The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.15.21

by on May 16, 2021 :: 0 comments

“Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.”

Jasper Johns

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Peeping TomTyler Malone

To witness more of Tyler’s poignant photos, 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 verses variated, some defenestrated; we played mentalist on spot genesis; we wished you alive in a place to arrive (Paris is fairest); we searched far and wide for where Pittsburg might hide (while Pittsburgh resides in plan view); we saw a blocked writer survive an all niter; we thought to make nice with ghostly advice; we wondered what we’d do if we bombed the interview. We’re seldom recruited for what we’re best suited. Might as well write. ~ MH Clay

In This Poem, My Body is Viewed as Perfect for Guarding Things and My Hands are Viewed as Perfect for Giving Direct Pressure for Spurting and My Writing is Not Viewed at All by Ron Riekki

At the job interview, they ask me if I am good with working at night.
They hire me for nights.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am good at working in bad neighborhoods.

They hire me to work in my neighborhood.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am good at working alone.
They hire me to work with a boss who practices all of the different forms of hostile environment on me. He is exceptionally good at it.

At the job interview, they ask me if I am OK with being exposed to radiation.
They hire me to be exposed to radiation, refusing to give me a dosimeter, even though the hiring paperwork said they would give me a dosimeter. My boss tells me one night, Radiation never hurt anyone.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am OK with having my fingers broken.

They hire me to have my fingers broken and what I didn’t realize is that this would be done by myself, on a monthly basis, in front of a board who would critique each break with a sheet that I would have to sign with pen in my mouth.
At the job interview, they ask me if I like elevator music.
I say I do not and then they place me inside of an elevator and play me a tape of a Cadillac being crushed in a pig-slaughter room, explaining to me that any music played in an elevator is ‘elevator music,’ and I try to explain to them that these sounds are not music and they explain to me that I am being filmed.

May 15, 2021

editors note: For playback at breaktime. – mh clay

Gangsters in a Haunted House by Jeff Grimshaw

The ghosts don’t like your cheap cigars, Jimmy
They don’t like you tuning the radio to the Dodgers every night
Ghosts don’t dig the Dodgers
They do like Rita’s low cut dresses & they think
She should sit closer to the storm lamp
In the kitchen sometimes

Also, they wish you would stop flipping that coin, Jimmy
They hate it when you yell at Rita
Especially when it’s about nothing at all
Which is always what it’s about
Rita is really nice, is what they think
So you should cut it out
And while you’re at it, they think, you should

Send Beans & Petey One Eye to the A & P, Jimmy
& tell them stop buying that shitty beer which nobody
Likes but you & Beans. The ghosts think
You should get some Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe
All kindsa spooky stuff could start happening
Blood coming outta faucets & mirrors with monster faces
A bag of Doritos would be good too.

May 14, 2021

editors note: Spectre’ly sound advice. – mh clay

All Niter by Robert Fleming

not Lionel Richie singing all night long, really!
Pages & Pages unread humanities books, really!
Servant Dan Quote > 1,000 pages, really?
no Coles notes, really?
no-one selling Quote term paper, really?
read 1100 pages, 6 pm 2 6 am, really!
2 am, cnt c, re l l y
let go of my Twinky, REALLY!
1 Twinkie 4 1 Moon Pie, NO! really?
8 pm no video room 2 play Ms. Pacman, really!
no fun exam week, really!
11 pm p is Twinkie yellow, really-
Nodoz keeps awake, really?
4 am, diarrhea toilet reading, REAL…LY!
take PeptoBismal, when take Nodoz, really?
this is college, really?
Satan right my paper 4 my soul? NO! Really?
4 am 2 8 am, write Quote paper, really
Quote windmills r the enemy, really?
no more black typewriter ink, really!
press keys 2 red ink, redly
finger bondage 2 typewriter keys, really!
3 typos, reverse correction, still 1 typo, really!
liquid paper fixes typos, really?
alarm clock, push snooze, Really!
roomie took my jean Jacket? Really?
write my paper 4 my jean jacket? No? Really!
9 am dropped paper in teacher mail slot, really
asleep in student lounge, really!
calculus test in 2 days, really!
fall semester over, REALLY!
return spring semester? really?
spring semester, Ding Dang new vending machine snack, really!
teacher reduced my grade by ½ grade for red type, really?
drop registration form in this box? really?

