“What is to give light must endure burning.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Bi – Charles J. March III
To witness more of Charles’ curious collage collection, as well as our other former featured artists (over 50 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 sin preempted when muffin tempted; we sunlight minded from vision blinded; we feelings vexed to not have sex; we random sung a deep pressed shun; we fomented our frets over recalled regrets; we let conjecture hang on thoughts of the big bang; we met Milton’s maker with help from a traiteur. We make our makers when our words make us. ~ MH Clay
Milton was murdered. by Chris Zimmerly
Lately it seems
All is lost, all is found
All at the same time
If healing is necessary
Ask the Traiteur for help
No payment needed
Milton wishes to hold her closer
“She is light on water to me,” he says.
April 17, 2021
editors note: Before his end, Milton sought healing, switched to haiku. – mh clay
Lasting Light by Harley White
When stars come out in dark of night
they simply reappear in sight.
How would they flee the light of day
or to what reaches fly away?
Appearances deceive indeed
we’ve seen exalted truths decreed
like Ptolemy’s dethroned, amen,
by Galileo’s greater ken.
Are ‘black holes’ what they’re said to be
or something else we do not see?
And what preceded that ‘big bang’
assumed as how creation sprang?
Repeatedly it must be faced
that what we know will be replaced
by deeper knowledge, still in flux,
for certainties may miss the crux.
What thought can fathom vast expanse
of universe’s cosmic dance?
Is death the end, or like a sleep?
Oh may a seeking mind we keep
eternal as our queries seem
thus as stargazers dare to dream
and let imagination cry
there must be more than meets the eye!
April 16, 2021
editors note: Cry, Imagination, Cry! There must be more… – mh clay
Without Colophon by Sanjeev Sethi
When mind wishes for a workout nostalgia
warms up the process. Firsthand fumes
are never on a collision course. Dubiety
does not piggyback on them.
Résumé turns into a register of regrets.
It is not easy to rack up how memory
preengages into a monograph: without
readers. This tally needs no title page.
April 15, 2021
editors note: From recall to remorse is a short run when self publishes to self. – mh clay
RANDOM SONGS by Spencer Smith
I play random songs
on my phone,
ran dumb songs
with no connection
to each other,
only connect shun
memories that collide
like heated molecules,
call lied in me and to me
until I cannot tell
what is truth and
what is not, can knot unknot
the difference between joy
the deep press shunning
all efforts to understand,
all F forts under attack
with no relief on the way,
no releafing of trees
that have died
but left their roots
while I lie in bed dead
to all but random songs.
April 14, 2021
editors note: Open your F forts to ran dumb incursions. – mh clay
Don’t Have Sex by Dana Al Rashid
Don’t have sex if you are lonely
Don’t have sex if you are bored
Don’t have sex if you are horny
Don’t have sex if it’s a rebound
Don’t have sex to fill the void
Don’t have sex just to avoid
Don’t have sex if you love him more
Don’t have sex if you’re not so sure
Don’t have sex if you’re still a virgin
Don’t have sex if you tried them all
Don’t have sex if you are in love
Don’t have sex if you want to be loved
Just don’t have sex
Wait until you’re ready
Wait until you’re thirty
Wait until you’re married
Or else you’ll be called dirty!
Wait for a lifetime
Wait for an eternity
Wait for 60 days
Or wait, was it 90?
Wait until the perfect man comes
Wait even if he never comes
Wait so you’d never get hurt
Wait even if you’re about to burst
Have sex anyway
April 13, 2021
editors note: A thing to have, but never keep. – mh clay
A Woman was drawn by Richard Weaver
towards a silver light. An oval eye.
Not a door or window or portal
with light beckoning from without.
Shiny like new aluminum pots, or
a star’s inner heart. She resisted,
part of her did, the edge of wonder,
the catapult of emotions flung freely
from a galaxy unnamed, unnumbered.
The tip of a feather. The distant onk
onk of geese who no longer migrate.
The rush of fresh water towards
a salted sea. A woman sings a song into
the eye of a rising sun, knowing it won’t
see her for what she is, could care less
if her irises melted, or her vision be
shrouded in perpetual darkness.
