The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.05.20

by December 6, 2020 0 comments

“The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.”

Bruce Nauman

••• The Mad Gallery •••

you learn – Madelyn Olson

To see more of Maddi’s mad new cast of diverse characters & canvases, as well as our other former featured artists (51 in total) at Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe billed a tumescent adolescent; we iced uncloyed by a feathered floyd; we versed (not prosed) on a stinking rose; we did three-way with the short-say; we dog prevailed to kiss sharp nails; we survived to learn new use for urns; we rose right on kite flight. No strings attached, just words. ~ MH Clay

I rise by Sufia Khatoon

Quarantined evenings,
father ties knots on fresh handmade kites
under the small light bulb on the terrace.

He touched those 40 years ago
in the open fields of his village
and flew the kites on full moon nights.

I don’t have many memories with him.
I don’t have his stories.

The sky is
milky, pashmina*, opal stone,
blooming mogra* of my mother’s heart.

I cut my finger, I let the sunset enter and stay there.
Father releases the kites and for the first time
I rise…

*mogra- a type of jasmine flower, pashmina- hand crafted cardigans of Kashmir

December 5, 2020

editors note: Memories, strung to our heart. (We welcome Sufia to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Urn by Susie Gharib

This urn is yearning for a memory’s ashes
that I had scattered far from my hearth
amongst a heap of cigarette stubs
in a frequented pub
where our eyes had first interlocked.

You had prepared the pyre and brought the urn
to immolate the love that you hard-earned.
You fed your eyes on consuming flames,
a ritual befitting kings and queens.

You asked me to cherish what had remained
of a love in whose permanence I trusted.
I place the dust of what was lost
in a rubbish bin
but keep the urn for nuts.

December 4, 2020

editors note: Ashes to ashes, dust to nuts. Remember how you must. – mh clay

Interchange of the masters by P.K. Deb

I am ever cautious of the cat-
lying on your lap along with its hidden claws.
If I am not wrong at all
you too are watchful of my dog-
moving around my feet
and barking at your cat.
A dual is inevitable between you and me
yet we never call for it
we are careful of extending our tea hour
to a decade or more
a rational interchange of the masters
of our cat and dog
and now my eyes are fearless to kiss
your awesome fingers
though embellished with sharp nails.

December 3, 2020

editors note: A brave embrace in the mayhem of mastery. – mh clay

3 Haiku: ice-cream, mangrove, squirrel by Jharna Sanyal

ice-cream wrapper…
midnight sorts
love and parting


mangrove tree
tied by roots…
saws snarling


I am stuck…
scampering squirrel
flips travel brochure

December 2, 2020

editors note: Little said, much conveyed; sort, saw, unstuck become. – mh clay

the ramson in fall by Paweł Markiewicz

the ramson in fall
I would need tender feeling
of the meekest world

the dead bear’s garlic
in me fantasy blossoms
of marvelous dreams

enchanted autumn
wild garlic needs bewitchment
in some fantasy

autumnal buckrams
the last roses dreaming of
flowering seasons

some fallish roses
weird of my eternity
awakened – ramson

December 1, 2020

editors note: Five haiku, a sweetish stink. – mh clay

glass beard by J. D. Nelson

I am a circle in the broom room
I am the random floyd of the feathers

normal ice and we are earrings
were you a sponsored chicken?

the secret age of the heavens
the shape of the canceled apple

the rotten wink
this beef is the arthur of the dollar

this is the ness
the dallas glass

November 30, 2020

editors note: To get -nost, you need more -ness. – mh clay


I was thirteen
and in love with the woman
on the large billboard,
that the bus passed on the way to school.
I had no interest whatsoever
in girls who were my age.
My billboard love
had long wavy blonde hair,
bright blue eyes,
and lips as red as the plums
that showed up in my lunchbox
come summer.
Girls had pigtails.
Their eyes were brown.
The only time
I noticed their lips
was when they
opened their mouths
to give the teacher
the right answer.
Billboard woman
also had the right answer.
I was thirteen.
The question
suddenly occurred to me.