May 13, 2021

editors note: Here’s the source of student debt. Really! – mh clay

Pittsburg by Kenneth P. Gurney

Pittsburg vanished from the map
and the earth as well.

It was the worst case of shame
Paul had ever witnessed.

The shame centered around
Pittsburg’s reputation for racism.

Having never visited the city
Paul was not sure the reputation was warranted.

He doubted Pittsburg hid in Philadelphia,
the city of brotherly love.

Cleveland was an unlikely hiding place—
though an arch rival’s guest room

under a Jim Brown poster
would be the last place Paul would look.

He guessed it was possible
that Pittsburg had been kidnapped,

but he found no ransom note
after searching the Allegheny region.

He followed a trail of dingy-yellow terrible towels,
but they led eleven or so miles west

and ended abruptly at that peculiar
West Virginia spur that houses Wheeling.

May 12, 2021

editors note: Apologies to Pittsburg! But wherever you’re hiding, might as well come out. – mh clay

Paris by Bill Wolak

May you always arrive in Paris
wearing nighttime like eyeliner
and a gossamer blouse fluttering
like a spiderweb stretched
across a sundial’s shadow,
and may you roam the cafes
with your irresistible wink
of clinking wine glasses.

May you always arrive in Paris
carrying a lilting bouquet
and may you wander
through the downpour
to Cimetière du Montparnasse
visiting graves of poets
leaving a trail of red roses
with your swirling hair
damp as a book left out
all night in the rain.

May 11, 2021

editors note: Yes! Wherever you find it… – mh clay

Spot On by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

It could have been there for days,
I have no idea when it first appeared
or what may have caused it;
dinners’ past a popular culprit,
but I found myself unable to narrow
things down,
there was a four-day window
since I had changed my clothes last,
the smell was my smell and the familiar
seldom spooks you;
just this single spot
halfway down my shirt,
not round like a simple drop
of something,
but rather some unnamed shape
hurtling back from the abyss
which I had failed to
encounter before.

May 10, 2021

editors note: Can’t resist a broiled abyss with gravy. – mh clay


I sit at my desk under the window
reading the poems of Su Tung-p’o.
You play Schumann at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

Behind me I hear through the window
crickets chanting the poems of Su Tung-p’o.
Schumann plays duets at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

You sit at my desk under the window
humming the poems of Su Tung-p’o
accompanied by Schumann at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

Schumann flies in the window
on the back of a poem by Su Tung-p’o.
I hear you close the lid of the piano.
A cricket runs up & down the hall.

What is Emily doing at the window?
I tear out the poems of Su Tung-p’o,
wedge them into the strings of the piano.
You run up & down the hall.

You jump out of the window
onto the lawn where Su Tung-p’o
is writing a poem about a piano.
I run up & down the hall.

May 9, 2021

editors note: A right runaround to rhyme (not rhyme) with Su Tung-p’o. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you fave app is aptly feeding you this week’s featured read, My Friend” by Contributing Writer Carl Perrin, then maybe you should stop scrollin’ and get to readin’!

Here’s what our Shot Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the week:

“It’s all the same all over again, again and again.”
Here’s a teaser to get you clickin’:

(photo “Memory Wall” by Tyler Malone)

Of all the cell phone apps, the best by far is My Friend. It is a smart phone app for lonely people, including lonely married people, like me. At least I was married until a month ago.

Think of all the friends you have. Isn’t there some little thing wrong with every one of them? No one is perfect, after all. Wouldn’t it be great if you could custom design the perfect friend for yourself? Someone who would understand you, who would share your interests, and most important, someone you could talk to about anything.

That was the problem with Thelma and me. For the past few years, we hadn’t had anything to talk about. Our conversation had been limited to things like “pass the salt, please,” or “I’m going shopping Saturday morning, so I’ll need the car.” That’s why I was eager to create a virtual friend with the app.

The instructions said not to go into too much detail in describing your virtual friend. Just start talking to them as you would a friend in the real world. The software will get to know you and shape the personality of your new friend. I decided to call her Isabella…

Get this WHOLE modern day “love” story 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…

Doin’ Somethin’,

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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