The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.24.21

by April 25, 2021 0 comments

“I am inspired. Art comes from art.”

Cy Twombly

••• The Mad Gallery •••

KotexCharles 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 timed the cause for is that was; we blew through blows with wheat field crows; we gulled on sand to stag on land; we lighted sentry to fight for entry; we stayed real for a hot meal; we dried for a win on the way to the bin; we cut through the kerf of the culture of serfs. We ride the waves for words that save. It’s an endless summer! ~ MH Clay

The Joys of Serf Culture by Jeff Bagato

On the back of a rhinoceros
the countess rides out
to inspect her lands,
all shopping malls and nail
salons dripping with sweat
from somebody’s brow
unseen and unknown;
the pizza parlor flips out pies
like UFOs into the atmosphere,
flying free across America
like crows or vultures
covered in red sauce
and cheese, flapping broad wings
and circling the heads
of weak individuals lying
half dead in their cars;
hamburgers walk the earth
marching straight from the griddle
and dressing up for a promenade
in sesame seed bun,
special sauce, tomato,
pickles and onion—all the best
burgers toss a pearl necklace
over their forms, like two rows
of teeth coming down for a bite,
but hamburgers can run
circles around most meat
eaters, skipping and laughing
and making a scene—beer flows
in the fountain like the perception
of time, sampled and assembled
by analog brains to push
a person out of the goo—
cars do jumping jacks at every
corner gas station, happy
to feed on the vast teat
of America, oil dripping from their holes
like french fry grease
through a paper bag full of hot
death; it’s a panorama of ice
cream bars and cigarettes
and monkeys dancing a jig
for more noodles, loaded on coffee,
and brains fit to bursting
from the rise of language and sin
like an apple pie encrypted
with credit card numbers,
addresses and lies, lies,
lies for the taxman,
the auditor, the fuzz

We can pave the world
with cheddar cheese
like a wet burrito covered
in golden ooze,
like an oil spill in Alaska,
like fracking the mind
and keeping ‘em all
at the counter

April 24, 2021

editors note: Serfin’ USA! – mh clay

After Twilight by Christopher Calle

Check out how much stain this drier sheet caught.
If entropy had a color, it would be gray-blue.
I consider pristine white fiber.
Peaceful softness
Before being scoured of its fluffy edges.
Becoming dirty on the way to becoming clean
I want to believe there’s science here
That I am not second-hand victim to the patricians’ savvy;
To my own fool’s errand – principled endeavor
That it’s a small loss
And a meaningful win
And following harsh discord
Pull the lint catch
and roll off 2 feet of gray-blue tinder
Soft en route to the bin.

April 23, 2021

editors note: Lint pickers by patricians’ paradigm; fragrant, if not clean. – mh clay

HOT-MEAL POEM by John D Robinson

I had remained silent
during the interview, so
they put me in a cell:
a couple of hours later
the custody officer made
his rounds: he was a
father to a friend of
mine and he asked me
how I was and if I was
hungry: he got me a
hot-meal and coffee:
a few hours later, I
was questioned again
and my tongue
remained numb so
they kicked my ass out
of that cold police
station into the warmth
of a summer’s
morning, just waking
up and thirsty for the
plunge into this
life of ours and to
this day, I give thanks
to that custody officer,
that was my first
hot-meal I’d had
in days.

April 22, 2021

editors note: A feast for the fifth and a warm morning, too. – mh clay

Our Sun by Ahmad Al-khatat

Our sun rises and we still cannot rise up
raised in poverty and realized that’s a blessing
We taught to walk barefoot with a laughter face
We embraced our heartless enemies constantly
We adopted suicide risks, depressions, insomnia
to our sensitive spirit who we flooded with our tears
The shirtless man and his pregnant wife are
sleeping on the mud of the border hoping that
they will be able to cross the country for a better
future for their child, since our culture would do
nothing but name tags, and mislead the direction
of the peace that we spent years dreaming about
Our sun shares its glow with the moon in blues
Yet, we sleep in darkness as if the sky is the mirror
and we are the shattered stars in the eyes of the warrior.

