The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.04.20

by January 5, 2020 0 comments

“The world dies over and over again, but the skeleton always gets up and walks.”

Henry Miller

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Objectification ~ Alan Gann

Check out ALL of Alan’s social-commentary collages, as well as our other featured artists (46 total!) at our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe heard the wail in a boomer’s tale; we took a pledge to quit when dead; we painted the scene of a New Year’s Eve; we resolved to carry chances scary; we shlepped through the slew of a Euro-stew; we saw animals all through a transparent wall; we divulged the dossier of a secretive saucier. Cheers, New Years! ~ MH Clay

She Won’t Let Me Cook by Mike Zone

Check the sauce
my girlfriend
would never allow me to
I’ve got ingredients with no business
belonging in the meal we’ve got cooking
conventional taste and crafty wisdom
on a collision course toward dinner unknown
things are boiling over
a real pot boiler
like the plot against humanity
did someone say I shouldn’t be checking the sauce?
You like sweetness in dreams?
How about a sour reality?
This isn’t exactly a feast of friends but more a famine of fiends
I’ll take those ribs though…
them missing ribs
from long ago
gathered in ancient gravy
let’s get cookin’
with some extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper to match pineapple sensations
mushroom stoked visions
how’d you know I was going there?
spreading seeds of various plants and herbs of the sort in the ever-varying meat matter stew
stirring up conflict,
a big ol’ slop of whatever
this crockpot is full and unmoving
better dump that sauce in there
tiny crawfish still moving
vacant blackened eyes aghast with scalding horror melting immediate vision
but at least…
them mushrooms
them visions
psychedelic sonar hitting them antennas…
shit, girlfriend’s back in the kitchen
I wasn’t supposed to check the sauce

January 4, 2020

editors note: What’s the secret in YOUR sauce? – mh clay

see thru the wall if that’s what there is to do on a night like this by J. D. Nelson

the fox walking
a cold burn to sleep

you might be the leopard
go thru the desk drawers

starve the bacon button
the coughing is the hum

the trash can upbeat
skipping the frog

January 3, 2020

editors note: What do you have to do with fox, leopard, bacon, or frog? Well, what? – mh clay

Europa by Walter Ruhlmann

A Mercedes registered in Sweden
driven by a Russian oligarch;
Olga high on coke and booze
snoozes on the passenger seat.

A violent Catalan separatist
trysts with a Franco-nostalgic
in a Barcelona tapas bar
car-bombed last year.

A forty-year-old French bankster,
former merchant bank wheeler-
dealer, propelled high up, elected
select president, liberal dictator.

A dingy life-boat maroons
on a lonely Grecian island,
landlords expel the castaways
way too brown to be housed.

A German shepherdess blesses
austere Lutheran rags,
drags dark omens,
menaces her bewildered sheep.

A drove of faces, as many
twenty-first-century aliases
outnumber the page space,
pace the continent’s surface.

January 2, 2020

editors note: We’re all we’ve got. Let’s figure it out… – mh clay

All Hate Day by Rob Dyer

catch the moment
scattered presents telling truths
and quiet Love speaking
to a World of misguided reasoning, poised
to ignore and accept in seasonal warmth

yes, cooler winds will return, chilling
theatrical playpens around the Global stage
and right will have to wait another year
but for a moment, the faces will be the same
alien eyes will not see disparity
my dog will not be bigger than yours
and instant forgiveness can hold the beast at bay

perhaps a trend can be broken
and Christmas Year will find its way
All Hate Day can be the new order, victorious
ruinations can be gifted in a single event,
eliminating the need for disingenuous Love

and wouldn’t Madison Avenue thank us all,
as we truly could not get enough

I think I will surrender the folly of New Year’s Resolutions
and try a Year of New resolutions, each day a chance
to rid an ill-placed notion or drop a slanted catchphrase
maybe see things your way one day and deliver a pizza
to Domino’s

no sense kidding myself with another diet plan
sure to be abused by the third quarter of the Super Bowl
let’s go for it all
one massive set up for failure, as kind thoughts
upon sweet dreams
into an impossibility of being
more than I know I can ever be

I don’t mind carrying the extra weight

January 1, 2020

editors note: Yes, each day a chance. Carry THAT weight. – mh clay

Hush by Beate Sigriddaughter

the world is just
it is time
to listen
and to fall in love again

with a poem perhaps
an unlikely rock star
a tango dancer’s liquid eyes
my husband’s long hair

with snow on ladybugs
all huddled on agave
leaves against
the frost high up
on Eighty Mountain

with crisp scent of pine

while memories skip
over cobblestones
and black paper lanterns
carried in procession
a candle shining through
colored transparency
magic from city center
around the castle
along the moat

and back home

rain slows down
to snow
in silent celebration

December 31, 2019

editors note: On this last Eve of the year, the world awaits what we’ll make of what we see… – mh clay

4 Packs of Cigarettes by Hirak Dasgupta

4 x 10 that’s forty!
death seeks asylum
one breath at a time

O! I’m meaning to go out
like a blazing old cannon
smirk on the face!
scoff on the lips!
And a whole rib cage full of
ashes for flesh!

