The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.26.19

by October 27, 2019 0 comments

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”

Sylvia Plath

••• The Mad Gallery •••

DON JOE ~ Mario Loprete

To see ALL of Mario’s mad-nificent works, 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 shuddered with fright when they turned out the lights; we yeeked belief from this nonsense reef; we wrote romance from a snowball’s chance; we framed some floats from gnat-built boats; we let love flow from all we know; we watched tears dry o’er love gone by; we did the dance ‘tween fate and chance. In the time it takes for ink to dry, our words fall flat or lift and fly.~ MH Clay

When the grieving mother asked, the rabbi replied by Alan Gann

We are not jazzless angels
every harp note perfect and predictable, every chess game
a draw. Freewill cannot dazzle if every foul choice turns gold.

Hunger gnaws and starvation
a mountain lion invisible against the rocks.
Claws celebrate emaciated flesh
so we plow and plant
but the god equation is not so simple as
a good life equals a good life. Rains turn
on a butterfly’s hiccup.

Sometimes children lose hair to chemo because water flows
through lead or perhaps a gamma-ray spun off from a distant star—
capricious freedom. Mothers could die
young enough they never pose difficult questions nor lose
young names in setting sun.

Suppose the world a coke commercial, everyone
singing, holding hands, and sweet fizzy drinks didn’t make you crave
another and another until insulin shots circle like vultures.

Beauty sans purpose is boring as certainty. Healthy forests
need wildfire and satisfying years need
2nd period bullets, outlawed loves, unjust lash. Bombs clinging
to hopeless chests, desire for more more
trumping children of the poor.

And what of love?
Imaginary, impossible
if we did not throw while the coin spins high
all our money on the table.
Place your bets; hold your breath.

We do not have to, crust will not collapse. We get to
say maybe, just maybe, bend the universe imperceptible—
hallelujah a prayer of sweet,
sweet sweat— muscles obeying best they can or not.
Revel in unpredictable effort.
Pity jazzless angels— no reason to wake except to praise.

October 26, 2019

editors note: Natural selection or improvisation? Yes, place your bets now. – mh clay

The Curse Of Clocks by Paul Sexton

I have cursed the clocks
a hundred thousand times
since her death,
and still
time won’t run backward.

I can’t recapture
the days that we had!

It’s just this slog forward
towards old age
and change,
away from the glory of love.

In time,
even the poet’s tears
grow silent.

The puddles

What was
absolutely is farther away.

And what is
definitely is what is.

October 25, 2019

editors note: From bone to stone; what is of what was. – mh clay

All I know by Mike Zone

this is all I know
I’m sorry
speaking indirectly to you
“painting with words” as you say
Fortunately- is falling in love
Unfortunately- is not being very good at it
it’s a terrifying wilderness the human heart
colliding with the pulsating quantum mind
who knew such peaks and valleys existed
until we met
exploring such an intense landscape
scars, desire, intimacy, sacredness

October 24, 2019

editors note: Deep breath. Eyes open (always open)… Jump! – mh clay

Arks by Scott Waters

I drop a pebble in the pond
and watch a gnat
heaved toward the shore
by forces it does not understand,
a two-centimeter-high ripple
carrying the creature and its tiny fears

the same way those baffled humans
got swept one mild Sunday morning
from fishing villages and tourist resorts
into the wide, pitiless sea,

the same way we are all carried
by the rolling tide of history

except that—

we are the gnats
who build boats

and when asked by a voice
whispering down from the high country
to do something desperately different

to set ourselves apart
from the blind cacophony of chaos

we have been known
to build


October 23, 2019

editors note: And unafraid to pick our pairs… – mh clay

First Love by Bhargab Chatterjee

The snowball beside the dry twig still possesses the warmth of the child’s palms like first love. Though the child passed carelessly towards a warm place with his parents.

October 22, 2019

editors note: Koan of consequence. – mh clay

is that the brain in the sink? by J. D. Nelson

the results from the inside of the earth
earth is a language machine

that stellar earth is a nonsense reef
the tree is a machine

that singing kiss is the liquid face
mars was a mess when I arrived

olaf the pen was a good night welcome
and he yeeks the letters in the words

October 21, 2019

editors note: What YOUR pen’s name? Yeek, indeed! (We welcome J.D. to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Pictures by Milenko Županović

of extinguished
in the night
to infinity
of darkness.

October 20, 2019

editors note: Smile up to the stars. Say “Cheese!” – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read comes to us from Mad Swirl Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist, Chuck Taylor!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Chuck’s 201 word short-short, “Make My Day:

“All it takes in this expansive world is to open your eyes. I swear, there will be something to smile about.”

(photo “Get in the Bed, Loser” by Tyler Malone)

We think Chuck’s story will make your day just like it made ours. Give it a read right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Mark your calendars to join Mad Swirl Open Mic THIS 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.06.19) at 8:00 SHARP as we swirl it up at once again at Top Ten Records!

This month we will be Swirl-abrating our 15 year of open mic Mad-ness! We can’t believe that all those years have slipped by since we first hosted our event at Absinthe Lounge back in 2004. Such fine Mad mic memories from back then and a whole lotta new ones to make!

To kick things off, Chris Curiel’s Swirve will start us off with some Mad musical grooves. After that, hosts Johnny O & MH Clay will invite all y’all to join in & share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities.

Come to participate.

Come to appreciate.

Come to Swirl-abrate!

Come be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl Open Mic.

Top Ten Records’ mission is to develop and sustain a piece of Oak Cliff history as a resource for media literacy and cultural study, while preserving, restoring, and making available to the public an archive of music and film through the retail shop, the library project, the Texas Music Archive project, and small cultural events like concerts, film screenings, workshops, and classes.


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…

Am’n It Up,

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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