The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.28.20

by March 29, 2020 0 comments

“Every artist seems to me to have the job of bearing witness to the world we live in.

Jane Rule

••• The Mad Gallery •••

FlightAlan Murphy

To see all of Alan’s calmly chaotic collages, as well as our other former featured artists (48 in all!), visit Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we felt Mom’s cool hand when the fever ran; we swept up a past of broken glass; we gave a nod to the eye of god; we heard a bird speak a German word; we went street-wild with a bastard child; we watched a death of plastic breath; we gained some hope from a naked dope. Hands to brooms to blinks to birds, we hung it all on written words. ~ MH Clay

The Hopefulist by Chuck Taylor

Comes on stage with a rag
tied over his groin and through
his legs to cover the crack
in his ass. The spotlight is
on him in the darkened hall
and he starts telling a story
and soon the goosebumps that
were on the naked man have flown
from his body and bloom on
the arms, legs and shoulders
of the audience. Soon the
shivers slide over into smiles
of laughter. The Hopefulist
is now lifting them out of the
hole he’d set them in. They are
making their way up on the
hope of words, the line of
plot in his tale, the rope he
has thrown down. When they
are back in the light, returned
to their seats, no one seems to
mind, as the story works its
way to its lifting close, that
they are the ones naked and
revealed now. The Hopefulist,
in a black tuxedo and a top hat,
takes his bow and quickly exits.

March 28, 2020

editors note: Enjoy him when he’s here. Be him when he’s not. – mh clay

the intake is exhaust by Tom Pescatore

cat leaves a lasting impression on
windowsill. the wind steals into
the room through the screen. not
enough to cool my sweat. the motion
of the cars outside is static. an accident
leaves a man groaning on the sidewalk.
a woman asks did you see?
I thought
it was a bumper, he looked plastic. he
was dying. if I’d seen it move then maybe.
a body leaves an impression in the
grass. cars continue crunching fragments
of glass. the impression is his last
breath. the intake is exhaust.

March 27, 2020

editors note: It’s all plastic… until it’s us. – mh clay

Subculture Degenerate by Paul Tristram

Swaggering up the Evening’s Thoroughfare,
then staggering back lanes come the morning
… I’ve started audio-hallucinating Sirens?
There are many different meanings to a ‘Smile’
when living between the Emergency Rooms,
Public Taverns, and City’s Custody Suites
… and not one of them resembles Happiness.
Yesterday, I caught myself, a-flirting
absent-mindedly, whilst cadging a fag,
with an unkempt, wearily-pretty thing
stood smoking outside the STD Clinic gates
… she chuckled, cutely, when she observed
‘Reality’ finally invade my bloodshot eyes.
I am a ‘Gutter-Sponge’ of the darkest order,
my purpose is to Absorb and Regurgitate.
Society gets the poetry it fucking-well deserves
… and I’m the Bastard, Step-child of that Fury.

March 26, 2020

editors note: Quick! Get your catch bucket. – mh clay

The Absurd Ass Bird by Peter Harter

The most ass-bird thing one could observe
Is the fluttering of the absurd ass bird
Pecking around a single word
This word should be interred for token
Slur from this word inferred
Savagely rough-aged and ill-spoken
He circled as if one wing was broken
He scraped his beak across the curb
Throwing sparks he squared at sharps
Jumped upon and posted jargon
Wingbeat talon eyeball saltpeter
Screeching while dancing on a parking meter
He looked me straight in the eye.
Crooked and cocked his beady head.
Absurdly said he the word he said
Ach! It’s from the German.

March 25, 2020

editors note: Ja! Es ist “lächerlich.” – mh clay

failed portraits by Mike Zone

what if something is real
and we’re all plugged in
and the system itself
who stays in?
are we dead or not
when discarded?
consumption and communion
is it love?
What are we feasting on
but life and sensation?
Who was the eye of god
based in the center
of you and me?

March 24, 2020

editors note: Gods to see in your eyes only. – mh clay

Fragments by Milenko Županović

of the past
in reflection
of mirrors
of the apostles
of the day.

March 23, 2020

editors note: Dustpan days. – mh clay

Take a Seat, Mom by Irena Pasvinter

Take a seat, Mom, at my bedside,
Put your cool hand
On my burning forehead.
Tell me it will pass — only a flu —
Bring me a cup of tea and the pills,
Note the time I take them.
Lecture me on what I did wrong —
If only I had followed your advice…
Cook the chicken soup
And make sure I eat it.
Burst in a flurry of maternal rites,
Drive me mad in no time.
What am I — a perpetual baby?

