The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.06.19

by July 7, 2019 0 comments

“I am my own muse, the subject I know best.”

Frida Kahlo

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Please, Throw Shade ~Tyler Malone

To see ALL of Tyler‘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 Forumwe braved winter night to everything white; we life aligned to wrinkles in time; we faced through the fog of an asshole dog; we got the get from a long shot bet; we joyed in the light of an ass-off write; we leveraged learning in the school of yearning; we slipped in the slew of apocalypse view. It’s ink, it’s angst, it’s all on the page. It’s reverie written, sometimes rage. ~ MH Clay

standing along the road as cars pass by Tom Pescatore

headlights rise like moonlight
over the night

illuminating the trees
that shadow curve around each
wrong turn

the violet metallic tint of the car
marries the starless sky
the cityscape in the distance

the effortless
the dome of the world contracts

the vacant universe
a rush of gasoline fumes
the nothing earth

July 6, 2019

editors note: Our effortless evisceration of earth isn’t nothing (yet). – mh clay

Fulfillment Is the Enemy of Yearning by Paul Hellweg

Without yearning there is contentment
with contentment nothing is desired

no searching
no exploring
no wild wind whispering secrets
no mystery
no stimulation
no titillation

fulfillment and contentment
biscuits to offer Cerberus
just hope the beast is hungry.

July 5, 2019

editors note: Takes (not) enough to divert that dog’s attention. Down, Boy! – mh clay

Let me write my ass off by Edward Vidaurre

For the morning waking
For the afternoon delights
For the evening swoon
For the burning midnight oil dripping from the cocaine artists’ noses, that drip
Drip. Drip. Drops of semen
From last night blues version of life

Let me write until my head hurts
For silence
For fuck’s sake
For the cringing
For the disabled veterans

Let me write while the tv loses signal
For the white noise in the hood
For the white boy in the hood
For the white man on the horse and hood
For the strange fruit of forever February
For the chalk outlines of 998 people shot and killed by police in 2018 and 80 and counting in 2019

Let the ink spill between the cracks.
On paper and walls, on cardboard signs held by frozen hands. Oh Chicago!

Let me write poems
For the voters who say yes to walls
With a big fuck you instead of a thank you
For the LGBT let’s add the Q without question and for the closeted you
Signed, I Love You
For the lonely you
For the darkness of you
For the lip syncing you
For the tongue swallowing you
For the unprotected sexy you

So let me write my ass off for you
And yours and them and theirs
Then when I’m done

Burn it all down
to the fucking ground

What ignited a revolution?

July 4, 2019

editors note: God bless ours and all countries where someone writes their ass off and the rest of us read them. – mh clay

A LONGSHOT BET PAYS OFF by Bradford Middleton

We had a camp outside our shop
A camp for the great unwashed, those made homeless
By our crazy rental prices
They’ve got problems that’s for sure
As rumours circulate about some very bad stuff being done
Because heroin and vodka is never a good mix

Then one day last week I was stood on the check-out
When in walked one of them with a fresh crisp brand new
Five pound note in his hand
He walked right up and ordered a scratch card
All his money was going to go on what generally works out
To be nothing but a waste of money

But this time he won, only his money back but to put it mildly
I was happy as I couldn’t understand why anyone would spend their last penny on such things
He then shocked me to my core as he ordered another one
Before again disappearing outside
As he scratched away a cheer went up and he walked back in

The most recent card returned almost a week’s pay for me
And at the end of my shift as I walked on out
It was clear what it had been spent on
A gaggle of homeless asleep, nodding out whilst all around chaos screamed through
Sirens wailed as they got strung-out, resting at last

July 3, 2019

editors note: A desperate double-down derives delightful delirium. – mh clay

hungover and awakening to the neighbor’s asshole dog by John Grochalski

hungover and awakening
to the neighbor’s asshole dog

staring at me
then barking at me
as i lift kitchen blinds

with the scent of stale vodka and wine
burning my nostrils

my head a cartography
of potholes and fill-in-the-blanks
from the previous evening

the way it stands there
cold black eyes
white muppet face

owning my aural landscape
until it condescends to forget me
and take its shit

the mutt’s owner
shrugging down an apology
while playing on his cell phone

i shut the blind
and return myself
into the pale gray blue
of lightless linoleum

and know
that while not all humans
commit murder

all humans must surely understand
the pure pleasure involved

in murderous intent.

