme of a black cat dream; we itched from the hair of holy wear; we slept surprised, god tantalized; we heartache got from a hot damn shot; we had a small cry over life passed by. We just can’t rate subjective great with words of weight (we write anyway). ~ MH Clay

a couple lifetimes have passed me by by J.J. Campbell

digging through the
trash, chicago, late

i was 23 and sure i
was going to be great
one day

fast forward a few
decades and a couple
lifetimes have passed
me by

greatness is as
subjective as it
needs to be for
the sake of the

i’ve never had anyone
offer me a blowjob
because of a poem

a voice in my head

picks up a pen and
thinks he’s got what
it takes

March 2, 2019

editors note: Don’t we all? (snicker) – mh clay

Huck in Old Age by John Dorsey

as curly sits playing keno
he offers me a shot of hot damn
while telling me how last summer
he took a group of writers out on his boat
& mentions that he doesn’t really even like to read

but he has a sense of adventure

he is huck decades later
searching for becky thatcher
from the same barstool almost every night

the fog is thick in his mind
but he is still the closest thing to mark twain
franklin county has on a tuesday afternoon

o sweet becky thatcher
i can feel the heat
coming off of his glass
every time
he mentions your name.

March 1, 2019

editors note: When what if is better than what happens. Hot damn! – mh clay

Lost in dream by Hem Raj Bastola

Knowledge of:
The mystical hymns.
Numinous breath,
To drink.

A bird,
Mysterious drinking:
To live.

To tantalize my god.

Mystical fire,
Revered, to invoke;
The celestial

A holy bath,
To expiate;
The sin.

I can
See them,
In the celestial
River, dip.

The thing
That i only feel,
Asking you
To reveal:

Lost in

February 28, 2019

editors note: Who tantalizes whom in this dream? – mh clay

Religion by Kiriti Sengupta

The shirt I bought severs promises.
It attracts stain, odor, and crumples
briskly. The salesman had urged,
We treat cotton to produce
fine fabric.

Isn’t propensity native? It refutes

February 27, 2019

editors note: Cotton, hair, or guilt; if it won’t fit, don’t wear it. – mh clay

Inside of My Dream by Ahmad Al-khatat

Inside of my dream
there’s a bird flying
from one nest to an-
-other, without wings

Inside of my dream
there’s a man holding
a sign that says, I
have serious cancer

Inside of my dream
there’s one refugee
with tears of grief
because he lost hope

Inside of my dream
there’s a young lady
smoking, and waiting
for the train to suicide

Inside of my dream
there’s a black cat
staring at me, and
waiting to the end of my dream

February 26, 2019

editors note: Waiting to catch that bird… – mh clay


Are they really that far away?
Seems like I could stretch
my arms and scoop a handful
to play with or sleep with
in my lonely bed.

Who knows? Perhaps if I do
I would ignite and you’d see
me no more.

Or my house would light up
like the manger and we’d all
be born again, given a second chance.

February 25, 2019

editors note: Each star shines salvation for a sinner somewhere. Find yours. – mh clay

GUILTY – ALIBI by J H Martin

Leave summer there
To bleed into the sea
Autumn is coming down hard

The mountain retreats
The backstreet brothels
The street photographs
The excuse that I was drunk
The boxing titles
And all of the countless blood baths

All of them are gone
All of them are done now

Like that springtime record
And all of my government names
I have one stone cold alibi
That needs no rehearsing
And needs no fake feelings posed
When winter comes knocking
With its unasked for inquiries
About whether
This was indeed that
Or that was indeed this

September 26 1972

That is all I am saying
I have no further comment

Let them state for the record
Whatever they want

I have already said –
No further comment

The footage has long been deleted
And all the evidence burned

By the crematorium fire
By the valium blues
And by this disrupted sentence
That now breaks and then falls
Like the leaves and the ash
Around my blistered feet
Lapped by the last rays of
My own summer’s breath

February 24, 2019

editors note: In the end, our best defense is none at all. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read tease comes from Short Story Editor Ty Malone’s commentary on this 74-worded gem by Contributing Writer & Poet, KJ Hannah Greenberg

“We are who we are by existing, we are what we are by choice.”

(photo “What We Build” by Ty Malone)

CHOOSE to read Prince of All Pursuits right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.06.19) at 8:00 SHARP as we swirl up the mic at our mad mic-ness home, The Regal Room (located inside of Independent Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Deep Ellum)!

Mad musical grooves from Swirve (with special guest Clark Walker on skins) will start us off. After that, join in & share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities.

Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl Open Mic.

Come to participate.

Come to appreciate.

Come to Swirl-a-brate!

For you ‘bookers out there, check out our Facebook page about a week out from the show date and get yourself a spot on our pre-list!

••• Another Mad Review •••

Mad Swirl is mighty excited to share with you the good news… we got us “Another Mad Review!”

This go-round our Associate Editor, Mike Fiorito, dove deep into Contributing Poet Marianne Szlyk‘s latest collection, “On the Other Side of the Window” (Pski’s Porch Publishing • 2018 • Available at Amazon)

Here’s a few of Mike’s thoughts on Marianne’s poetic collection:

“If ever there was a time for a collection of poems like On the Other Side of the Window, by Marianne Szlyk, it is now. I was immediately struck by Szlyk’s use of the word Eaarth, which, she explains, is Bill McKibben’s term for our planet during the process of climate change. I knew this collection was going to be a somber reflection of the preciousness of the Earth and how seriously we ought to heed its messages, its cries for help. And while these poems are heavy, they are yet incandescent…”

There’s more where that came from! Let your mouse follow this link & get the whole scoop 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

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

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