The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.23.19

by March 24, 2019 0 comments
“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” ― Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” ― Lawrence Ferlinghetti

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Colbert ~ Chuck Hatton

To see ALL of Hatton’s mad satirically illustrated 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 clarified things on the lie of “no strings;” we irreverently trod on our small minor god; we filled in the flow of a boat to row; we drove not done on a cold coal run; we drew a day, ukiyo-e; we coughed to stress our consciousness; we placed to feel for home appeal. Wherever we alight, we write. ~ MH Clay

Chained by Sheighle Birdthistle

Homeland has first appeal
Until the finite break

The unfiltered air spits
Troubled feelings on me

No weather sun or salt
Desires my reasoning

I long for warm childhood
Theirs and mine long put abed

This bothered place I love
Unfettered criticism

Only binds my music sounds
Of heart and falling tear

As I leave them for France
Always afraid to go.

March 23, 2019

editors note: Emigrant, immigrant; regardless of perspective, home is our objective. – mh clay

The Moment by Rosa Todaro

there’s a certain time of the evening when consciousness coughs

but you must listen for that faint


8 or 9 o’clock
when you’re sitting on the patio you’ll hear it
when you’re listening to the moon preach to you
about craters and tides,
about what it means to pull on another body,
but you must listen for that cough
and maybe then
for just one moment
you’ll feel insects trembling in the soil
and see your own reflection in your palm, your knee, your ankle
and maybe you’ll

March 22, 2019

editors note: Clear your throat; each time, hear sweet ca-cough-any. – mh clay

Ukiyo-e Artist by Maki Starfield

A Ukiyo-e print
is Japanese art
a painting in the early Renaissance period
a Greek painting,
an old Dutch painting,
a fine work of art.

Van Gogh loves Ukiyo-e prints,
He created his own art
Like Rembrandt, Potter, Hals, Van der Mail whom he respected
Like Ostade and Roy D’Alar
He made his color
In Arles
He painted a sunflower
In Saint-Rémy
He drew a straw and a wheat field
Right now I
I am facing one who loved Ukiyo-e
A faint sound that touches the age –
Although I loved Ukiyo-e
Is it an auditory illusion like sobbing?

My hot eyes are
Chasing after it.

March 21, 2019

editors note: It’s every day of art, in every/any country. – mh clay

On our way by Bruce Mundhenke

Back from the coal mine,
51 International truck,
Dad shifting gears
As we leave the mine,
Speed barely picking up.
We head down a two lane highway,
Back the same way
We had come.
Animals on the radio,
House of the Rising Sun.
Load of coal
In the pickup,
Winter nowhere near done.

March 20, 2019

editors note: Roadside reminiscence to keep the heat on. – mh clay

The Crossing by Julene Tripp Weaver

-After Debra Fritts, “Empty Buckets

In a rickety raft with empty buckets
and no oar, I stand transfixed, cast-off
afraid to move, the question,
Will I survive? raking me.

I slow down, look around
find a hidden oar locked on the side.
Like a parrot waking, I squeal a song,
praise for this boat that floats.

Sudden as thunder the buckets fill:
currants, apricots, cashews, chocolate
from Belgium. A reminder, I believe
in angels, miracles, ancestor guides.

March 19, 2019

editors note: Enough, just to reach the other side; the buckets will fill themselves. (We welcome Julene to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Sons of a Minor God by Claudia Piccinno

Minor God…
Let’s call Him so
Or perhaps despot of the sea
Does it sound better?
Screw sent to the slaughterhouse.
Dreams that cannot swim,
Chained atavistic fears
to his feet pushed deeply
on the accelerator
On the unfair fate
And on the ancient ballast.
The betrayal joined
To poverty and hunger
and it left you orphans
in a hundred
Into a sucked vortex
Of blue-tailed.
Orphan me too
without 900 brothers,
only daughter
of the same God.

March 18, 2019

editors note: Faith in farm team entities. Hope they make the majors before we’re orphaned, all. – mh clay

Casual by Dana Al Rashid

Nothing is ever casual about sex
Casual sex is coward’s sex
An empty charade
Where no one really “takes off” anything

The “hit-and-run” culture
Has created a generation of cowards
Afraid to look into themselves
Afraid to relate to others
Because everything is oh-so-painful
Everything is offensive

But how can you ask others for intimacy
When you can’t even be intimate with yourself?

“No strings attached” is a huge lie
Created by opportunist men
Who convinced women that selling their souls
is true freedom
Don’t you believe it
There will always be a string
On the ethereal plane
From my navel to yours

March 17, 2019

editors note: Here’s another POV, not for taking casually. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Neeeeed-a-Reeeeead then this weeeeek’s feeeeatured short story will surely get your goat!

the Tira cycle: (goat song for the) land of love, carrots, and cabbage comes to us from Mad Swirl Contributing Writer, Edward Wells.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone haaaaas to saaaaay about this week’s pick:

“Descend from mountaintops, we are gifts for others. We’re damned when they finally ascend above us, though, higher than we’ve ever stood.”

And Edward’s story baaaaah-gins like this:

(photo “My Bleating Heart” by Ty Malone)

Once there was a young woman named Tira. She had moved all over the island of Java. She was founding her salty fish perfume kingdom to support her dream of becoming a lecturer. But two mighty winds always assaulted the hot air balloon she traveled in.

The first wind was peer pressure. It would swing her into karaoke bars. It blew cigarettes into her hand and mouth. It was a tricky wind. Sometimes it was so tricky she thought it was taking her where she wanted to go.

The other wind was called love. This wind was not so much tricky as tyrannical. It would spin so quickly that she could not land. One time it spun for nine years. She was very dizzy. And when she finally landed she had to continue reminding herself that wind was only “called” love…

Get the rest of this bleatin’ read on right here!

••• Open Mic •••


Mad Swirl Press is very honored to be the publishing home for Opalina Salas’ poetry collection, “Black Sparrow Dress” This 80-page beauty is filled with 20+ years of her powerful poetry and complimented quite nicely with a handful of full-color mind-bending illustrations by artist Madelyn Olson! You WILL want to add this beaut to your book collection. We guarantee!

This poetic baby will be born April 3rd at Mad Swirl Open Mic (for you loco mad ones) and at (for you long-distance mad ones).

This full-color, 78-page poetry collection is…

“about recalling the past and letting go. It’s about the town I call home and the poets I call friends. It’s about love and remorse, outrage and abandonment, but also hope. It’s about a woman’s journey through changes; aging, addictions, laments, misgivings, to eventual empowerment.”

Mad musical grooves from Swirve 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 event page and get yourself a spot on our pre-list!


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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