The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.11.19

by May 12, 2019 0 comments

“I don’t like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.”

Frank Stella

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Lobster Quadrille ~ 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 wrecked our way through a breakfast buffet; we wrote a scene from the while we mean; we courted hard with a canine guard; we hung love’s thing by a puppet string; we sanity fizzled, words sharp chiseled; we went where the stars go, through our world window; we ran recollections in 30 short seconds. Time again; we mark it, bide it, waste it, write it. ~ MH Clay

And Counting by Ian Mullins

30 seconds of summer
hardly seem sufficient
to kid myself
that I’ve been invited
to the same beach party
as everybody else, the one
that’s been swinging
since cavemen beat time
on rocks and skins:

but 30 seconds is all I take
to cross the road to the office
and squint regretfully
up at the sun, remembering
the boy I used to be
standing by the water crying
come on, come in…
– and look; my summer’s done

May 11, 2019

editors note: A lifetime of waiting on that wave, till comes the end to endless. – mh clay

The Starry Outer Paradise by Hongri Yuan

As you start to seek your smiling soul in the realm of mystery
Learn you shall that the world is just a window;
That the kingdoms of soul are everywhere;
You will find the invisible kingdom of gold in the desert,
Hear the intoxicating nectar-like music from heaven
That death is but a Madadayo dance of smoke
To return to the starry outer paradise on heaven’s vault.

May 10, 2019

editors note: Divine defenestration with a Kurosawa flourish. Are you ready? – mh clay

Origin by Brian Rihlmann

first they were outside
the words
the voices
of parents and grandparents
and counterfeit gods

then came words
from other adults
from songs on the radio
from people on tv

from a barrage of ads
for things i should have
shiny things
that made people smile

and still more
from the mouths of classmates
in the schoolyard
hurled like stones
or sand in the eye

a blitzkrieg of them…

i should be this

i should be that

and then one day
the voices weren’t out there

they were in here
closer than inside

like the ringing
of hammer blows
as a mob of blind sculptors
chiseled a beautiful stone
down to a nub

May 9, 2019

editors note: They can wind up or wear down, careful how you wield them; inside or out. – mh clay

Love Makes You Do Funny Things by James D. Casey IV

Maybe I’m with the ghost?
A ghost, unseen?
The dead,
fit together.

makes you do
funny things.

Keys clacking
piano notes.

Am I your puppet?

Or are you mine?

[…] Sincerely,

May 8, 2019

editors note: In the ether of the exchange, sometimes a hyphen is a heart. (We welcome James to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Unbridled by Jonathan K. Rice

Street lights come on
as evening falls
and her guest arrives.

Her dogs welcome him
with barks, howls,
an occasional growl.

She puts on some music.
He comments on the jazz
she chooses,

how the percussionist
commands the tune,
how each tap of the tom tom,

each clap of the high hat
measures the night in alternate
rhythms and spaces in time

against the uncorking
of wine, conversation,
glasses clinking,
laughter and lovemaking.

The dogs wait outside the bedroom door.

May 7, 2019

editors note: Tails wag cadence to the beat of this dogs’ life. – mh clay

Meanwhile by Wayne Burke

I go into Cumberbund Farms
to buy a newspaper.
A catchy pop-tune on the
a fat girl
at the ATM machine
gives me the once-over;
“Steve” makes change of
my sawbuck
as a short guy
behind me
exudes an aura of menace
that is hard to ignore…
Out by the pumps
pretty girls
get in
get out
of cars
(but do not come inside).
Thin roadside trees with buds
on their branches
sway in the breeze.

May 6, 2019

editors note: We are all in a meanwhile to someone. – mh clay

“Sundays and breakfast” by Devika Mathur

Here, I speak the truth to you,
the lies of occupation in appealing people’s sorrow
and the green urban dirt — a ghastly deduction of smiles
makes me a crooked vase of emptiness.
Monday: oh, it pours the spikes in my stomach
and churns the pancreas till the heart bleeds.
Saturday: a monotonous tone of soils parching,
producing fungus and mushrooms
Nothing remains, a wall of concrete harmony.
This tongue here craves the stardust of sunshine if any.
Something between moist eyes and moist thighs goes missing,
something between the linings of bricks and charcoal is vintage epoch.
The aprons, the tables, the cigarettes
the Sundays and the breakfast of savouring
my thunder, clasping the pharynx of my scandalous worth
is my favourite.

May 5, 2019

editors note: Ferocious fare to wend the week away from weakness. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s installment of Mad Swirl’s Need-a-Read comes to us from longtime Contributing Writer Jim Meirose!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Some Are Some Also

“Tragedy is not knowing, or living for nothing but just becoming never fully realized. But knowing, that’s when it could be tragedy but all that’s left is heartache.”

(photo “Mortal Chain” by Tyler Malone)

Give your need its read 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…

Art’n it to live,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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