I thought you’d ask me to stop
but you didn’t
Ruth! Let me vanish in the river in autumn!

December 30, 2019

editors note: Oof! Or maybe we’ll resolve, once more. OK, Ruth? – mh clay

BOOMERS by John L. Yelavich

They braced for the age of turbulence,
felt betrayed by current extremes,
society changed too fast for them,
proud traditions were cast aside.
Feeling weak like vulnerable prey,
fearing their voices no longer heard,
soon to be victims of the deranged.

Angry, they pointed fingers of blame,
hopeless feelings numbed their senses.
Maddened by loutish talking heads,
touting pompous principles,
boomers have become strangled
by dubious run-on threads.

Eloquent ideas enlightened their views
as they fueled turmoil and unrest,
their voices shouted from Chicago to LA,
today, fiery debate is but a dim flame.

As flowers wilt, hair turns gray,
they want only one more chance,
to taste the truth, dismiss the lies
refute the lows and ride the highs,
realize starry dreams without remorse,
find sparkling sunshine in which to bask.

Cold, steel gray days of the millennium,
are a wasteland where clarity has to wait,
and a prophetic sign may come too late.
Peace love and protest of the sixties,
remain their monuments to the past.

December 29, 2019

editors note: How it came to be. OK, or not! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Mad Swirl closed out our 2019 Need-a-Read series with an aptly named short titled Mad Swirl by Contributing Writer Susie Gharib!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this Mad homage:

“All the world’s a swirl, or at least we like to think so. But it’s only when you realize the whole mad swirl of everything begins… now. “

Here’s a bit of Susie’s Swirl of a story:

(photo “Twist. Walk. Swirl.” by Tyler Malone)

“Out of concern her family keeps a constant watch over her, the youngest leaf on an ancient tree, so very eager to flutter with the slightest breeze. Filial feelings dictate on nearby twigs to sermonize the little chick whose veins contain the thinnest blood. Deep-rooted in the soil, her father is keen on having his fretful kid enjoy a gravity-free life, far above trampling hooves and ruthless feet. A vigil is kept on the motion of Mad Swirl, her epithet for wanting to waltz with the wildest wind, jeopardizing her existence like Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid. Mad Swirl pines away as she daily observes how a drop of evening dew gracefully slides down her cheeks to disappear into the mysterious earth. A passing bird that fans her heavy heart with its beating wings shows her the essence of aerial liberty. To slake her thirst for premature death, her sisters entertain her with tales of how all tree leaves are earth-bound when Autumn comes around, the arboreal day of judgment. They will all embark on a journey whose destination is determined by the whim of a wanton wind, to mat a street, a river, or a pond with beautiful swans in it…”

Get the whole Mad Swirl of this story… NOW!


Saturday’s Need-a-Read tale came to us from a VERY longtime Contributing writer, Jim Meirose! (10 years and counting!)

Jim’s piece, Waitress, Please! I’ll Have the Bit-chop! will get your brain-unit jumbled up quite nicely. Short Story Editor Tyler Malone summed it up perfectly:

“Language, we’d be better off without it. We’d have nothing but time to explain what we really want out of life.”

(photo “Chopped Bits” by Tyler Malone)

See what Tyler means by digging into this juicy piece of bouncing prose 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

P.S. ‘t’was 21 years ago today that we three dreamed up this thing called Mad Swirl​! Back in 1999 we never thought that over two decades later this creative love-child would still be goin’ & growin’.

(l-r: Johnny Olson, Lisa Carmen, Cheyenne Gallion)

Huge MAD grats to ALL who have colored our Swirl world thru the years. Without all our editors and all you poets, writers, artists and performers spanning this beatific blue orb, we wouldn’t be here now. Keep on shining bright, exploding across the stars like the fabulous roman candles that you are and we will be here, as always, AWWW’n you on!

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