The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.06.20

by on June 7, 2020 :: 0 comments

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”

Allen Ginsberg

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Consumed by Pomp and Circumstance”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 found dissipation in investigation; we sat well parked in digital dark; we together-talked of a freedom walk; we lost restraint where lovers paint; we shook some to keep mum; we heard 19’s plan for Mr. Man; we glitzed the gloom in a waiting room. Golly! ~ MH Clay

The Heathen Health Clinic & STD Support Centre by Paul Tristram

Oi! matey, yeah, I’m a-talking to you…
with the pirate swagger going on,
leave your cutlass in the weapon’s rack
out in the cloakroom, please.
Same goes for your battle-axe,
Mr. Brick ‘Outhouse,
with the horns on his cap.
We’ve got quite a few
nasty viruses running ‘bout the place,
I’ll have you know,
and the last thing we need is paper cuts.
Oh lovely, the Waiting Room’s
choc-a-bloc this afternoon,
mind you, we’re still dealing
with all that tailback
from this morning’s nightmare…
one trollop from the Dock Area
completely decimated
the 40 Thieves Gang.
Anyway, it’s Cindy, our Receptionist’s,
21st Birthday today,
we had a bit of a finger-buffet
during our Lunch Break…
and she’s been kind enough
to lay the leftovers out for you all…
but for Christ Sake, use the box
of disposable gloves afore dipping-in, OK.
Now, my name’s Victoria,
and I’ll be leading you on through,
one at a time, in an orderly fashion…
let’s start with the ‘Explosive Element’
… leaking, have we got any ‘Leakers’ in?

June 6, 2020

editors note: Here’s a scene that will repeat, long after the pandemic has passed. – mh clay

once there was this Mr. Man by Arif Ahmad

once there was this Mr. Man
yes you are, and I am
demigods losing the plot
chuckle before you read this
done in by a tiny covid

who let you in
besides oceans and walls
alien pathogen
this country is for our citizens
you just ain’t welcome

Mr. Man, says the virus
you’re your worst nemesis
for a small me
do you even see
the tall lessons
to make you realize
I may be
the next best thing to happen

top economies now on their knees
if panic and fear were solutions
this by now would be behind us
these unusual times urge our kind
pull together, think others
revise our priorities and relevance

June 5, 2020

editors note: Riffing relevance from rants and raves. Are you listening, Mr. Man? (Thanks for Dr. Ahmad’s note from the COVID frontlines.)- mh clay

Guarded Lips by Heather M. Browne

Guarded lips tremble
pinched tight
you’ve smothered them in jump-suited orange
where all can see
those tiny hairs
uniformly lined up
your mouth
serving time

I see you shake

June 4, 2020

editors note: Express some; don’t keep mum. – mh clay

Artists Painting Artists by Jeff Grimshaw

He only paints her burning eyes
She only paints his frozen smile
The only smell is chamomile
And only ginger casts a shadow

The window glass is blurred with paint
Every song ends with a crack
He paints her glaring at the sky
She paints him staring through his wine

She scrapes away the cobalt blue
He wipes her eyes with turpentine
Tomorrow he will paint her face
Around the curving bottle glass

Tomorrow she will leave her hands
Sinking in the tangerine
Until the kettle shrieks and rocks
Till burning metal fills her nose

He will paint her layers deep
On a perfect sheet of glass
She will stencil most of him
(In profile) on fields of brick

They spill their bowls into the sink
They change their pants, invest in sleep
And in the morning start again.

