The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.25.19

by May 26, 2019 0 comments

“What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!”

Theodore Roethke

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Sweetness ~ Fabrice Poussin

Mad Swirl is proudly welcomes back Fabrice Poussin, a photographer who is bringing gorgeous, grand and sometimes even haunting (shadowy, harsh) landscapes and scenes straight to our senses and screens. There is a poignant poetry to the photographs and their titles, it’s clear that Poussin has an eye for the simple and yet deeply complex power and beauty of nature – we’re just thankful that even momentarily, we get a taste of what it’s like to see the world as he does. ~ Madelyn Olson

To see ALL our other featured artists (45 total!), visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe drowned our fears emerged from tears; we clapper clubbed a c-o-o-l glub; we wrapped the run of absent sun; we absurdly exposed reptilian repose; we lingered looney in lover’s look; we gaped at the ghost of times we took; we ghosted again, recollectors as specters. ~ MH Clay

On Becoming a Specter by James Robert Rudolph

A plain’s homestead, Depression’s own
splintery gray like driftwood
washed up on this prairie of tall grass,
corn yellow and wind dented.

This house husk of whistling slats
and many wrenchings molders
a baby’s bed and a browning
stove of metastasizing rust
and a flour sack curtain blanched
thin and cloud-white from
an overmuscled sun.

A scarecrow’s bones have I
throwing a stick silhouette against
this shambled phantasm as we two
melt into smudgy clots
of the darkening night.

May 25, 2019

editors note: In the ghost of place, we are the haunting. – mh clay

1000 Ghosts by Luke Kuzmish

1000 ghosts haunting
every corner
every gas station

1000 ghosts behind
every locked door

each one of them is me
I know
but it’s nice to be reminded
for distraction’s sake

past lives
walk the streets
with their hands
buried deep
in the pockets of puffy jackets

my eyes wander

my eyes don’t water
they have been wide for days
fearful of the instant
lost to a blink

and the present
from which there is no harbor
found me
past the pharmacy
where Dani works
where I pretended
to buy rigs
for someone else
like I needed
to read from my phone
instead of reciting from memory

29 gauge
half inch
one CC

six months
if the scars will fade
if the ghosts
will ever live again

May 24, 2019

editors note: A little distance ‘tween you and the thing; in time those ghosts will fade. – mh clay

Sick Eyes by Pitambar Naik

Between those thick obscure skies in city outskirts you explore a dog-eared dilemma; right with the advent of a medieval winter two smacked feelings chirp in your sub-consciousness. The cherries of Ephesus clandestinely look aromatic and godly to hug the early spring. The Himalayas become a very old metaphor that traveled sleeveless dabbing a lot of cosmetics with diamond and sapphire. What was the necessity to chide the chilled window panes and the bare cuss words? I smoothly suck your presence with precision in slicking winter rain with humming whisper; swaggering subtlety and stupefied tickling. The messages in the envelope of a diamond smile hitting the secret wound of a part of the sky. Beside and above your fragile amnesia that’s meager and ruthlessness writes a mail. A whopping warm whirlpool dances around flooding nude kisses from the core to besiege my wildness. There’s an intermittent honeyed-upsurge glued to pain, panacea and those entire sweet dichotomies. I hear the twang and grab the touches and the continental polyphony of your sick eyes.

May 23, 2019

editors note: Look at me when I’m talking to you… Don’t look at me like that! – mh clay

The Age of Thunder Lizards by PW Covington

The age of thunder lizards is over
Let songbirds take the air
Liars in Chief don’t apologize on the border
To soldiers banking on his yields

Let the frontier guards build their walls
Let the poets tear them down
Let the blood moon rise
and eclipse itself
With a twangy, country, sound

I’m alright; like the rest of us
Just a little stoned
And I’m okay on the right side
On the outside
Left behind
And, you’re okay
You’ve never believed

If time won’t tell, the weather will
Whether this lust will last
However this bust is cast

Would you rather be colonized or conquered
Absorbed or assimilated
Watered down or drowned
Served as soup or over rice?

