The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.29.20

by on March 1, 2020 :: 0 comments

“One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.


••• The Mad Gallery •••

”Defiance” ~ Nawwar Morelli

With this one, we close out Nawwar’s feature set. And what a feature his work has been! But don’t fret, we will hopefully being seeing more mad works from Nawwar soon! Until then, stay tuned for our next featured artist coming your way next week!

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 faced a need; we twice made love; we slept (not) rough; we tried good deeds; we rose (not) above; we burned bad stuff; we tortilla wrapped a greedy sap. Like we saw it, so we called it.~ MH Clay

Feeding the Worms by Jeff Bagato

The tortilla of happiness
can wrap anyone’s burrito
in a blanket of glee;
a soft carapace to hold back vitals
while they head for the teeth;
the grinder pulps hand rolls
and hamburgs alike;
a pineapple’s the same as
a marshmallow when
the pressure is on;
the squeezer, the chopper,
the burn bag, the scythe—
all flatline everyman
to a little pile of ash—
a light load in the end
for all the fillings
and greed of a lifetime

February 29, 2020

editors note: Leave a tip before you go. – mh clay

Because Everything is Just Great by Samantha Hawkins

Or very fortuitous at least, and getting better
by the haphazard minute

And chocolate is still decent. Reality television
still better than reality

The mundane is more beautiful than ever
Babies are brilliant and smooth

We are what we think and I think we are okay

I think we are clear for take-off. And the runway
points to nothing but perfect sky

Everything has wheels, but not everything has brakes

Books are delicious. Any books, really.
Especially matchbooks

Because like I said everything is just great. And
whatever isn’t

I will gladly burn to a low pile of ashes

February 28, 2020

editors note: Keep smiling and your matches dry. – mh clay

Wanting to be better by Thomas Cantu

You want to be better.

That should be obvious from the title.

But you don’t know how.

If you knew, you would be.

You want to be better.

But for some damn reason, you aren’t.

It could be your family problems.

The fact that your brother no longer exists for you.

That might be it.

The fact that your parents no longer love each other. And you being a product of their love brings your worth in their eyes into question.

That might be it.

Your faith is shaken. It is called into question by total strangers and those closest to you. You thought a crisis of faith would be loud and obvious. But you never expected it to be quiet and subtle.

That might be it.

You want to love someone but you find that no one wants your love. Sex isn’t exactly what you want. You want a connection. But no one seems to have a spot in their life for you.

That might be it.

Your entire upbringing is being slammed by every social outlet. If you speak up you’re cast among the damned. You are not welcome because you have a different opinion. You’re backward and obsolete. You don’t have anything to contribute to the world at large.

That might be it.

Maybe the life you’ve experienced has shown you that nothing matters so why even try.

That might be it.

I’m trying to be better.

I really am…

February 27, 2020

editors note: Full disclosure, just to help “you.” – mh clay

I keep trying by Arif Ahmad

I keep trying harder and harder
adding one wrong to another
piling mine over theirs
hoping that
come a day they might
add up to become a right

February 26, 2020

editors note: Can’t up the game with downs. – mh clay

Before We Left by Jonathan Butcher

The sun rises craftily, as we drag that mattress
through the abandoned car park with the same
fragile film across our over-worked eyes. That
last sliver of high, that gradually settles through our
back-bones, and leaves us greedy for the light behind.

We settle amongst the patches of grass and dandelions,
that shake seeds like snow storms. We compare misadventures
with the usual hint of competition, that will only wilt when recognised.
Our skin prepares for reconditioning, to hide those all too frequent

A slight shatter of glass at our feet brings us round,
our knees lift us back down that unpolished path,
that offers a dim light you refused to accept, leaving
us without doubt, that this would ever repeat; our
presence to be muttered in whispers, by no one else
accept ourselves.

February 25, 2020

editors note: A hangover hijacked by a sudden need for speed. – mh clay

2 Haiku by Sigrid Bergie Feliciano

In deep love, there is
A sad silence. My tear has
No sound. Where are you?


I can’t go with you.
Our bed sheet curves with your sleep.
Moonlit husband transit.

February 24, 2020

editors note: Two, linked by love and longing. – mh clay

Her starving face by Hem Raj Bastola

Winter smell:
Asphalt echoes, on the road.
And I am begging beside:
The alms of life.

A battered soul,
Endangered to live.
And a beleaguered life,
Whose inward battle, looking for;
A foothold to rescue
An injured life, again.

Butchered heart
Collecting debris of,
A broken love, to re-arrange;
Stitching the wounds.
And an emulating hope,
To immolate the pain,
Trying to recuperate:
Her starving face.

February 23, 2020

editors note: Begging AND choosing… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s Need-a-Read at Mad Swirl comes to us from longtime Contributing Writer Jenean McBrearty.

Short Story Editor Tyler Malone summed up Prescott Endures quite nicely:

“Sit down and open up. Crack open your brain and pry open your heart and let others thrive in your life.”

To see what he means, here’s a few lines from Jenean’s psychological tale:

(photo “Staying Power” by Tyler Malone)

The second psychiatrist I spoke with was Dr. Knowit —Barbara Gowers, the first, committed suicide at 6:00 pm and I left at 5:45. With such a suggestive name, how could I not investigate his schtick? I had as many questions as I had nonsense answers for his. For this diagnostic session, I cleaned up well, according to my mother.  

“Did you put on fresh underwear, Prescott?” was her only interrogatory when I appeared shaved, smooth skull, and dressed in beige Dockers, plaid shirt and tie.

“I’m not going to date him, but yes, my briefs are right-out-of-the-Walmart package new, and lawyerly,” I replied. I bathed also, instead of wearing patchouli and Brut aftershave. Why Brut? The brand name harkens back to an old-timey whiff of a barbarian’s armpit. 

Yet, mother look crest-fallen.

“What’s the matter now?” 

“Nothing, except that you look normal. Dr. Knowit won’t see how your mental illness has ravaged your identity. He’s going to think you have adolescent angst instead of full-blown psychosis,” she said. “Remember to tell him about your Zap magazines and your fondness for ice-cream and ketchup.”

“If I forget, you won’t, Mother. I’m sure he’ll talk to you privately about insurance coverage, and blame all my symptoms on you. Remember to tell him how you beat me with an extension cord.”

“Prescott! I never beat you with anything!”

You wanna get this rest of this read? Slide on over to here and finish off Prescott Endures

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl Open Mic THE 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.04.20) at 8:00 SHARP as we swirl it up one last time at Top Ten Records!

(be there & be one of the first on your block to know about where our new mic home will be!)

To kick things off, 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 is located at 338 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208


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

Leave a Reply