The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.30.21

by on January 31, 2021 :: 0 comments

“With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance.”

Norman Mailer

••• The Mad Gallery •••

DiagramAlan 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 moved ahead after what was said; we loved in flowers, made star song ours; we placed a bet on a space cadet; we didn’t think it strange, to make change, yet remain unchanged; we answers gleaned from cast iron cleaned; we balances tipped for bad buds nipped; we fought pundit’s fun, ripped ’em all a new one. State your case, but cover your ass-ets.. ~ MH Clay

Idiots with microphones by Samantha Hawkins

you scream insults on Twitter
until your fat lungs shrivel and recoil

and beg you to give the topic a rest

long enough for them to gorge themselves
on the October smog

until your voice wears thin on patience, and low
on pure nerve

maybe you hit the mute button
on your inner demons, to tackle theirs

pause all Instagram notifications

just let the world have it
because you’ve had it with the false narratives

give them hell, give them the mouthful they deserve
we’re all idiots anyway

with amplifiers distorting our truth into white noise

might as well say what we think we mean
with half the guts and ambition we think we have

knock ’em dead with our memes
our Google-sponsored fact-checks via Wikipedia

and if we’re silenced, we’re silenced
but not before we go off on a tangent on Facebook

or we rip this elitist talking head a new one

January 30, 2021

editors note: It takes real stamina to ride the media merry-go-round. Hold on! – mh clay

Killers by Robert L. Martin

Ancient killers and contemporary killers
Pterodactyls and jetfighter planes
Knuckles and grenades
Battle-axes and missiles
Spears and assault rifles
Fire and gun powder
Strength of body and strength of mind

Satanic strongholds and biblical triumphs
Evil conundrums and puzzle solvers
Killers of hope and killers of hope killers
Air of depression and air of exhilaration
Virus running free and fences being built
Aerial beasts and aerial thinkers
Bestial cannonballs and holy exorcists
Toxic air and its decontamination
Corona germs and laboratory militias
Pestilent rats becoming rats of heroism
Germs supplying ammo to fight germs
Futility fighting and genius retaliating
Killers in the air shot down by a vaccine

Era of depression runs into a new era.
The good and bad are only temporary.
Time is a fast-moving train
running through the past and present
with no time to let depression take root.
Hope is the track into the next town and
Vaccine is the town of destiny and
jubilation is the new spirit of the town.

January 29, 2021

editors note: Killers to quell? Let’s give it our best shot, then Glory Be! – mh clay

Cast Iron Cleaning by Peter Grimaldi

The rusting woman takes steel wool and soap
To the cast iron pan
Removing rust from a year or two
Applying force great to the rust darkness
Cleaning at the edges of forever
What no one wants,
Cast iron questions and forever ignorance.

January 28, 2021

editors note: While cleaning our questions, try not to scrub away our answers, too. – mh clay

Catalyst by Agnes Vojta

The catalyst emerges
from the cauldron

miracle agent
that caused the reaction
to erupt and burn

restored after fleeting

required for the miracle,
but not consumed
by the flames

that forged something

January 27, 2021

editors note: Make change, yet keep the change. What a transaction! – mh clay

Motley by Sanjeev Sethi

If the only pix are those of screen goddesses or gods:
it is natural to acquire a skewed vision.
Socializing reduces the critical bar.
I’m not sure if it nurtures the creative output.

For most, it flourishes in forlornness.
Emotional curios never grab as much mind space
as the all thumbs crew.
A space cadet scores summa cum laude over the others.

January 26, 2021

editors note: A recluse’s rant; all thumbs are better than no grasp at all. – mh clay

Moonflower by Christopher Calle

I’ll never unsee you, she says.
Desiring for a moonflower
In a barred mist fog
An Unbound cube
The pattern is chaos.
Then falling faster toward potential, or mass,
To settle upon a velvet leaf
Perfect potential is green.
An Unfurling tendril
A color with no name
A natural satisfaction.
I know you know, and so do I.
The mysteries of our construct
Space no matter for symmetry
Distance no heed for data
Entangled, the singing stars

January 25, 2021

editors note: Mates in moon and flower and all. – mh clay

Memories of a Four Letter Word by James D. Casey IV

beside myself
inside a daydream
burnt into
another me’s

in two

a memory
a past life

held against the
corners of
my mind
in angst

pinstriped suit
breast pocket ring
our favorite
picnic willow

with a heart
by a switchblade
long ago

on one knee
in vain
roses growing
on her dress
more thorn
than petal

I tipped my hat
to the could’ve
been and
walked away
at the used to be
and ain’t no more

after she

January 24, 2021

editors note: Don’t say what you don’t mean. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Mad Swirl’s got a feelin’ you just might Need-a-Read. If our hunch is correct, you’ve come to the right place!

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

“It’s a slow crawl to never going anywhere again.”

This week’s featured read, On A Good Day comes to us from Contributing Writer & Poet Alexandria Biamonte & starts off like this:

(photo “Going Cold in A Big, Dark World” by Tyler Malone)

“It’s been a while,” she says quietly, her fingers running over the scars on my arm. Like she can see my past and future, like palm reading. I wonder, briefly, how that would sound: You have lived a hard life, the fortune teller might say. This one indicates you will lead a long life. And I would think, no, it doesn’t. It indicates that I once owned a cat and that you are a fraud.

She isn’t false, though, not in any way. Her gentle gaze is still earnest. She doesn’t have scars for me to read, just a flourish of freckles over her nose.

“I know,” I mumble, avoiding those blue eyes. She deserved answers. I didn’t have enough for either of us…

You deserve to get the rest of this story. Slide on over to right here to do just that!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.06.21) when we’ll once again be doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do virtually via Facebook LIVE!!

Starting at 7:30pm (CST), join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay, along with musical mad grooves from Swirve (with special musical guest Pecan Tree) as we kick off these open mic’n Mad Swirl’n festivities…

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate. (get a spot 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 this 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…

Bein’ Defiant,

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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