“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Rejection at the altar” – Darrell Black
To see all of Darrell’s mixed-media “Definism” canvases, as well as our other featured artists (50 in all!), at Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we got the scam from a magic man; we danced and laughed on life’s deep draft; we dreamed in night toward being and light; we sought the strains of truth from veins; we gave up the guess by a dress for success; we found no enjoyment in the hunt for employment; we followed a cat to escape the rats. By the cat door swing, our pen nibs sing. ~ MH Clay
Isaac Newton’s Cat Door by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
with the gobshite army,
bristling bearded face
scowling tetrahedrons back
and this moment of indecision
is all it takes,
tiny feline vacillations
about staying in or out,
Isaac Newton’s cat door
said to be the first of its kind;
a thinking man needs time
arrange his clothespin thoughts
upon strange laundry lines
that droop from weight
May 30, 2020
editors note: Haven’t seen this cat since it wandered over to Schrödinger’s place. – mh clay
of grave unimportance by Tanner
the jobcentre crony
is surprised to see me:
your appointment’s not until later, she says
I’ve a funeral to go to, I explain.
any chance we could do it now?
and she rolls her eyes: well I suppose we can fit you in,
she roots around for a form.
we have some stuff in common:
her collar is white
but she’s working class, like me.
her collar has hung her;
she’s dead, like my friend.
but she does not and she cannot know this,
as she asks me the all-important question:
what jobs have you applied for this week?
and since there aren’t any going, I say:
ALL OF THEM
and my wit, it is a worm
scratching too loud at her coffin lid
and she wakes up angry
as would I
if I died and went to the jobcentre
but it’s cool: they don’t want me here
in this life
or the next
and aw crap, is there really another life to fail at?
May 29, 2020
editors note: No worries, focus. Get this life failed right; fail better at the next. – mh clay
Green Jacket by David P. Kozinski
When I wear
it I want to tell strangers
drinking sissy Martinis I shot
an unheard-of, masterly
sixty-two both Saturday and Sunday
one of those three glittering years
I held a PGA card, before
“the accident”. The phrase spurs
curiosity while the pinch
in my face cuts it off. The heft
and fabric feed the confidence
man who slithers along in my shadow,
and expand us like a parade balloon.
With an honest face
I say this: I had it fitted
by cherubic tailors
when I needed to seem older
from the cloth they use to print money.
It appears somehow official, military, foreign
like a pearly threat
uttered in another tongue
in a hot spot. I say
I keep my own dice
loaded in the pockets
in the dark where my fingers
can feel and read.
I don’t talk to them – the bones,
the people – they talk to me.
I don’t answer questions,
I ask them.
With this thing on I extract
answers, bits of truth
malleable as gold fillings
from old teeth.
May 28, 2020
editors note: Dress for success and get the right answers. – mh clay
Solitude by Milenko Županović
May 27, 2020
editors note: Write your verses; increase your faith. – mh clay
Of Earth by Susandale
Earth of pollen and stamens
Of walls breathing in
With an expanding universe
Seeing with dim eyes, the spines
That hold up the nights
bending under the weight of our dreams
Dreams following a dim light
to the very edge of consciousness
There’s another light
This one cascades over shadows
And over the earth of silences
In the segments we split
Earth of circles and chains
Of hands groping for the moon
Of bloodless hearts
Of stone souls
Of our blind feet
Stumbling down the path of being
May 26, 2020
editors note: Yes, weight of dreams, segments split; better to stumble than to stand stock still. – mh clay
Thirsty by Isaiah Vianese
I want everything–
the pop song’s dance beat,
two glasses of wine, this kiss,
your hand on my hips,
happy hour haze,
tank tops, glitter,
the drag queen’s
too many costumes,
our bartender’s shirt off,
his smile when he pours
our last round,
sitting side by side
the train and its path home,
the sun going down
out our longing,
wringing us like a sponge,
a glass of water.
Baby, hand it over.
Let me drink up.
May 25, 2020
editors note: A lovely thirst. Waiting for my everything, too. – mh clay
A Grimoire by David Punter
In the night’s dark half-glitter
regard the stones, jewelled
with drops of mercury.
Watch the drip of memory
as it cascades through retort,
Outside the light, forms
amass upon the scales
and unlovely creatures
formed of no living union
caper and prey, immune
from the cloying call
of natural ways, always instead
seeking transmutation, the next
shape they will take
according to a different ordering
far from the tidy arrangement
of the so-called elements.
Rare metals, noble gasses
have their own sphere.
It is our task, my dear familiar,
to harness all to our own
purposes, and to exile
those foul usurpers
accused of witchcraft
for we are scientists, ahead
of our generation
and steeped in the medium,
arrayed in silk and silver,
accustomed to the comings and goings
of nitrates, carbides, all manner
of oddities and anomalies.
See what I have here,
outside the firelight, in my flasks
of burnished lead. Here no glimmer
of reason can penetrate.
May 24, 2020
editors note: Yes, Professor. It’s magic to us, who don’t know witch is which. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If your Need-a-Read is itchin’, we got just the story to do the scratchin’…
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this lofty pick of the week tale:
“What goes can never compare with what will come. Good or bad, know that.”
Here’s a few lines to get you committed:
(photo “Opportunity Knocks” by Tyler Malone)
Michael was medicated—by a doctor, no less—and had two dozen nurses and a security guard to make sure he didn’t do anything rash. They were more careful than he knew—nobody else in the hospital had a name like his. It invoked visions of a dozen police cars lined up in front of the building, of litigation, of manipulation of public opinion for matters both personal and political. Everyone on the payroll knew they were at risk when it came to Michael Coles. They tiptoed around him, accommodated him.
Visitors came every Sunday. That first Sunday he sat in a gray armchair, his eyes darting to the clock every few minutes until visiting hours were over. A wave of relief washed over him. He could imagine the timbre of her voice as she told them who she was in her stilted speech. He imagined them saying ‘Oh yes, ma’am, we’ll get him right away.’ They would tiptoe around her, accommodate her…
Tiptoe on over to right here & get the rest of Taylor’s tale…
••• Open Mic •••
THIS 1st Wednesday of the June (aka 06.03.20), Mad Swirl Open Mic will once again whirl up the Swirl VIRTUALLY and get the mic opened for all you Mad ones out there! We have technology & social media on our side and we are gonna maximize it!
Starting at 7:30pm (CST), join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay, along with Chris Curiel’s jazzed-up Swirve as we get this madness Swirlin’ via Facebook LIVE!
IF you wanna share your creative wares, (both LOCAL and GLOBAL participants), visit our Facebook event page, give us a “Going”, FILL OUT THE SURVEY (pinned post) & we’ll get you on the list! (PLEASE NOTE: 25 SPOTS ON THE LIST, FIRST COME FIRST SERVED)
If you just wanna watch the action, that is aOK too!
Come to participate.
Come to appreciate.
Come to be a part of our collective creative love-child we affectionately call Mad Swirl!
••• Mad Swirl Anthology •••
Mad Swirl’s 108-page anthology features 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on MadSwirl.com 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.”
This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!
If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2019” then get yours 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…
Short Story Editor