The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.03.20

by on October 4, 2020 :: 0 comments

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Gore Vidal

You know how it goesPatty Paine

See all of Patty’s neat beat collages and trippy digital works, as well as our other former featured artists (50 in total) at Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe put no damper on a happy camper; we love departed, were left half-hearted; we looked for the entry of a grey matter sentry; we made faith whole with a totem pole; we ran for the phone so we’d not be alone; we saw from stars within our ken the ignorance of learned men; we from libation gained inspiration. Still, we thirst for more. ~ MH Clay

Spontaneous outbreak by Hem Raj Bastola

When the sunlight
Swims in the cosmic waters.
To extract: wisdom!
Praying every dawn,
Invoking knowledge,
Honing a hook, chant.

Eyes blind,
Madness dance sublime
With bumper trance.
Empty, echoing silence where,
An astral aura glint.
And a spontaneous outbreak,
Shining tap of libation,
Milking from the creepers,
Of lightning, drink.

October 3, 2020

editors note: Skimming the cream from your dream. – mh clay

Cosmic Unknown by Harley White

The great unknown within its flow
has vast galactic heights aglow
with heavens’ past in astral vaults
in schemes of intricate gestalts
that strain the brain to vertigo.

Yet on the dreamers here below
the stars their stellar airs bestow,
as music of the spheres exalts
the great unknown.

Still cosmic questers seek to know
the principles that rule the show
while scientists search out the faults
and make their math turn somersaults,
although it ever shall be so,
the great unknown…

October 2, 2020

editors note: Let your questions lay. Find peace in that. – mh clay

MARTIAN LIMBO by Terrence Sykes

once turquoise canals
bubble like tar pits
laden with leaves

debris and ash
clog ports & streets
from seasons ago

when mortals ceased
those gods exited
to another planet

feral poppies
cloak & intoxicate
across voided landscape

that last unanswered
telephone call will
ring for eternity

October 1, 2020

editors note: We believe they stopped here, on the way to… somebody answer that phone. – mh clay

Totem by Milenko Županović

of death
in the eyes
of light
in new
on the altar
of prayers.

September 30, 2020

editors note: Your belief, inspired by what? Your prayers, heard by…? – mh clay

chaos by Nilsa Mariano

can chaos be sad?
wiring in the brain corroding
synapses clicking wildly sizzling
walk as softly as you can to not
jangle or jingle the brain
it goes to terrible places hysterical
repetitions despite warnings to not
go there caution tape has a gap
they posted a guard named amygdala
the details are there
on the other side of that post
where a home a monster mansion
traps a young vulnerable living being
by conquistadores holding crosses
dna cells infected punctured
inside your forgotten body
who screams trauma
silently deep inside
clenching ugly stories
and the answer

chaos can be sad.

September 29, 2020

editors note: Quell the conqueror, amygdala appease. Make your own… – mh clay


You treat my heart like a cat treats a mouse.
taking your own sweet time.
Until you pounce,
leave a partly eaten heart
in some corner.
Sweet, sickly purr.
Off again for another.

September 28, 2020

editors note: Lover’s lament, mouse’s demise. Damn capricious cats. – mh clay

Arousal. by Dennis Moriarty

Tonight rain is in the trees desperately seeking
Refuge from its own carnage.
In the wood under canvas I listen between sodden
Decibels of wind
Hearing a leaf shuffling on a branch, the crisp
Sharp snap of a twig,
The owl yawning flexing her talons.

A frisson of something more than excitement,
Something less elemental,
More other worldly than the rain itself.
An awakening, an awareness,
A sudden alertness and I am an old dog with hackles
Raised, my bark superficial,
Waiting for the intruder who may never come.

Outside, a fusion of fire and rain, the night limps
Between trees, the campfire flame flickers,
Hisses, an angry serpent staggering through drifts
Of damp ash three inches deep.
I excavate the canvas, burrow deeper into its offering,
A snug, safer occupation of the womb.
The well-nourished, fleshy fetus of arousal.

