The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.30.19

by on March 31, 2019 :: 0 comments

“The world stretches before me, the vast world of the big, the little, and the medium.”

Octavio Paz

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Trump’s Wall ~ 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 love succumbed to life consumed; we night prowled to moon yowl; we let street take us through day time fracas; we brain fried in mind’s eye; we found the color in picture pallor; we ducked the spot of an arrow shot; we breathed like bums with toothless breath, we prayed no pain in dunce dog death. When death goes down, we write way round to make some sense of it. ~ MH Clay

habits of the flesh by Sam Silva

When a bum gets old and sick
his teeth decay,
he passes wind
and wind comes back all heartless cold

…he feeds his cold with laudanum
…the charity dentist clears his mouth
of uppers, lowers, north and south

in freezing winter clinics
where winter says “not snow…just rain”

oh let me suck the ripple down
and smoke a dozen cigarettes at once
…and sleep near the bridge…this frozen town.

Oh let me die …a dog! a dunce!
Oh let us lie down
but feel no pain!

March 30, 2019

editors note: Who’s the bum, when we wish the same? Please, no pain, no pain. – mh clay

Mister Arrow by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Mister Arrow
may your aim
not stray to
my eye or
to my heart;
may you split
the apple
on my head.
Give Mister
William Tell
I do not
like pain or
would like to
go blind like
all the folks
to work for
us and not
for themselves.
I have too
much trouble
to worry
about than
to face life
with a hole
in my face.

March 29, 2019

editors note: There’s no Tell-ing, here. I say, “Duck!” – mh clay

Working with Stone by Marianne Szlyk

After Racconto, LS2, Bice Lazzari (1958)

In this story, the canvas becomes
stone. The sky turns the color
of concrete. Clouds, black scuffs, emerge
once you squint. Sun trickles down:
wan pink, not orange, not red,
not light revealing blades of grass.
The shadow is a wall, concealing
grass, dirt, cigarette butts coated with
slick lipstick, broken glass, candy wrappers.
Disembodied, a white jacket floats free.

March 28, 2019

editors note: Grey words to lift a grey mood. – mh clay

Unbearable Happiness Farmer by Randall Rogers

To think
is everything
is everywhere
in the eye
of the mind
of the beholder.

March 27, 2019

editors note: Ha! Made you blink. – mh clay


all up & down
5th street there are
peep shows
coffee shops
liquor stores
& fresh tattoos that glow
on the pale
february bleached flesh
of girls
& all the skinny caramel lattes
are clutched too tight
even though they are hotter than
the august pavement
& everywhere you go
along east 3rd street
the cell phones are screaming
to be released from
all of the pockets
& glove compartment coffins
while a roving pack of mimes
stalk the corner of 4th & main
thespian nightmares
in a symphony of silence
so loud
it sounds like propaganda
& all the yellow
slowly leaks
from the sun
as i sit in the café
across the street
murdering myself
one cigarette
at a time.

March 26, 2019

editors note: Probiotic pique from a peeking poet. – mh clay

Satisfy the Moonbeams by Jeff Bagato

Jolly Puss takes a stroll
along the back alleys
of the midnight world
looking for ash cans to tip
against the moon beams
holding the stars
in the sky, whiskers
quivering to climb up
there, too; when a lamp
goes out it creates a zone
of invisibility, a place
to look from while judging
the lay of the land

You can’t get tired
in the dark, because freedom
won’t wait; keep moving,
keep searching, leap
into the open windows
just to see who yells,
and if no one yells
then you have a place
to sleep come morning
as the light drives
adventure away

A fire escape is a stairway
to that moon, the rooftop
its temple mount; here
the lights of confusion
spread out on all sides
trying to put back
the order of the day
on a world best
left unseen

March 25, 2019

editors note: Prowling to hear the moon say, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty…” – mh clay

Such Weariness by Daniel Klawitter

Sometimes, this world feels bent
And spent beyond repair—
Like a dirty coin too long
In circulation,
Mauled by money’s mad & vicious
Songs of consumption.
Ambition is for the young—
But life isn’t a ladder:
It’s a seduction…
A romance of matter & spirit.
What we adore is what we become:
For God’s sake, I can hardly bear it.

March 24, 2019

editors note: It’s our drive, not tiny, to keep life shiny. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read comes to us from Contributing Writer, Lorene Holderfield.

Her story “Fly High, Little One” is wonderfully uplifting as indicated by our Short Story Editor Tyler Malone’s comment:

“Your sky is your limit and the only light is you, burning. Fly and carry that light.”

And if that’s not enough to get you soaring, here’s a few of Lorene’s lines to get you goin’

(photo “Breeze” by Ty Malone)

Fly high, little one. Let your beautiful wings spread. You’ve learned much, now, and far more to see still. Travel onward, now, across this peculiar world. Mature, experience, and feel. You’ve come far. All the trials of your life you’ve surpassed; all the pains you bore them well. Carry on now, little one, and fly high.

Soar across this beautiful plane. Feel the warmth of the reassuring sun. See the blue skies and the glittering of the stars. Gaze upon the comforting glow of the moon. Feel the loving caress of the refreshing breeze. Hear the liberating silence as you fly high and free. Look around you now, little one, at the lovely colors painting this world. The colors of Life. There is hope always…

If that got you movin’, flap those wings and click here to get your read!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

“Black Sparrow Dress” Up : 04.03.19

Shell freshly fractured. Soaking wet, chick wobble, cheep cheep cheep, every sparrow starts naked and bewildered. So does this collection. Then page by year by life experience; pinions form, feathers fluff to cover and warm. Wobble turns to wonder, storms weathered. Nest explored as erstwhile shelter, soon to prison turned. Then flight – sweet flight, skyward flutter, windward soar, new lands; new life, evolved from old. Sparrow flies free. – mh clay

This is Black Sparrow Dress by Opalina Salas. Get it. Read it. Fly…

Mad Swirl Press is very honored to be the publishing home for Opalina’s poetic collection. 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.

Black Sparrow Dress will be born April 3rd at Mad Swirl Open Mic(for you loco mad ones) and also available at (for you long-distance mad ones) for $20.

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of April (aka 04.03.19) at 8:00 SHARP when as we swirl up the mic at our mad mic-ness home, The Regal Room (located inside the Independent Bar & Kitchen) in the heart of Deep Ellum)!

This month, Mad Swirl Press will be officially launching, “Black Sparrow Dress” by Dallas poet and spoken word performer Opalina Salas with illustrations by Mad artist Madelyn Olson.

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

Leave a Reply