“I believe art is a connection, like passing on a flame.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
It’s been a great feature run by returning Contributing Artist Fabrice Poussin. But as all great things do, Fabrice’s feature too must end… for NOW!
To see more of Fabrice’s poignantly poetic photos, as well as our other featured artists (45 total!), visit our Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we godly got from a whiskey shot; we heard truth told from a deep black hole; we chose retreat over love’s lost tweet; we dodged chisel, ducked knife, held love safe in wrinkled life; we ran to hide, but found nowhere to slip the slice of death’s sharp stare; we floundered, flubbed on pencil stub, numbed by crumbs; we made mad mint from false print, gave our trust to dust. We write from this, all words amiss, intents abide in dark abyss. ~ MH Clay
STRATH BLAZE by J H Martin
A small bag
A tin box and pipe
These are the tools
To present my past
To rescind the guilt
To connect to the source
Of what I am not
Some call it magic
But names are misplaced
On this false print of paths
And easily pierced
By their own savage thorns
Forget about this
And leave behind that
Crossing the bridge
Flies buzz on the burn
Kill the mind child
Return this earth to the dust
June 22, 2019
editors note: The magic we make, in time, unmakes us. Naturally! – mh clay
My Grizzled Poem by Heather M. Browne
Scratching pencil stub
Words fractured in lead
Not the grit I need
Crevices and cracks
The page is bruised
And words abuse
Galvanized gray and smear
I strip them of discontent voice
I wipe away the crumbs
Letting each syllable
Every silenced sound fall
Landing just above ground
Whisper or scream
June 21, 2019
editors note: Creative carnage; the mess we make to dis away from enchantment. – mh clay
The Leveling Reaper by Walter Ruhlmann
If death comes earlier than expected,
you’re sure you could easily handle it.
You think this would free yourself from burden,
you reckon extinction is the new thing.
It will come soon enough so please don’t beg
for it to come this way as relieving as it seems.
Her breasts prick the sight of the saints,
her breath is stale, it smells rot and decay,
her legs are hairier than a palm-tree trunk,
the tool she carries around with her slices
heads, limbs, torsos, anything goes.
Her unforeseeable eyes pierce through the dark.
She does see you quiver in your corner,
she laughs, she trembles with ecstasy,
she leaves the place softly, she leaves
you quizzical. She leaves permanent
stains behind, tumours in fat brains,
her restless rumours never wane.
June 20, 2019
editors note: Fast or slow; she comes, but you never get to know her. – mh clay
Sharing Wrinkles by Fabrice B. Poussin
I once held your hand of enthralling silk
caressed by the early light of a newly born world.
You recall the tall blades of mysterious grass
the refuge of those days of tender innocence.
We shared what they call youth in novels
a fantasy written upon a tombstone to be carved soon.
I saw the whispering of trembling hours
scribing their harsh embrace with a blunt knife.
You remained still with majestic stoicism
under the chisel of the unproven sculptor.
We fell to flashes of stars blinding the nights
their gentle sparks burning our breasts with fear.
I held your soul into my palms to make it safe
while the agony of life shocked every fiber of you.
You opened your eyes with accepting despair
drowned in the sorrow of the upcoming storm.
We took another step under the leathery coat
ready to share our farewells beneath wrinkly flesh.
June 19, 2019
editors note: What we would spare for one happens to all. – mh clay
Life events by Mallika Bhaumik
The chiffon night is a marquee.
It’s well past seven and I look out of my hotel window to see a hilly town below, dotted with glowworm lights.
Time is like a blob of butter in my soup bowl, melting, and I see myself walking along the trails of our scar.
The flow chart of our life events are pages of different books we wish to read and then wish away.
The silence of the hills makes me crawl into myself, here it is quiet, here you are mine.
A person is only a few digits away.
A strange oscillation ~ should I or should I not?
My heart hears sounds of fluttering wings while my phone screen decides that I need to return.
A heaviness hangs over, once again I make a choice to depart leaving behind the hills and us.
June 18, 2019
editors note: Live alone, or live it up; swipe right. – mh clay
Age Difference by Kristina Krumova
The agony of explaining about
to your current Lolita
you put cooled down lips upon painful and naive and bare feet
in attempts to stop the elements which
cause the pricks from the big hand of
the clock-face to
the dirty salacious
masochistic and misguided
torments deep in
the snow drifts in
the struggle with sleep
(because every single dream is a small death, right?)
In the silence of the winter the hands of the clock echo in every purest thought
Explain, explain, explain
your memories, her
explain only the poisonous truths
never forget that
the truths are cheerful stacking dolls
a black hole in a black hole in a black hole in a black hole
and among all countless truths there is not
even one reality, Lolita!
June 17, 2019
editors note: So hard to dispel our illusions of pain. – mh clay
The Small-Town Drunk Goes Church Shopping by Daniel Klawitter
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. ~ Mark 16:18
It is really quite ingenious
The various ways we homo sapiens
Honor Jesus. Them Episcopalians
Are saints of softness, dignity & restraint:
They like their liturgy in a stately cadence
That reminds me of The Bard.
But them Pentecostals take their religion
The way I often make my whisky:
Decisive, risky, and hard.
June 16, 2019
editors note: No matter what you worship, how you like your liturgy is a matter of taste. (We welcome Daniel to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If you need a reminder of why you Need-a-Read today, “Memories of Water“ by Stew Jorgenson should get your flowin’ goin’.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick of the week:
“Every epitaph ever: Here’s lies a life written in water.”
Here’s a few lines to jog your memory:
(photo “Names Writ in Water” by Tyler Malone)
“My son lives in a small town. Recently, I was helping him move to a new apartment not far from the one he’d been living in for the past five years. The old apartment is a 1930s or ‘40s era city office building that had been converted decades ago into housing. It’s located on a beautiful little trout stream that runs through the middle of town. A million dollar view for $600 a month. From his second story balcony you could look down into the water and see brook trout rise, ducks, herons, and small birds fly, mature oaks, maples, muskrats cleaning their teeth.
All tenants were being evicted to make way for the city’s future development plans, paved trails, baby carriages, dog walkers, park space. Demolition is forthcoming.
We were waxing nostalgic about what a great place this had been for him, good years and good memories, when he told me that what he’d miss most about living there was being able to step out of his front door in the summer and walk barefoot in the water. At that moment it suddenly dawned on me how many of my own life’s memories involve bodies of water and the people in them…”
Get the rest of this sentimental read here!
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Short Story Editor