September 27, 2020

editors note: An outdoor experience brought into the wondering womb. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Mad Swirl’s featured weekend read, In These Trying Times by Harman Burgess, gives us a glimpse of what might possibly be if we go the way we seem to be going these days.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about it:

“The world we want is the world we create by our own hands, our own hearts, our own pasts we bring kicking and screaming into our futures.”

Here’s a snapshot into this post-apocalyptic scene:

(photo “Board of the End Times” by Tyler Malone)

Now they’d bloody well fucked it. Humanity, having finally realized how much it hated itself, had wiped out its existence from the universe in a nuclear firestorm. Even the politicians were dead, the ones who had pushed the buttons to set the whole thing in motion. The big nuclear powers, seeing the course global politics was taking, had all independently developed bunker-busting warheads capable of penetrating the deepest recesses of Earth. And penetrate they did. The only individuals left alive were the crazies and the lunatics who had built private fallout shelters. This is the story of two such individuals.

Michael had been ten when the bombs went off. His father, Jonathan, had spirited him away from his mother before everything exploded, and that was that. Now, after 18 years of confinement, Michael couldn’t even remember what life was like outside their bunker. Not one bit. For 18 years his reality had comprised of one room, self-contained and self-sufficient. A bunk bed in one corner, a communal toilet in the other. That toilet—a metallic bucket type—was hooked up to a recycling system that transformed Michael and Jonathan’s piss and shit into something almost, but not quite, resembling food…

See how this end-of-times tale ends right here!


Mad Swirl’s mid-week Need-a-Read, Daughter comes to us from Vivek Nath Mishra.

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

“No one owns anyone, but some of us are lucky to hold a temporary title that doesn’t translate to ownership or power, but instead true love.”

Here’s a taste of this tale:

(photo “Sweet Teeth” by Tyler Malone)

One day when I was sitting in the teacher’s room a man walked in and sat next to me.

“Remember?” He asked.

His face looked familiar but I wasn’t able to remember where I had seen him. I was putting pressure on my mind when he jumped to his feet, frowned, and got very angry.

“As now that you’re a peon in the school you don’t recognize me?”

He was very ill mannered. I felt offended being called peon by a stranger. I was lecturer of physics in the intermediate college. All the teachers present in the teacher’s room began looking in our direction. They all looked as socked as I was.

“Bring the knife and I’ll cut your wrist and I’ll cut mine too and then you’ll acknowledge that we have the same blood. I am your cousin. We studied together in the village. Now if you still behave like you don’t know me, I’ll crack your backbone with my elbow,” he said raising his eyebrows in a weird fashion.

I recognized him now, but I was terrified by his aggression. He hugged me tightly enough to crack the bones of my ribs when I called out his name. He smiled from ear to ear and pressed my hand…

Get the rest of this bitter & sweet tale right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl Open Mic THIS 1st Wednesday of the October (aka 10.07.20), as we once again whirl up the Swirl VIRTUALLY, opening the mic for all you Mad ones out there! Maximizing the powers of technology & broadcasting from Big D & blastin’ off into the interwebs!

Starting at 7:30pm (CST), join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay, along with Chris Curiel’s jazzed-up Swirve (with special guest: Pecan Tree) as we get this madness Swirlin’ via Facebook LIVE!

This month we will be featuring the works of our dearly departed Mad brother, Rob Dyer (& David Parham). The following poets will be performing Rob’s works:

Johnny O
MH Clay
Tyler Malone
Opalina Salas
Carlos Salas
Chris Zimmerly
Desmene Statum
Paul Konieki
Aye Nero
Brett “BA” Ardoin
Amy Conner

After our feature set, we will get to opening up the mic!

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate. (get one of the 15 spots on our list at our Facebook event page OR send us a note at

Come to appreciate. (tune in to our Facebook LIVE feed starting at 7:30pm (cst))

Come to be a part of our collective creative love-child we affectionately call Mad Swirl!


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…

Givin’ a damn,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

Leave a Reply