April 21, 2021

editors note: No light, no sentry; no fight, no entry. – mh clay

THOUGHTS OF ENDINGS by Anne Whitehouse

I August 19

The sea beckons this morning,
blue and rippling, but the beach,
when I arrive, is not inviting.
Sand washed away in a storm
left gullies lined with rocks
collecting mats of seaweed.

At shoreline, a shape
sways back and forth
in the tide, the color of a rock
but not a rock, large, heavy, soft,
swollen beyond recognition.

Farther down the shore,
I wade through seaweed over rocks,
until I can swim out in cold water.
Gulls circle overhead. Cormorants
dry their wings on a rock in the sea.

My summer swims are numbered,
but I don’t count them. The ponds,
lake, bay, and ocean I swam in this summer,
the pool at the top of a waterfall—
all welcomed me. All but this cove,
this morning. As I left the beach,
I passed a herring gull splayed in the sand,
its neck twisted at an odd angle.

II August 20

I saw a young stag at the edge
of the lawn, browsing the bushes.
Its antlers wore a velvety sheen
in the early morning sunlight.
We looked at each other
for what seemed a long while,
his liquid brown eyes,
my blue eyes.

We stood perfectly still
until he meandered into a dark seam
between bushes,
waving his fluffy white tail.

Summer is playing with fall,
a cool breath of air, a square of hot sun.
The color of the sea is ultramarine.
These are the most beautiful days of the year.
As I watch them pass, I hold them close.

April 20, 2021

editors note: Sometimes wonder, sometimes worry; each day a choice to hold. – mh clay

My Private Tutor’s Crows by Sekhar Banerjee

We know the sky functions like the eye

of the galaxy that has tiny specks of planets moving
near its cornea because
the universe is one-eyed

like my second private tutor in high school and he liked
the Hitchcock movie- The Birds,
with subtitles

and he often looked at the crows
in Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with a magnifying glass
to learn more about life,

sky, planets, birds, and the universe
which continuously looks at us

I take one eye from my second private tutor
and the other from the universe

April 19, 2021

editors note: Mindsight is 20/20. – mh clay

All There Was by Bruce Mundhenke

A moment in time
Brought me to a place,
Where beauty shined
Its light,
Illuminating everything,
And blending all into one.
No longer any division,
Between myself and everything.
No longer was there
This, or that,
But all was all in all.
Love was not a concept,
Love is all there was.

April 18, 2021

editors note: Seeking that was to be our is. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If the fates dropped this story in the midst of your feed then it must mean you Need-a-Read!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this week’s featured tale:
The odds of love are sure damn odd but we keep betting with our whole hearts, with all our hearts work for, with all the heartbeats we have left on loan.
Here’s a few lumps from Cornball Love by Contributing Writer & Poet Chuck Taylor:

(photo “Half the World Ready for Your Light” by Tyler Malone)

My life changed when I met a woman. I suppose that’s a cliché you’ve heard before. Stick with me here, don’t get cynical.

The restaurant was crowded on that autumn day, and with no chair nearby, the young lady asked if she could sit across from me. I sat alone at a small table with one other chair, reading Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” waiting for my order. I had seen the play in an English class years ago. This was my first read.

I’m a bachelor, thirty-one years old, a solitary, but the lady sitting across seemed unique, what with long red hair and robin’s egg blue eyes.

She smiled and chirped a hello. She didn’t wish, I think, to disturb, but I was disturbed, pleasantly. We talked about the lovely spring day. Then she ordered her lunch. I’m not into food so don’t recall what she ordered.

We talked as she waited for her food. I’d gotten coffee and apple pie. I never buy much food when eating out. My finances don’t allow it. I go to restaurants to sit among people.

She was from Belfast, Ireland, I learned, newly arrived in the US, and worked at the nearby Bloomington Hospital as a nurse…

Don’t stop there! If you’re a “fan” of Chuck’s work, you’ll want to get the whole shebang right here!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

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! 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…


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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