April 12, 2021
editors note: No wonder without wonderers. Sing away! – mh clay
Besting Eve by Jean Biegun
I try to remember why
I must not eat the warm muffin
in front of me (the preacher-
doctor’s rules, the wellness
articles saved), try to decode
its suspicious calorie count,
the sugar hit. I interrogate the coy
barista, Is the flour processed or
The sweet mound lures me with its
apple caramel perfume, its moist
glow. My stomach growls and sneers
at such puritan sublimation, this
pinched self-love unwilling
to forgive a timid nibble.
Before I plunge like a falling junkie
and take the fatal first bite,
I righteously remind myself
of the bad aftertaste from past
chunky muffins and their ilk.
And so I order a smug plain decaf
in a pristine paper cup to-go
and proudly stride ten brisk blocks home.
April 11, 2021
editors note: Our garden we’d enjoy uncloyed, but for that “timid nibble.” – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
(photo “We All Bark, Not All Bite” by Tyler Malone)
Hounded by neighbors and ruthless schoolchildren during the day, their nocturnal, air-rending cries of hunger keep me vigilantly awake. Stoning is the most lenient fate that awaits mums, puppies, or the already lame. My ears have attuned their nerves to catch the slightest bark that has a tinge of dread as it squeals its alarm away. A stray dog has no status in this beneficent part of our planet, so why should I not play the savior, a role I could not play in my earlier years? Unprecedented confrontations with some male specimen of my distinguished neighborhood have taken a fierce turn and gone beyond the feminism alarm bell that resounds in my academic classes and steamy debates. The recurrent executions of dogs are meant to deter my noisome intervention on their behalf.
Too weak to brush a swarm of greedy flies that zoom around its languid, half-glazed eyes and a bleeding mouth, a maimed puppy slowly lifts its head to inspect the towering figure above its odorous bed. The smell of rubbish, urine and baked feces waft their stench into my reeling head, so I tighten my grip on the slippery handle of my umbrella as beads sizzle on my forehead under a very torpid August red. Its cries have kept me awake for nights and I feel glad that I have finally succeeded in locating this fugitive among a variety of leftovers which civilization leaves in its wake. The visit to the veterinary surgeon intensifies my sense of bewilderment because this treated cripple is not wanted anywhere. I have no shelter to offer so I entreat Providence to keep it safe while I provide its meals when it can creep from beneath very similar rubbish heaps. Deep down I know the familiar end will not tarry and I wonder why I am repeatedly face to face with death in its ugliest feats.
My attempt to lift the frail dog when it lies supine, looking quite unconscious, ends with a tiny bite in utter self-defense and I see regret in its eyes as it recognizes my twisted mouth…
Don’t abandon the story there, get the rest right here!
••• Mad Reviews •••
Paul Tanner’s book, Shop Talk, comes at you directly. It’s safe to assume that the writer of these poems either works in a shop or has worked in a shop. From here on in I’m going to refer to the writer as Tanner.
Having dealt with people directly, working as a doorman, a counter person at a deli, and even on the retail floor of a computer store, I know people can really suck. But I’ve never written about these experiences. Tanner’s poems are often funny, but they are biting too. Any job that makes you face the public, without barriers, is like being a piece of meat in waters swarming with sharks. It’s best to bite first…
Go get yourself a copy of Shop Talk. Revel in reading about assholes getting their due. I hope you’ve never been the abuser, but if you have, maybe you’ll feel some remorse and rethink your behavior going forward. If you’ve been an abused shop clerk, here’s a chance to read your personal Batman’s revenge on the shitheads of the world. ~ Mike Fiorito
To read ALL of Mike’s Mad Review right here!
••• Mad Swirl Press •••
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020 is available right HERE!
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020 is a 109-page anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists from five continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, & North America); 12 countries (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Syria, UK, Ukraine, & USA [18 States]). We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best” of MadSwirl.com! The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”
And for those wondering just what and/or who Mad Swirl is…
Mad Swirl is an arts and literature creative outlet. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a diverse collection of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 170 contributing poets, our Short Story Library has over 40 participating writers and our Mad Gallery has over 50 resident artists.
This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!
If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020” then get yours 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…
Short Story Editor