The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.12.20

by on December 13, 2020 :: 0 comments

“If I can’t change the world, at least I want to change the way people look at it.”

Antoni Tapies

••• The Mad Gallery •••

seeking something – 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 flaked the sky with beauty’s cry; we parsed romanticist from reluctant therapist; we mourned our left, bereft of heft; we puzzled the lot that words could not; we masked up nirvana jokes, relieved of a pack of smokes; we mocked our movement toward home improvement; we wondered on wishes if wishes were fishes. Cast and reel, cast and reel. ~ MH Clay

Goldfish Memory by MH Clay



No sound
In the bubbly deep
Fizzes and pops
Are felt
To hear
The seashell hiss
In assaulted ear

There was a thing
A happening
Now lost
Now gone
But a sense
Of situation
Carries on

Wishes this

December 12, 2020

editors note: All of our thoughts silently sing in the mad fishbowl of existence. (Read two more mad missives from MH on his page – check it out.) – Mike Fiorito

Surrounded By Unopened Letters by Richard D. Houff

You stand among a menagerie of buildings
Confused in structure and afterthought

Walking up an empty stairwell;
You avoid Sartre’s vase and puddles
Of standing water

Migrant geese have returned to nest
Where the past is laminated into
Form-filling boxes awaiting all
Arrivals and crash landings

Nothing appears straight forward

Venturing outside these familiar rooms
Introduced trouble, and I know we
Will not meet again

December 11, 2020

editors note: Fill that vase. If not with flowers, with fantasy? Best stay inside. – mh clay

Nikolai Medtner’s Blues by PW Covington

Dark and violent classical piano
Plays on the dollar store, solid state, off brand, radio
Minor tones with syncopation
Sonata Tragica
As she packs up all her clothes and cosmetics
And is sure to grab
My last pack of smokes
On her way out the door

I’m still waiting for my summons from Lhasa
A letter from my Maharaja
I’m waiting in line to clear customs
Declaring everything, seen and unseen
Known and unknown
Forcing down the afterbirth of revolt
And smoking sativa in my sunflower garden

Wearing masks in public
Dreaming past the social distance

December 10, 2020

editors note: However you wait, be safe – that summons will come. – mh clay

autism jigsaw by Mary Ellen Talley

(for David)

one thousand pieces
pour out of the box

as a dark-haired teen
sits in a gray chair
reading shapes

the aerial photo of earth
the haze of continents
beyond circle-swirling atmosphere

he turns each piece face-up
testing edges with tip of index finger
measuring faint demarcations
of sapphire cerulean indigo slate powder-blue midnight
with wavy bits of ecru and white

runs his fingertip
along russet black shadows of rapid synapses
to remake his world
with a visual precision
that words –
if he had them
could never achieve

December 9, 2020

editors note: Eyeful expressions, other than words. These artists deserve to be “heard.” – mh clay

Sleepless September Morning by David P. Kozinski

Five a.m. and again
my left hand dropped the ball;
no pins-and-needles,
no python wrapped
like a living glove
from the elbow down,
no excuse but heredity.
But it wasn’t a bad hand:
good for picking up
ladders and dumbbells
and packed valises.
At first I was going to keep it.

Such a good-for-nothing hand,
so disappointing, displeasing,
disaffecting—good for fumbling
with a cigarette, for offering
an empty glass.

There was a fire in my dome
when I was young and
everything—the smoke, the burn—
smelled like home and a pound
of tolling bells rolled through my mind.

December 8, 2020

editors note: When the good hand knows what the (not so) bad hand is (not) doing. – mh clay

Small Talk by Ivan Jenson

I know instantly
if we have chemistry
when you share
your personal history
and then when you
speak of the future
that you envision
I try to picture
your dreams
and imagine
myself within them
and as for your
great complaint
and those
grim images
that you paint
just remember
this is our first date
and your psychiatrist
I ain’t

December 7, 2020

editors note: Speed date or self-disclosure, seeking soulmate or psychotherapist. It’s a crapshoot either way. – mh clay

Look how I cry my beauty out by Iulia Gherghei

Look how I cry my beauty out
These pink shades grown over the winter
First in my roots, then in my temples
These pink drops of colour
Elevating themselves like a blast into a flower
Like a fairy into a pirouette
stretching her magic over the streetwalkers
Rising their mood to a higher sky

I am out, I am out
Cries my beauty searching for roots
When fall is slowly fading lights
And leaves are gathering on sidewalks
Like silent tombs
Tombs for my beauty, for my silent winters
Another season of endless slumber
I will rest awhile
My beauty and I will slide across low skies
Reflecting our shapes in every snowflake

December 6, 2020

editors note: Though ever so, she sleeps now; awaits the kiss of Spring. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Mad Swirl’s featured read comes to us from LONGTIME Contributing Writer & Poet Mel Waldman. If you’re already a fan of Doc Mel’s work, you know you’re in for one helluva treat!

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

“Home is where the fire finds its spark: the center it’s carried but has forgotten.”

Here’s a glimpse into the doc’s dark tale, Hellfire on the Devil’s Highway

(photo “Wheels to Hell” by Tyler Malone)

The Kafka brothers, tiny men with thin moustaches and matching scars across left cheeks, hardly ever speak to one another and forget the other exists, even though they live in the same house. Now in the bestial winter, they have not spoken in over a month nor have they seen the others’ dark brown eyes. The house is not a mansion and still, their paths have not crossed.

The first wave of the storm is over and the deep snow covers the earth. Yet soon the heavy snow will fall again and a swirling blizzard will sweep across Brooklyn. Outside, the temperature has dropped below zero. And in the old house where he and his brother Joseph live, the boiler is broken and the pipes frozen.

The doorbell rings. Wearing a black winter coat, he saunters to the door.



He opens the creaky door and picks up a large envelope…

If that doesn’t leave you hankerin’ for more, you may wanna check your pulse! See what we mean & get the rest of this devilish read 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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