The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.27.19

by April 27, 2019 0 comments

“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”

C. Day Lewis

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Go Ask Alice, When She’s Ten Feet Tall ~ Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

To see ALL of Sharon’s wonderful Wonderland snaps, 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 memorialized a man who was our mirror; we pushed the moon on sun right here; we inveigled verse from clear recall; we reveled all in secret’s thrall; we played with permutations of word associations; we shopped our way through a harrowing day; we pinged the machine with nothing to say. So well, so smart; none can say nothing better. ~ MH Clay

In summation by Joseph Farley

At the end
there’s nothing I can say.
No soliloquy
would fit
well in a room
with tubes and machines
that go ping.

Try not to read
too much
into final moments.
Who really stays
to watch the credits

April 27, 2019

editors note: Wait for that teaser in vain. – mh clay

The News from Israel by Ann B-D

The t.v. announcer says
Siren. 15 seconds. Direct hit.
I think
Toilet paper. Crackers. Cat food.
The radio announcer says
Cabinet meeting. Reserves. Call-up.
I think
Canned tuna. Bottled water. Eggs.

The Internet says
Missiles. Rockets. Tunnels.
I think
Cooking gas. Kerosene. Batteries.

I don’t say
What I think I know,
What I don’t want to know,
What I don’t want to think.
And so I keep thinking
Coffee. Aspirin. Apples.
Peanut butter. Face cream. Soap.

April 26, 2019

editors note: What else can you think when never-should-happen becomes every-day-thing? – mh clay

GENESIS by Spencer Smith

in the beginning
to look a lot like
crystal meth amphibians
live in water park
on the street gangs
of New York
yanks my chained
melody and harmony
in politics suck blood
oranges and lemon
meringue pied piper
of ham and eggs
over easy does it
matter at this point
blank paper machete
cuts jungle love
is the answer
me I’m waiting

April 25, 2019

editors note: When genes-is as genes-does too matter. – mh clay

Unsupervised by Logen Cure

I had no real desire to follow rules,
just never much chance to break them.
I drank whatever the soccer girls handed me,
made a mental list of things to do
after they taught me Never Have I Ever
and I didn’t lose a single round.

Warm-bellied and dizzy, I ambled arm-in-arm
through the house with my most sharp-tongued teammate,
now cheerful and open to suggestion.
Together, we recited the Ten Commandments
from a plaque on the wall,
laughter breaking every Thou shalt not.

On the back porch, the goalkeeper told me stories:
other sins, other parentless nights.
Her voice, so powerful during games,
was hushed and sweet. She tried
to blow smoke rings with a cigar.
I watched each lazy U
dissipate in the porch light.
She asked, Can you keep secrets?
and I swore I could.

April 24, 2019

editors note: Yes! Here’s to living through the whole list. – mh clay

Imposture by Sanjeev Sethi

Firsthand accounts frozen in the mind’s igloo
require fieriness of touch by words or vestiges
from tunesmiths of our time to thaw into stanzas.
Past, however unclean has admission. Flip-flop
of feelings censure a sense of stasis. There is no
need to disclose maelstroms. Stillness is smoke.

April 23, 2019

editors note: Fan flame, melt from mind’s eye into memorandum; mildly, now, no tempest torn. – mh clay

RIGHT HERE by Roger G. Singer

It’s all to soon
for the sun to be
impaled on a
low horizon
or for windows
to wink shut
as dry winds
lose their growl
to light sea breezes
leaning lazily
on shorelines
while the dusk of
mercy and
angels with words
breathe a comfort
into darkness
as a pale moon
pushes up.

April 22, 2019

editors note: An angel scratches ink, speaks peace. – mh clay

Dan Rodriguez… by Paul Koniecki

Dan Rodriguez
will be there.

The next time I read
in some dark-beautiful club

and I hear a shutter click.

Year after year catching stars

in his black and magic
silver net

the whole time silently letting
us believe
we were the show

in my mind
he never rests

like the word aperture

from the Ancient Greek

“the eye of genius”,
or in Aramaic, “the lens

of God is terrible
and wide”. Giving, I never heard him

ask for anything

the way the night
provides cover to the sun and succor
for the rest.

April 21, 2019

editors note: Another fine tribute to Dan Rodriguez by our friend and local poet, Paul. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

For this week’s installment of Need-a-Read we bring you Tommy by N.T. Franklin.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this heavy read (you’ve been warned):

“The world is a small town. Everything we do affects most everyone. When you start, something stops. When you breathe, something else is pushed.”

(photo “Outrun” by Tyler Malone)

Breathe in the affect-ions Tyler is referring to by stoppin’ right here

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.01.19) at 8:00 SHARP when 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)!

This month, Mad Swirl Press will be officially launching our annual anthology, “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2018”

This full-color, 112-page collection is…

“…an anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and 4 artists whose works were presented on throughout 2018. Its editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.” Mad Swirl is a world-renowned arts and literature website. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a creative collective of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 150 contributing poets, our Short Story Library has 140 writers and our Mad Gallery has 40 resident artists. This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!”

To get this official launch kicked-off, we will be featuring these local & remote Contributing Poets & Writers:

Johnny Olson
Polly Richardson (Ireland)
Rob “David” Dyer
Madelyn Olson (Austin)
Harry Mcnabb
Chigger Matthew (Missouri)
Tyler Malone (Colorado)
Mike Fiorito (NYC)

…and more? We shall see!

If that teased ya the way it should have, then come and join in on this launchin’ & get you a copy for the most excellent price of $20!

Mad musical grooves from Chris Curiel’s Swirve, with special guest Monte Espina, will start us off. After that, join in & share in the Mad Swirl’n open mic 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!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

Get you your very own copy of The Best of Mad Swirl : v2018!

Our 112 page anthology features 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on throughout 2018. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

Huge grats & shout-outs to our 2018 featured Contributors (in order of appearance)

Featured Poets:

Silva Zanoya Merjanian
Tom Pescatore
Paul Hostovsky
Jeff Grimshaw
Logan Cure
Rob Dyer
Devon Balwit
Daniel Klawitter
Paul Tristram
Spencer Smith
K.W. Peery
Marisa Adame
Mike James
PW Covington
Ann B-D
James Robert Rudolph
Rachel Johnson
John Sweet
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Dennis Moriarty
Xiaoyuan Yin
Polly Richardson (Munnelly)
Samantha Hawkins
Mark Senkus
Ian Mullins
Tyler Malone
Lillie Davidson
Jason Baldinger
Arun Budhathoki
Steven Minchin
Chigger Matthews
Michael H. Brownstein
Carl Kavadlo
Roger G. Singer
Jason Ryberg
Johnny Olson
Ivan Jenson
Cheyenne Gallion
Timothy Pilgrim
Tom Hall
S.A. Gerber
Francesca Castaño
Dah Helmer
Swagi Desai
Sheighle Birdthistle
Susan Wiggins
Jada Yee
Beate Sigriddaughter
Harry McNabb
Madelyn Olson
Bhargab Chatterjee

Featured Writers:

Jennifer Benningfield
Salvatore Difalco
Zak Block
Tim Dadswell
Bruce Mundhenke
Sarah Ito
Ruith Z. Deming
Chuck Taylor
Mike Fiorito
Tyler Malone
Carl Perrin
Edward St. Boniface

Featured Artists:

Jon Marquette
Dan Rodriguez
Madelyn Olson
Elvin Armando

If we have enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2018” then click that mouse right HERE and it shall be done!


Black Sparrow Dress Up

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 is available at (for you long-distance mad ones) for $20.


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…

Keepin’ it Mad,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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