The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.04.19

by May 5, 2019 0 comments

“I have been enlightened. I have fallen into poetry and it has swallowed me up.”

Keith Haring

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Pretty Flamingo ~ 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 spelled the name from bang and blame; we wound a rhyme from feeding time; we swelled seconds far from unfixed stars; we burned the fat from anodyne, STAT; we spun fire from dawn’s wire; we ripped resentment from cold contentment; we strung life’s strand from sifted sand. This too, in time, will pass. It’s not the hours, it’s the glass.. ~ MH Clay

MYRTLE BEACH by Robert Demaree

Part One: 1944

Sunlight on broad strand,
Incoming tide: cousins wade
Unaware of war.

Part Two: 1958

College beach weekend:
Hot drive home, awful headache,
Wet bread on the floor.

Part Three: 2008

Ninth-floor oceanfront
Condos for sale:
Motel rooms in perpetuity.
Tuesday morning:
By the sofa,
Philip’s goggles, left behind,
Other people’s grandchildren
On the beach.

The receding tide
Sucks sand from under your feet:
Time slipping away.

May 4, 2019

editors note: Was it the same sand? Was it the same us? Sifting, sifting… – mh clay

Presentiment by Anthony Ward

Onward and leeward I plough through the current,
Even when having fun I’m wondering when it will end.
Wishing it was tomorrow night so that I’d be over the mundane work,
Instead of enjoying the sunny day post meridian.
The reality as I live being of perpetual discontent.
So used to being discontented that contentment would be insufferable.

The only ones who are truly satisfied are those who have to be.
We persist to indulge our pain.
Like the burn of a clean shave makes us feel fresh and sore,
We’re haunted by the present,
Racing towards the past flinching at the future.

Residing memories threatening to spring to life at any moment,
Nothing more vacant.
Echoes of silence fill the abandonment.
A child’s beloved toy discarded with age.
Ghost towns of nuclear test sites.
Dilapidated theme parks gone to ruin.

– May 3, 2019

editors note: Even in the good ole days, when a buck was a buck and a shave was shave, no one got out o’ here alive. – mh clay

Solynshka by Paul Donnachie

This will be,
The last false dawn,
Sweet sunlight shines aplenty,
As her beauty radiates,
And illuminates what was empty.

May 2, 2019

editors note: Face bright, sunlight; it’s not biased if it’s true. – mh clay

Obstreperous by Chris Zimmerly

The sky is angry mouth where a plum used to be
Quick color the departure walls
O! Lord, I can’t believe the news
Everywhere shimmering sudden light

Hey! Do you want to go the Featherwood Hospital?
Anodyne stat!
Hey Doctor! Nothing touches the tired spot.

Clip the clouds from the fingers
Everywhere simmering sudden light.

Let’s check into the Featherwood Hospital.
A tin man, do I have a heart?
Oh no! check my pulse
Quick call a nurse
I’m getting worse!

Wood or feather?
Doctor! Doctor!
What do you prescribe?

May 1, 2019

editors note: Diagnose the malady ‘fore dashing off the remedy. Recover or reverse. Yes. Call a nurse! – mh clay

Swollen Seconds by Mike Fiorito

Glorious organ and cheering horns
Swarms of birds
Rushing the cushioned clouds.
And there is you.
Your yellow eyes melting.
Yesterday’s crying on your face.
Fallen seconds trickle down your
Swollen cheeks.
The weeks worn
Around your neck
Like broken diamonds.
Tonight is still.
The moon eclipsed.
The stars unfixed and the lighted
Sky dims.
Look! A hush inks the darkness
Even Darker.

April 30, 2019

editors note: A hush to comfort, a breast to rest. – mh clay

An Anti-intimate Math by Bhargab Chatterjee

A linear concept has many vertical columns.
Concrete pillars are flat; mute structures.
People try to bring out meanings;
sometimes mathematically.
Equation: emptiness + substance = time
A line of control enters into me
from the floor
where I am standing.
I try to remain
around authenti #city.
Skyscrapers fall from the sky
all around
and shoot out innumerable roots.

