The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.23.21

by January 24, 2021 0 comments

“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.”

Barbara Januszkiewicz

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Construction WorkAlan 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 learned the rules for future fools; we made a matter of self in shatter; we sang in jubilation for a beautiful situation; we memory toiled over Mother’s spoil; we feted flunkies, connected junkies; we gave some time to blessed limes; we heard the words in whispered linen. Take up your pen, try again, say something then. ~ MH Clay

NIGHT WORDS by Roger G. Singer

ethereal parchment
within the linen
of darkness folded
into the breath
of careful

captured through
the lens,
a print of
holding tight
the air
within a circle
at the crossroads
up ahead

January 23, 2021

editors note: Listen… Shhh… You can almost make them out… – mh clay

The Blessing on Limes by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Some fruits surprise everyone in being sour, not sweet,
In refreshing via acerbic notes, in missing from markets
For long months.

Some glabellas wrinkle prematurely, yielding liver lines,
Also, general indications of stress, maybe, additionally,
Closed minds.

Some ideas remain attenuated, contracted, otherwise cut
Short. Those concepts regularly slip from view, deflect
The blessing on limes.

January 22, 202

editors note: Keep your limes, your blender, and your good ideas always in view. – mh clay

junkies connect by Carl Kavadlo

junkies connect with their drug.
pushers connect with their junkies.
the connection’s so good,
the dopers even call the pushers
and alkies connect with their elixir
drunk sometimes from golden goblets.
sales pitchers connect [when they score] with the buyers
and lovers connect majestically
in the moonlight.
the writers connect with
the word on the page
and the fiber optics cables connect
two callers wanting to speak in a lonely twilight hour.
the sadist & masochist each connect
with the soul of the other
and the sailors connect to
and marry the sea.
the mystic connects with god
and that’s a big one. so’s
the little dot on the ‘i’
and the period that closes this sentence.
the jamaicans call that a full stop.
it’s the ‘whoa!’ for the horse,
the power brake for the car.
they know the power of a sentence.
to use a word like that.

the ignition key goes off.
the power soars again with a click.
reading a whole page can thus
be exhausting and exhilarating,
and even attacking a single
sentence can blind you.

that’s what lovers of words know.

January 21, 2021

editors note: Fantastic fixxxxx (more, Mama!) – mh clay


Mother had a knack for buying beautiful things.
Why she gave them to me, I haven’t a clue.
Look at this gilded saucer, is it?
Fringed with gold, blueberries, des peches,
And crunchy apples bequeathed.
Look at the hand towels that swing in the downstairs
Powder room. Five of them, knit by hand. Colorful,
as alive as Mother is dead. Floral bouquets you can
almost smell.
But wait! What am I doing with her souffle pan? White
As her corpse, and when I try to read the maker, all
I see is something akin to Cosi Fan Tutti.
“May the wind be gentle as you traverse the seas.”
Mother be true to me. I will watch for you when
The Full Moon lights up the sky and visions
Of Autumn Leaves fall like stars on my patio.

January 20, 2021

editors note: Hold and remember. – mh clay

Beautiful For Situation by Brian Wood

For some reason this poem takes
You out of place, out of time. For
Some other reason when you think
Of this hymn, it is a warm night,
A Sunday, all three windows flung
Open, and we stand together,
And sing together, in a shy
A cappella. And a few times
I remember our pastor’s wife,
To help us out, would softly play
Her piano, to keep some of
Us in tune, and she’d smile every
Once in awhile, and tell her husband
He’d given us the wrong key. He
Would wink, grinning. “Ok, right, then
‘Great is the Lord, and greatly…’”

And today she died and I don’t
Know what will happen to this thought,
Just something from my mind, some field
With no taxonomy. Alone
By law in the ICU, did
She sing? Could she see Mount Zion,
On the sides of the north, city
Of a great king? Before death came,
And waited, so kindly, so nicely,
Was she in rapture, her joy
The whole earth?

The piece in the paper will say
Suddenly this last Monday, she
Is survived by a devoted
Husband, loving son, two cherished
Daughters: in lieu of flowers, please
Send to this fund. They will not add
This strange dream of June evensong….
Still, in ways beyond calling, part
Of me hopes that when she closed her
Eyes, she left the ward, and never
Came back; and for her it was years
Ago, a warm evening, and she
Played a stately F major, her
Soul all song, and the last words,
City of a great king, kept ringing.

January 19, 2021

editors note: Wishing eternal citizenship for her (and for us). – mh clay


inside the shattering, I watch the unfathomable

veil of un-earthly revelations

encircling us in metaphysical mystery covering our eerie madness with celestial visions

us – masked humans wearing death masks tasting inhaling suffering asking why

the deep snow of despair

speak with the Ultimate Nothingness

the snow falls from the Heavens the heavy snow falls without end

the vast silence shatters

kingdom of I

within the shattering I am a beautiful madness unmasked & free in search of divinity

January 18, 2021

editors note: Pieces picked and placed anew; beautiful, indeed. – mh clay

ESP by Joseph Farley

in the year of second sight
all looked back and not ahead
so they missed the chance
to fool the future
and were forced to suffer again
a past not worth repeating.

January 17, 2021

editors note: Where hindsight is 2020 (still too close). – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••



“Need-a-Read who?”

YOU Need-a-Read, that’s who! And Mad Swirl’s weekend featured read, The Door Knob by Contributing Writer & Poet Susie Gharib should feed that need quite nicely!

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

“Most of what we have is of no value to anyone. Sometimes, though, something glows and the eyes and hearts of others darken and that one thing you have becomes all they desire.”

Here’s a turn of The Door Knob to give you a glimpse what’s on the other side of the door:

(photo “Big Dark World, Little Light” by Tyler Malone)

It was the center of attention in a modest real estate office. I brought it and fixed it without the owner’s permission knowing that it would flatter the flamboyant side of his pretentious character. It was a crystal-like globe with a blue tint that endowed each ray of light that was refracted with the azure of the skies. My intention was to distract the clients from pestering me with their unwanted attention and compliments that glued to my mind during the day and stalked my dreams throughout the night. It was interesting to see how the moment their eyes rested upon the door knob, they fell into silence and became mesmerized by the interweaving of lights that incessantly went on within its heart. They immediately forgot to remark on the ebony of my hair (whether it was henna or a unique type of dye), the olive of my skin (whether it was Greece, Italy or Spain that gave me the look of a Red Indian), and my luscious lips (whether it was the miraculous feat of a plastic surgeon). Then the day came when a client fixed her eyes upon my face, so when I started wondering about her immunity to the charm of my magical ball, I noticed its disappearance. My heart stopped bumping blood for a split second. I gasped for breath like a newly resuscitated fish, then instantly averted my eyes from the object of my suspicion. She had asked for a glass of water and when I offered her some from my bottle, she said that she preferred it from the tap. When I left my desk, I made the mistake of also paying the bathroom a visit.

I maintained a calm mien and decided that I had to retrieve my valuable possession without causing any ado because it would upset my boss who would readily sacrifice my knob for any fraudulent client. His business was prospering and he was only inches away from purchasing a more elegant office. I meditated over a series of actions that would sever her hand from the clutched shopping bag…

Don’t stop there! Keep a-knockin’ on the door to see how this one ends over right here!


Mad Swirl’s midweek featured read comes to us from Contributing Writer & Poet Stephen Page.

Clocking in at 212 words, we think Stephen’s title, On Aeaea During COVID-19 teases this one perfectly.

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

“An impasse could be the longest Hell or the shortest Heaven, just be happy you’re there and no one else is.”

(photo “Beach Feet” by Tyler Malone)

Get this read 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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