The highway exits roll back upon themselves
Like the House of Eternal Return tends to do
Turning lanes and toll booths
Can go fuck the Catechism
As early morning greyness ensues

Liars in Chief cannot last forever
Reptile kinky sex can show us something deeper
And coffee waits in heaven on the dash

May 22, 2019

editors note: It’s a flash or a fart; depends how you scale it. – mh clay

Down Under by Robert L. Martin

After plunging into the cold, cold sea
From his merciful mission across the sky,
The man called the Sun all tired and worn,
Laboring with each mile upon his journey,
Setting his sights upon the angry waters,
Smiling but not smiling down to the depths,
Down into the mystery of the deep,
The hell or heaven that lives down under,
The brotherhood of the Macabre
Or the fellowship of the Saints,
Each one awake when all else are asleep,
Each one with arms outstretched,
One with plastic tears and
The other with loving eyes,
Each one with a baptismal font on hand,
Standing proud at the altar,
Baptizing him with holy or unholy waters,
Anointing him with scented oils,
Sending him upon his journey back home
To ascend to the surface just like yesterday,
To become a morning like it was before,
To peek through the veil of darkness,
To shed a light upon the mysterious night,
To reveal its deep dark secrets,
To unite the morn with the day,
To show his love or anger at the earth,
To lie still or become restless,
To summon the lofted currents
To reach out and grab the clouds,
To congregate them into a body,
To kiss them or rile them up,
To blend them into a witch’s brew
And wreak havoc upon the quiet earth,
Or to smile down at the sleeping meadows
And lift up the flowers with loving hands,
To become an angel or a beast,
To rule the skies with his scepter,
‘Tis the mission of the sun in transit.

May 21, 2019

editors note: A dark wonder; what Sun does with the night off. – mh clay

that old sad faceless by J.D. Nelson

slim & glim
it glubbed right cool

the thin thune drop
roll down earth the copyway

chalk calendar on the wall
this is the now of the loud bell

May 20, 2019

editors note: Right raised to ear, wail of the bell; money come. Better now than later… – mh clay

THE SINKING by John D Robinson

I have drowned in
your presence,
sunk way below
where you can
see me,
flares and the
choirs of ghosts
wrap around me
like newspaper
headlines of
but I know I’ll
surface in your
eyes when they
leak tears and
the sun gives up
for the moon.

May 19, 2019

editors note: Cry makes clean. Bask and breathe. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a beat to pair nicely with your Need-for-a-Read, dig this featured short from Contributing Poet & Writer Lisa Moak!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick of the week…

“There’s a time and place for time and place. People in those times and place are lost in time, not even gifting a sliver of music to themselves to follow and find the time and place of the past.”

Here’s a few lines from Peter Pan of Jazzland to get your read groove goin’:

(photo “Hi Lights on Low Nights” by Tyler Malone)

His name was Billy Ray, and he was anything but country. Billy Ray was the Peter Pan of the jazz scene during the 80s in Oklahoma City. The bass player had come of age in the 60s during the birth of free jazz. It was then he had found his religion and never strayed from the altar of Miles, Monk and Coltrane.

Billy Ray drove to gigs in a beat-up 1963 Volkswagen van. The van was a temple that housed his holy instruments. Eight basses in all, stand up and electric, plus amps were carried lovingly to each gig, resting upon orange-psychedelic shag carpet.

Scanning Billy Ray’s face it was hard to tell his age. He looked both genteel middle-aged and boyishly youthful, but his gray, scraggly hair gave away the real date behind his twinkling blue eyes. He looked more like a friendly college professor than a swinging jazz fanatic. His voice was tiny as if his vocal cords had been shrunken or he was in a state of constant inhalation. The prior possibly was true since he grew up in the Age of Aquarius when free love and drugs ruled. Times had not changed much for Billy Ray…

Pick up the rest of this jazzy tale right here!

••• Open Mic •••

In case you missed the scoop shared at this past Mad Swirl Open Mic, the Regal Room has closed its doors & left us once again, without a home…

But if there is one thing Mad Swirl is, it’s tenacious! The mad winds have once again guided us to our new home (our 5th in 15 years!) and we couldn’t be more excited to announce it!

Join Mad Swirl THIS 1st Wednesday (aka 06.05.19) as at 8:00 SHARP as we swirl up the mic & break in our new home, RUINS!

To start us off, Chris Curiel’s Swirve (with special guest Clay Stinnett on skins) will get us movin’ with some Mad musical grooves . 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 our new digs!

P.S. To get a spot on our pre-list, all you gotta do is give us a “Going” on our FB event page and check-in the night of!

••• 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!

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…

Feelin’ the heat,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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