Anti-intimate math integrates them.

April 29, 2019

editors note: Looking for the formula to make monuments. What is equal to this? – mh clay

Alphabetical Playlist Reveals Truth About Everything by Stephanie Bradbury

First, there’s bang and blame,
then black, then blank space
followed by blurred lines.
There’s freedom before
free falling, let down
and then lose yourself.

No sugar tonight–
no surprises, and run
before run on.
Shout, sweet dreams,
then take a bow.

There, there, and
what it takes
without you.

April 28, 2019

editors note: Looking for a spiritual DJ? Spin yourself. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read feed comes to us from Contributing Writer, Susie Gharib.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about “Prognostication“…

“Real magic is the madness of the mundane we all live. See it now but also take time to remember when magic was everywhere: in every face, in every shadow, or alive in the sun.”

(photo “Hour of Magic” by Tyler Malone)

Use some mad-abracadabra to move that mouse right here to get your read on… NOW!

••• Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.01.19) Mad Swirl whirled up our open mic madness at the Regal Room! Sadly, the Regal Room is no more so we fondly bid our latest stomping ground farewell & look forward to where we will land next! (stay tuned)

We also said farewell to a near and dear friend of the Swirl and the soul behind the lens of thousands of mad snaps, Dan “the man” Rodriguez. Wherever you’re at Dan, we know you’re capturing our good side…

This month, another dear friend of the Swirl, Rob Dyer (and his friend David Parham), captured the scenes for us this month…

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 06.01.19

This month, Mad Swirl Press officially launched, “The Best of Mad Swirl: v2018And what a launch it was! Featured local Mad ones and long distant Mad ones read their poems to a packed Room’o’Regal:

Johnny Olson
Rob Dyer
Harry McNabb
Polly Richardson (Ireland)
Chigger Matthews (Missouri)
PW Covington (New Mexico)
Tyler Malone (Colorado)
Mike Fiorito (NYC)
Madelyn Olson (Austin)

If you didn’t scoop you up a copy of this annual collection & curious, here’s the official tease for this 112-page poetry collection:

Our 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.”

If that got your want going, visit Amazon NOW and get yourself your very own copy for the real-deal of $25! (for a limited time, 2 for $50;)

After the feature set we opened the mic up! HUGE GRATS to the mad poets, performers, artists and musicians who helped swirl us up a mighty fine & celebratory night by sharing their words, songs & divine madness…


Johnny O
MH Clay


Chris Curiel
Monte Espina

Mad Mic Cast:

MH Clay
Opalina Salas
Carlos Salas
Brett “BA” Ardoin
Devorah Titunik
James “Bear” Rodehaver
Christopher Calle
Laurie Lynn Lindemeier

HUGE thanks to the patron saint of the local loco Mad ones, Josh Florence, for providing us a home these past few years. Fingers crossed we stay in the family! Stay tuned…

And lastly, but never leastly, thanks to ALL WHO CAME to support the launch of our creative collaborative love-child & share in this loving, laughing, lasting night of poetry and music!

May the madness swirl your way! ’til next 1st Wednesday… wherever that might be.

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feeds, your eye can spy on the Swirl’n scenes that was right here…

The Best of Mad Swirl: v2018 Book Launch

Mad Swirl Open Mic

••• Mad Review •••

Lady, You Shot Me by Darren C. Demaree
8th House Publishing • 2018
Available at Amazon

Darren Demaree’s poetry collection, Lady, You Shot Me, is about the life of Sam Cooke. Before reading these poems, I knew very little about Sam Cooke, other than his music. But, after reading this collection, I was inspired to learn more about him. You should know that this collection doesn’t just praise Cooke, or attempt to paint a pretty picture of the man.

Not only does Lady, You Shot Me address the unique genius of the man, the writings tackle difficult subject matters about Sam Cooke’s life, as well. His impact on African-American history. On American history. The dubious nature of his death. His womanizing… ~ Mike Fiorito

Read the whole review right here!

••• 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…

Fallin’ Head First,

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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