November 29, 2020

editors note: Seeking a credible source; truth in advertising. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Mad Swirl’s featured Need-a-Read is too short to give a tease-ahead! Clocking in at 100 words exactly, Wall of Mendacity by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri just might be the 1-2 punch you crave!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say our weekend featured read:

“This is where we start: where someone else ended. That’s the cycle of family: life to dead, life until death.”

(photo “Walled Sun” by Tyler Malone).

Get yo read on right here!


Mad Swirl’s featured midweek read, A Dreaded Conversation comes to us from Walt Giersbach!

Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not as “dreaded” as it might sound, kinda.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about our midweek featured read:

“Every day we weaponize ignorance. Every day it’s we wear what we don’t know as armor to assault the brand new day.”

Here’s the ink’d up scene to get you goin’:

(photo “Ink to Skin” by Tyler Malone)

Willie Ortloff knew Pamela Sunshine was going to crash through his front door in about a minute and a half and begin asking questions — questions for which he had no satisfactory answers. He dreaded what was coming.

Willie ran a straight shop. His work was immaculate and he had ethics. That ought to mean something.

He had the only underground tattoo parlor on the Lower East Side. The City of New York frowned on it. In fact, tattoos were against the law, just like you couldn’t name a saloon a saloon. But that was another story and he could hear Pamela Sunshine banging on his front door.

Pamela was a pole dancer uptown at a place called the Garden of Hedon. A topless joint with plastic palm trees. Sure, Willie thought, it was okay for women to dance almost purely naked for fat guys drinking martinis, but he couldn’t run a tattoo parlor.

“Okay, Willie, open up! I know you’re in there and I want some answers.”

For such a pretty girl her voice was like a foghorn. He had tried to help her out with the tattoo. He ran an honest, ethical business. Military guys would come in and say they wanted Go Army on their biceps, but no way was he going to really promote war. Others wanted a heart and a dagger on their arm. Out of the question. He didn’t do schlock…

If you wanna hear the rest of this botched conversation, move on over here & get your read on!

••• Open Mic •••

If you tuned in to Mad Swirl Open Mic​ this past 1st Wednesday (aka 12.02.20), you know that Mad Swirl Open Mic once again virtually whirled up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

This month we had ourselves a Cool-Tide Swirl-a-bration! Tis the season & we maximized by beaming our mad confab straight out into the wide world of webs & straight to your screens. HUGE grats to these Mad ones who swirled their madness on our virtual mic:

Musical Overture: Krude Awakening (Chris Curiel/Clark Walker)

Hosts: Johnny O & MH Clay

Open Mic:

Mike Zone
Harry McNabb
Atenea Afrodita
Anthony Ripp
Jack Varnell
Tamitha Curiel

Intermission: Krude Awakening

SA Gerber
Marianne Szlyk
Ethan Goffman
Roderick Richardson
Paul Koniecki

Musical Conclusion: Your Loving Son (Carlos & Opalina Salas))

Thanks to ALL the appreciators who rode the Mad wave from our FB Live feeds! We know you had a choice of what to do with your Wednesday night (like watch the slow election count row!) & 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 Merch •••

Dig this mad face coverin’? Read on!…

Extra! Extra! Read ALL about it!
Mad Swirl Merch available
just in time for the holidaze!

The whole mad swirl of merch begins right here, at our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some mad threads to sport, then you’ve come to the right post.

What’s new? Mad Facemasks!, Neck Gaiters!, Zipped Hoodies!, Fun Socks! We still have Mens & Ladies tees in all sizes & even MORE colors. We also brought back mad mugs to fill with your favorite coffee, tea and/or whiskey!

Come browse & if something catches your eye, get a little something-something for yourself & while you’re at it, get a little something for your nearest & dearest mad one in your swirlin’ world!


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

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

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