The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.16.21

by on January 17, 2021 :: 0 comments

“If you find something to tell, tell it to your truest…”

Laura Riding

••• The Mad Gallery •••

The Sensual WorldAlan Murphy

To see more of Alan’s eclectic collages, as well as our other former featured artists (51 in total), take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This past week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we changed a scene of old routine; we sought for quiet outside the riot; we wondered, all, as heroes fall; we love estranged, emerging changed; we surrender spurned for tables turned; we bid au revoirs to glide among stars; we raised ourselves higher, sparked words to make fire. Bring marshmallows. ~ MH Clay

Creation by Nikita Parik

This existence is
a cave
caged in unknowing.

My consciousness
and yours- two

figuring out
the aesthetics
of everythingness.

You rub
your words
against mine,

a fire
is borne
out of stone.

January 16, 2021

editors note: And, thusly, we rock on… (We welcome Nikita to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Stelliferous Heavens by Harley White

I’d glide away into the cosmic flow
in quiet of the canopy of night
to leave the tumult of the world below
with wishes having wings to guide my flight.

In quiet of the canopy of night
the stellar orbs cast light in shining beams.
With wishes having wings to guide my flight
their faces seem a universe of dreams.

The stellar orbs cast light in shining beams
as days recede with final au revoirs.
Their faces seem a universe of dreams
in skies awash with myriads of stars.

As days recede with final au revoirs,
to leave the tumult of the world below
in skies awash with myriads of stars
I’d glide away into the cosmic flow.

January 15, 2021

editors note: Take us away, sweet glide. – mh clay

Fair Game by L.A. Davidson

i can’t remember how old i was when i realized
that this body does not belong to me
perhaps it is a trophy, hung on the wall
my bones are stuck between the teeth of
full-bellied hunters and my blood is
a satisfying aftertaste stained at the corners
of lips that are not mine

this body is not mine
this body belongs to the night
a man set a jack and coke in front of me and
stood there until i sipped it
this body belongs to the sting of
that liquor and the way it felt like
betraying everything within me that is feminist

this body is the kill
born to be hunted for sport
the kind of thing that is cut up for desirable parts
marked fair game as soon as i sipped that drink
or got in that car or wore that dress or
read those poems about rape culture

this body belongs to the night i realized
it feels the same way every time
you will want to stick your fingers down your throat and
hollow out the part of you that feels like it is made of sin and wrongdoing
purge yourself of everything that put you in
the hunter’s crosshairs and
turn the tables

January 14, 2021

editors note: No season, no license; respect, instead. – mh clay

Poppers by Trier Ward

We never had
the rules
of monogamy.
We never
had anybody’s
I guess that
made us special,
living outside
the boundaries
of what everybody
But I guess it’s
a gut check
when you start
thinking you’re
the exception.
One minute,
you’re doing
before you cum
to relax
the next minute
you’re in an
empty apartment
huffing that
nail polish shit
by yourself.
Just remember,
the best stories
are always true.
I don’t know
why there
was you-
but thank you
for changing me.

January 13, 2021

editors note: Gain the foresight to have hindsight. Thanks for the change. – mh clay

The Curse of Heroes by James Robert Rudolph

I know you
you’ve been seen around these parts before
son of Apollo or Zeus you’re turned-out
tumbling down from that blue gold vault
your celestine eyes blond flecks glinting they
flash like a coquette’s fan.

You are the stuff of odysseys and agonies
riven in quarters from that casting out
you are wounded and watched and wanted and legends
are the quarry of your ambition to prove your exile
unjust this makes you dangerous a lionized hazard
your vulnerability a siren’s come hither a lure and you
lorn and cocked you will surely shipwreck
gorgeously spent on this tragedy.

January 12, 2021

editors note: Pedestals are half price this year. Better invest in mirrors, instead. – mh clay

Mask of the Restless Crowd by Stephen Jarrell Williams

The restless crowd
Wearing the cloth of change

Infestation of our own doing

Friendship with fury
The tragedy of blame

Cough stains
A haunting hope

But no one free

Most in a slow fit

Doing our time
Until done

When the rains come
Washing it all away

In floods and fire.

January 11, 2021

editors note: Playing on our news feeds now. – mh clay

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS by Robert Demaree

My neighbor is on his ladder,
Taking down the Christmas lights;
His wife has gone inside to rest,
Just home from her chemo.
I start to say something like
Well, time to pack ’em up
For another year
But decide not to.

January 10, 2021

editors note: The same old thing is not always. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you got a hankering for some delicious words, Mad Swirl’s featured weekend Need-a-Read, by Contributing Writer & Poet, Michael Brownstein will fill you up!

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

“What’s eating you today? Here’s hoping it’s not yourself.”

Here’s a few bites of Hunger Pangs to whet your reading appetite:

(photo “Nothing Beats the Taste of Home” by Tyler Malone)

I’m finished with the second box of matzo and we still have a hundred or so miles to go. One piece of matzah every ten to twenty miles. It keeps me awake and I like the way it crunches, changes texture, leaves a slight film in my mouth. I always take a five to ten-mile break between each piece.

“Hey,” I wake my wife, “I need a bathroom and I’m out of food. We’re coming on to Dwight. I’m going to get some food for us there.”

She murmurs something I don’t understand so I take it for a yes and pull off. There are four fast food restaurants in a square, two on each side all of them facing each other. Cars are parked in all the lots. Business must be good, I think as I pull into Taco Dell. We’re not big on chicken so I didn’t go for KFC and we’re trying to stay away from beef so that took care of Burger King and Arby’s. I can already taste the bean tortillas I’m going to be eating for the remainder of the trip. I quietly exit the car—don’t want to wake the family—and enter. No one is there. All the lights are on, the registers face outward—strange—and the stoves and fryers are humming.

“Anyone home?” I ask. I say it again louder. Then again.


Strange indeed. No real reason to tease your need when all you gotta do is click here & get the rest of this read on!


Our midweek featured Need-a-Read, Abused comes to us from Phyllis Souza.

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

“Where can love go? Heaven, or somewhere deeper into the ground than ever thought possible? It’s all in your heart but it’s also all in your hands”

Here’s a bit of Phyllis’ hits-too-close-to-home tale:

(photo “Cracked, Totally” by Tyler Malone)

It was six o’clock at night.

Irene stressed. Slightly disheveled. Dropped ice cubes. Poured whiskey into a glass and rapidly started stirring. Donald would be coming into the house. She’d heard the garage door open and close.

“Where’s my drink?” he asked putting down his briefcase. “You know I want it when I get home from work.”

“I made it. It’s on top of the kitchen counter, where I always put it.” Irene turned and started to walk out of the room.

“Where in the hell do you think you’re going? Bring me my drink.” He walked over to a kitchen chair. “Now. Bring me my drink.”


“I said, bring me my drink.”

“And if I don’t?”…

Get the whole picture at 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

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

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