June 3, 2020

editors note: What a glorious, artistic union! (Imagine the marvelous mess when writers write of writers.) – mh clay

ONLY WHEN by John D Robinson

It’s only when it’s taken away that
you realize the beauty, the wonder
of freedom,
to walk freely,
without fear
amongst brothers and sisters,
it’s only when it is no
longer there, the love, compassion,
the humanity,
the common sense
of intelligence,
it’s only when you find these
things taken for granted
taken away, that you begin
to know what a fucking
hellish time we can create
for one another:
there’s not much else to care
for in this brief life
except for love and it’s

June 2, 2020

editors note: Hellish we can be, indeed. So, let’s not be. – mh clay

A Man sits atop his favorite by Richard Weaver

burlap chair, balanced on its celestial springs
and memory-foam cushions, ever mindful
of the color-coordinated pillows his wife
insisted they buy the day before she died.
Special lumbar support she argued, as if he
knew what or where such a thing was or meant.
You’ll be happy she claimed. Memento mori,
he thinks? A keepsake that goes on talking.
Passive regressive? he muses after the fact.

A man sits in digital darkness. The Internet’s down.
A freak global leakage. Most likely a Chinese-Russian
conspiracy to drown the Internet of Things.
Though his refrigerator sulks, humming to itself
Beethoven’s Requiem through its exhaust fan blades,
for once it all seems sane: Siri refuses to speak
in any known language. Alexa mopes silently
in a smoke-free corner and BPA zone. Nothing beeps.
Not altogether a bad thing. A blessing in drag.
Reason enough to reconsider his artery of choice.

June 1, 2020

editors note: If not tech, then lumbar; grateful for whatever support there is. – mh clay

all the angels sing by Tohm Bakelas

smoke disappears
on a porch
in the rain
and further
leads to
dreams of
could have

May 31, 2020

editors note: Hold your breath; extend the song… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s featured Need-a-Read, Geez, Louise, Love is a Hassle comes to us from longtime Contributing Writer, Jenean McBrearty.

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

“Soon we’ll all be living in the future. Soon we’ll be in its teeth and maybe then we won’t have any of our own.”

Here’s a few lines to get you committed:

(photo “Say what?!” by Tyler Malone)

Geez Louise, I know what’s wrong with me. Even so, there are times when you must talk to something called a psychologist — in my case, for a lawsuit. (You know what they say about female litigants: nutty, slutty, or crooked.) And here I am sitting across from a woman who is probably crazier than I am.

She’s scared of me, although I’m not physically dangerous. I’m in my sixties. But she instinctively knows her little magic games won’t work ever since I answered her first request: “Tell me about yourself.” The request is designed to elicit information on what’s important to the counselee. Patient, diagnose thyself!

The ball’s in my court. Okay. I wonder which “self” I should show her. The gangly kid. The sexually abused teen. The abandoned young wife with a baby on welfare? The Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology, which she’s stashed in a shoebox on a closet shelf? Illiterate hillbilly? The climate change activist who doesn’t recycle? I know. I’ll give her my college instructor ex-Presbyterian bullshit. All psycho-psychs love intellectual revivalism vodka mixed with a dash of bitter bullshit…

Get the rest of this pycho-logical read on right here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you tuned in to Mad Swirl Open Mic​ this past 1st Wednesday (aka 06.03.20), Mad Swirl Open Mic once again virtually whirled up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

We beamed our cyber line-up straight out into the wide world of webs & straight to your screens. HUGE grats to these Mad ones who made our virginal virtual a success:

Mad Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel)

Johnny O
MH Clay

Round One:
Chris Zimmerly
Opalina Salas
Harry Mcnabb
James Cooke
Mike Zone
Martin Hache
Suza Kanon
Tyler Malone

Emmeline Miles

Round One:
Brett “BA” Ardoin
Desmene M. Statum
Daphne Moon
Chloe Curiel
Kevin D Bullin
Devorah Titunik
James Gregory Cisneros

Thanks to ALL the appreciators who rode the Mad wave from our FB Live feed! We know you had a choice of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to virtually hang out with us!

Now more than ever, we need community, we need outlets, we need to create.

Be safe & ’til next 1st Wednesday… may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on these virtual Swirl’n scenes right here…

••• Mad Swirl Anthology  •••

Get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2019” right HERE!

Mad Swirl’s 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.”

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…


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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