Take a seat, Mom, at my bedside,
Even though you are no longer here.
Let me imagine your cool hand
On my burning forehead.

March 22, 2020

editors note: We could use her cool hand about now… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

We bet’cha Need-a-Read that is NOT CV19 related & Mad Swirl has got Ninja Egg by Contributing Writer & Poet Harry Mcnabb to fill that bill!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick of the week:

Be the boy who can lay eggs out of his butt that you want to see in the world.

Here’s a teaser to get you in the mad mindset of Harry’s beatifically twisted tale:

(photo “I Did It All for the Cookie” by Tyler Malone)

In science class, the teacher was telling us that human beings can’t lay eggs and that only chickens can lay eggs, but I piped up, “Humans can lay eggs, you’re wrong, you stupid teacher!”

The teacher said, “Well, that’s what all the smartest people in the world say is true and you can prove it through science. You can poop shit out of your butt, but you can’t poop eggs. Case closed, dweeb.”

But I was like, “Screw you, chump, I’ve laid eggs before!” I started taking off my clothes, while saying, “I’ll show you, I’ll show you, I’ll show you!”

I went to the back of the classroom and pressed the button on the class hot tub. Luckily, there was no one using the hot tub. Students tended to take class from the hot tub later in the day and it was half past eight in the morning. The class laughed at me when I took off my clothes. They tittered and tittered and I trembled with rage because I knew what science didn’t know and I was going against everything I had learned in school to reveal the truth. The truth was too important for me to worry about what a bunch of kids thought of my naked body. I waited for the temperature of the water to reach 120 degrees.

“Well, while we’re waiting for mister baby dick to prove his point,” said the teacher, “let’s explore violin science. Who do you think learns the violin faster, boys or girls?”…

So many questions left unanswered… only IF you don’t move yo mouse over here get the rest of this read on!

••• Open Mic •••

04.01.20 : Virtual? No foolin’!

So here we are, living in some of the strangest days in recent memory. Stuck at home & really feeling the need to connect? Yeah, we too. But you know what? Ain’t no CV19 gonna stop this Mad show from Swirlin’! Sadly we are all stuck at home & can’t meet at our NEW home, Tradewinds Social Club, this 1st Wednesday (aka 04.01.20 (no foolin’)) so…

We have technology & social media on our side and we are gonna maximize it!

Details to come on how we will pull off this feat but Mad Swirl is tenacious. We got this.

If you wanna share your creative wares, (local or global), give us a going on our Facebook event page & we’ll get you in the loop!


••• Mad Swirl Anthology  •••


Our 108-page anthology features 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on throughout 2019. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”

And just in case you’re not quite sure what and/or who Mad Swirl is…

“Mad Swirl is an arts and literature creative outlet. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a diverse collection of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 150 contributing poets, our short story library has over 170 writers and our Mad Gallery has over 45 resident artists.”

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

Huge grats & shout-outs to our 2019 featured Contributors (in alphabetical order):

Featured Poets:

Ahmad Al-khatat
Joe Balaz
Hem Raj Bastola
Ann B-D
Gayle Bell
Bhupender Bhardwaj
Alexandria Biamonte
Christopher Calle
Mick Corrigan
Swagi Desai
Joseph Farley
Mike Fiorito
Brian Fugett
Iulia Ghergei
Brittany Griffiths
Kenneth P. Gurney
Kristina Krumova
Kimberly Madura
Tyler Malone
Devika Mathur
Maeve McKenna
Bradford Middleton
Steven Minchin
Lisa Moak
Ian Mullins
J.D. Nelson
Madelyn Olson
Johnny Olson
Charlotte Ozment
Durga Prasad Panda
Nikita Parik
Rob Plath
Dan Raphael
Brian Rihlman
Randall Rogers
Walter Ruhlmann
Sanjeev Sethi
Roger G. Singer
Paul Smith
Paul Tristram
Agnes Vojta
Trier Ward
Scott Waters
Julene Tripp Weaver
Harley White
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Chris Zimmerly
Mike Zone
Milenko Županović

Featured Writers:

Michael Brownstein
Salvatore Difalco
Tony Gentry
Susie Gharib
Stew Jorgenson
Tyler Malone
Jim Meirose
Vivek Nath Mishra
Bruce Mudhenke
Hunter Reardon
Dan Rodriguez
Chris Wilkensen

Featured Artists:

Alan Gann
Chuck Hatton
Mario Loprete
Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2019” then stay tuned to all of our Mad channels for the news to break for our book launch! (tentatively scheduled for 04.20.20)


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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