The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.22.20

by on February 23, 2020 :: 0 comments

“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.

Barbara Januszkiewicz

••• The Mad Gallery •••

”Victim” ~ Nawwar Morelli

To see all of Nawwar’s mind bending works, as well as our other featured artists (47 in all!), visit Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we pined no more for mother, tree, or ocean floor; we let cold suffice for a muse on ice; we froze our dreams of care to love a toxic bear; we ragged on a mean swan; we gave a gift with pride to a disinherited bride; we did some backward harkening to days of telemarketing; we tried to remember a vivid past, we wrote to make the memory last. No write, no flight! ~ MH Clay

I Think That’s Where I Put Them by David P. Kozinski

If I were not still landlocked, in a state
between states
I would be forgiven all my lying-in
so long ago
That was a few years into a prescription.
I learned to nap in an armchair,
narrow, upholstered,
under the Herald-Tribune.

To my left, a step up to a French door
and outside a balcony.
Below, a shaded garden, walled
the way they all were in that old tourist town.
My best stories follow the white pebbles
past snails that dream of the Duchy of Escargots
and on to the pavilion, its ping pong table
and rickety spinet with a few keys like nailless fingers.

° ° °

Time liquefies, stretches like light.
What’s left are forgetting and travel
and always peaks and glens
cut into a world that can be water, gas or ice.
Unlocked, a channel reveals
an island monastery
where I looked back from a great height.
Like everybody, I write what I remember;

the blue heat of adolescence
rising fast from the west and up my limbs,
sopping shoes pushing up worn stone stairs
as the rain slid down them like a fountain,
dining in the fading light on Brittany lamb, tasting
of the sea salt that washed the fodder
those babies ate, and below
the current gray and forever in flux.

February 22, 2020

editors note: We write what we remember… (We welcome David to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Disconnected by Paul Smith

Telemarketers have it easy
compared to how it was
four or six hour shifts of nonstop rejection
now an automated assistant answers
when you pick up your phone
no one is there
to absorb those projectiles of
bile spewing from your mouth
no one could take it much longer
than that
I did, though
I needed work
sometimes after a shift I was giddy
people claimed I was different
I sold radio time
lied that we were
‘the Paul Harvey station’
we weren’t
I didn’t care
I got a paycheck
straight commission
drank machine brewed coffee
in cups with playing cards on them
the bottom of the cup had your hole card
what do telemarketers do now?
they no longer recite their pitch
you push a button
get one of them
who, without any energy
any backbone
any moxie
takes your credit card number
doesn’t even have to tape the close
and if you mouth off
he hangs up
That can’t be any fun

February 21, 2020

editors note: Consumer rage reduced to quiescent compliance. Oh, for the good ole days… – mh clay

WEDDING SONG by Robert Demaree

His neighbor’s sister is
Someone’s second wife,
Joy postponed, subdued;
But her mother,
Suspicious, surrounded by cats, had
Darkly demanded explanations,
Disowned the proper word,
Had there been something to pass on.
Helen doesn’t come up anymore.
He remembers taking his mother,
In her last days,
To an antique shop
To buy a wedding gift,
As if to make a point.

February 20, 2020

editors note: Spirited spunk, spent on spite. – mh clay

The Trouble with Swanns by Beau Blue

Swans are mean…
meaner than geese
and mallards and mangy dogs,
cats or little girls chasing
butterflies with a net…
Just plain mean
and stubborn and sometimes
dumber than posts
and when they’re noisy
run away quickly ’cause
they bite and spit when they’re yelling…
Like men…

(The woman behind him is Emily Swann)

February 19, 2020

editors note: Oh, My! Emily, what did you do? – mh clay

Kuddle by Joseph M. Gant

some of us
love teddy bears
full of glass
and tetanus,
with lips of hepatitis
and these lullabies
of reaching smiles.

we dream away the frost of Winter,
pulling knives from memory
to freeze
the blood
we plunge into the snow.

February 18, 2020

editors note: When comfort comes in the clutch of cold. – mh clay

MUSE ON ICE by Patty Dickson Pieczka

Strange alphabets fall
from my chattering teeth
to land on this blanket of shadows.

Ice-minded thoughts
turn dreams to stone.
I chip at the unbreakable,

find the muse encased in an icicle
like a violet, her voice sparking
a thousand colors in the sun.

The day cracks and shatters
into crystals as she dances out.
Diamonds and emeralds ring their bells.

She sings with this music
of chapels and says love
can never be preserved in ice,

scatters ideas like snowflakes,
white birds, cottonwood seeds,
each unique and delicately carved.

Time frozen in my fist
melts and slips away.

Her breath carries traces
of trade winds.

February 17, 2020

editors note: The wiles of winter will have their way, just a little longer… – mh clay

From The Heart by S. A. Gerber

For C.R.R.

Like a calf
strayed from
its mother,
like an apple
rolled from its
Like a conch shell
alone on the ocean’s
I am abandoned,
without you with
The state of loneliness
can never be mocked,
nor can it be endured.
Especially when feelings
have grown so real,
and love has so deeply
Here is one from the heart,
soft and sensitive,
like they say I never write…
because now I see, past
my lonely, dark soul,
your face in golden

February 16, 2020

editors note: My tree, my tree, your apple I be. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read today, don’t pass on by… Mad Swirl has got what you’re hankerin’ for!

This week’s featured story, They’ve All Passed On comes to us from longtime Contributing Writer & Poet, Ruth Z. Deming.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this:

“Life creates death, over and over. Always. It doesn’t always go so sideways, but it always reaches the same conclusion, the same ending all of our stories have it if you tell them long enough.”

Ruth’s tale starts off like this:

The Reedman house had been empty since the old man died. He and his wife June fell in love with it when it was part of Land Tract No. 19. He continued with his welding job, a strong man with a stubbly beard helping build ships at the Navy Yard.

Then June starting coughing. The walls of their bungalow rang with her rhythmic coughs. Floyd would place his hand on her chest and press down. Each cough sounded like a bellows from a furnace.

She was one of those women who didn’t like doctors.

“Go to a doctor,” she told Floyd, “and they’ll likely kill you.”

In time, the coughing passed, and Floyd put a down payment on the house to be built in the middle of Cumberland Way in one of those up-and-coming suburbs in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

“Floyd, you done good,” said his beautiful June. They would stop and visit once a week to see how it was coming along.

They’d tiptoe inside making sure they didn’t fall between any loose boards.

Out came the picnic lunch.

Dainty egg salad sandwiches, cut in quarters, on white Strohman Bread –two bottles of thirst-quenching beer – and for dessert, Peanut Butter Tastycakes.

They’d snuggle in each other’s arms, then walk carefully around the house which smelled of fresh pine wood, and pick out where the four bedrooms would go.

It surprised them when June became pregnant.

She visited Dr. Rothman in the old neighborhood.

At the end of the exam, he called her into his office.

“Mrs. Reedman,” he said. “Do you realize you are bearing twins?”

Her hands flew up to her cheeks. “Oh, no!” she shrieked. “How can we ever afford it?”

The doctor promised to give her discounted services.

He knew Floyd had won a Purple Heart in World War Two.

Tim and Tom were born. Cute little buggers. And then came the next crop of twins. Carl and Charles.

How proud the Reedmans were parading their children down Cumberland Way in their perambulators.

“Ain’t life bee-you-ti-ful?” Floyd asked his bride.

Neither of them remembered when her cough returned. They let it rumble inside her quite a while. Why ruin the best days of their lives?

She died in her bed while staring at the television…

You’ve come this far so why not get the rest of your read on 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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