July 2, 2019

editors note: Dogs, douche-bags, divas; a little intent don’t hurt nobody. – mh clay

Nocturne by Sanjeev Sethi

Within an indicium
of imperfections
we have to seek
our peace.
If the search
is only for fault lines
our chase
will never cease.
It is the tempo
of waves
never to tire.
Altering tidelines
is their anthem.

July 1, 2019

editors note: Stop faltering on flaws. We gain character with every crack. – mh clay

That One Day Mid-Winter by Brian Wood

On your own terms, when you can go
Inside any time you like, and the sun
Is high and tall, and the wind is low,
Something dreamlike about winter,
Something of eternity.

As if after death your soul would
Still be dreaming, and you’d live
On as a sun dog, all the rays
Reflecting, each to each. No way
To tell which one shone the brightest
Or had the most vivid streaks.

But tough to think of this on that one day
Mid-winter when it gets dark at two,
The wind slicing, and for the last
Few minutes you’ve been looking
For the shallow end of a slush lake,
One mile long and two miles wide.

As children we are told, whether we care
Or not, that there are two parts
To every story, and each coin has two
Sides. No one believes this at heart.
No one really takes this in,

Except, maybe, in winter, that day
The sun says ‘Excuse me,’ and rises late,
And weakly. By noon you have lost all hope.
And yet after twelve the sky is so blue
Your heart leaps, catching you quite

Off guard, and the wind died down
When you weren’t looking, and
Now what snow is left on the fields
Shines so bright you can barely look,
Everything white, perfect, and forever.

June 30, 2019

editors note: Two sides to faith when we can’t describe it; hot and cold, winter and summer, life and… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read Showerless comes to us from Chris Wilkensen & packs more punch than a high-powered shower!

Here’s what Short Story Editor, Tyler Malone​ has to say about Chris’ story:

“I want my mess to join your mess and let’s make a massive mess together: that’s the maddest definition of love.”

Here’s a lil dip into these prose waters to give ya the gist of what you’re about to be showered with:

(photo “Street Styled”  by Tyler Malone)

This train is a church in both its movements and its congregation. No one dares interrupt the silence. Metal rolling over rusted metal. Outside the scenery passes by like life to a teenager: fleeting but feeling never-ending. Most passengers wish they could be anywhere else to feel anything else, to feel something other than strictly operational. At each stop people straggle off, mostly alone, onto their next journey.

New passengers come aboard. She hovers over me. She breathes harder and heavier. No other free seats. Her pink hair raises my own arm-hair. I move my bag to the ground for her to sit. She only eyes my phone. A blank screen that reflects her face. No makeup, freckles. Thin, rough skin covers her well-proportioned face.

I take a deep breath. That’s when the stench smacks me. I look at her and cough.

“Sorry, I haven’t taken a shower in a few days now,” she whispers. The suits and skirts around focused even harder on their cell phones…

Get soaked in “Showerless” right here!

••• Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of July (aka 07.03.19) Mad Swirl whirled up our open mic madness! All you Poet-riots and Creative Conspirators, came to celebrate a revolution, the birth of a nation of free expression! “Yes!” prevailed and “No” vanquished when ALL Y’ALL stood up to be heard; your poems, your songs, your selves in all your Googily-Eyed Glory!

HUGE GRATS & shout out to all you mad poets, performers, artists and musicians who helped swirl us up some googily madness!


Johnny O
MH Clay


Chris Curiel (trumpet)
Max Oepen (drums)
Ed McMahon (guitar)

Mad Mic Cast:

Johnny Olson
MH Clay
Chris Zimmerly
Opalina Salas
Brett “BA” Ardoin
Suza Kanon
Carlos Salas
Monni Devine
Harry McNabb
Tamitha Curiel

~ intermission ~

Roderick Richardson
Tom Farris
Susan Duval
Matt Bagley
Tony Robinson
Cypher Wynters
Imari Traimonn
Jay Holland
Don Juan

HUGE thanks to the the fine folks at Ruins. Specifically bartender Jimbo, sound dude Nick & promoter Matt!

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

May the madness swirl your way! ’til next 1st Wednesday…

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 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…


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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