“There is always a delightful sense of movement, vibration and life.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Burn Out – Bleak Teeth
To see all of Bleak Teeth’s gritty and creepy (yet oh so attractive) cast of characters, 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 found a spot with unplugged plot; we meanwhiles cloned from unusual bones; we twinkled far as a brighter star; we pleasured plenty on when we were twenty; we worried in part for a porous heart; we heard a mourner over empty corners; we murdered to keep in waters not deep. We splashed and spattered our mad matters on empty page; we write to last with hopes to pass a day or… an age. ~ MH Clay
A Sign Says No Dumping by Joseph Farley
In the mud and murk
Trout hide well
Along with turtles
A body however
Would be easier
Unless chopped small.
A creek yay deep
Is better for concealing
The small and living
Than the big and dead.
Still, people try.
The water looks deeper
Than it is
Who pull up in cars
With loaded trunks
How many hooks
Probe the dark green
Of a summer day.
July 3, 2021
editors note: A plea for responsible recycling. – mh clay
HEART’S CRY by Vern Fein
Where does a heart go
when it cries out?
Does the heart hunt
for what makes it weep,
cry so hard it leaves home?
Search for a lost
spouse, child, pet,
roam the empty world
try to find what
will never be again.
Is finding nothing
the only solace
that can stop the tears
and bring us home?
At home, the rooms
look the same
but a stark absence
sits in every corner,
immovable until time
makes it disappear.
July 2, 2021
editors note: The missing thing leaves a permanent hole filled with time. – mh clay
Chronology by Sanjeev Sethi
Notwithstanding how shielded the heart is
at some stage
you realize it’s porous.
don’t hold this against yourself.
I’ve learned not to fall
at my wooer’s feet.
There are dignity and distance
in my demeanor.
But this organ with four chambers
has its own score to settle.
It propels me on a path
that isn’t under my superintendence.
This is the worrisome part.
July 1, 2021
editors note: And it’s impossible to hold at arm’s length. (Congrats to Sanjeev on the release of his new collection, “Bleb.” You can find it here.) – mh clay
Still Twenty. by Dennis Moriarty
When we get together I am twenty years
Old again and laughing.
We are sat in an Irish pub on North End
Pints of strong lager and cheap Whiskey
Our eyes propped open by the braless girls
Who had shoehorned
Their bodies into tight-fitting fabrics.
The come ons, the chat ups,
Slap downs and put downs so cruel then,
So funny now.
And the old boy alone in a corner of the bar
Searching for adventure
In a half-consumed pint of Guinness.
Neither you nor I
Imagining that he might be our mirror image
In years to come.
And as the night grew old and the music louder
The whole pub sang along,
Proud and drunk, to the words of Molly Malone,
The Fields of Athenry.
And the old boy tapped the table with yellow
Drum stick fingers
Playing with a smile on the foaming lips of
A tepid pint.
And now here we are together again, drinking
Good wine and a fine single malt,
forty years later and I am still twenty years old
June 30, 2021
editors note: Turning our twenties to twenty-turned again. – mh clay
Starstruck by Sarah Karowski
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art ~ John Keats
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art—
were I as far away and dying? Were I you, star,
would my wavering starlight inspire nursery
rhymes? Oh star, if only I were lightyears gone,
leave onlookers starstruck, disappear by morn—
Bright star, how doth thou be so aloof and cool?
How can I twinkle when I’m less starshine,
more starburst—the red flavor, the one no one likes.
Less Eremite, more Jezebel, less pure than you, star.
You’d never let these bastards break your heart, no, you’d
supernova the shit out of them, vaporize to stardust.
I’m stuck sipping Starbucks and crying about capitalism.
Could I learn to be like you, starling in training, but
I’m stuck stargazing, dreaming of upward swing.
June 29, 2021
editors note: Make that a mocha supernova with no room for cream. – mh clay
meanwhile by Brendan McBreen
on the vine
I got up
in the fan
Italy invaded Pakistan
but they agreed
to pause the war
during the World Cup
a dog was digging up
I didn’t know
were underneath my garden
the two Saints
agreed to split a Sunday
it grew dark out
June 28, 2021
editors note: How to maximize your meanwhiles. – mh clay
Railyards and YouTube plotlines by Tom Pescatore
in the monitor rays – the plot unplugged
a pine cone lodged in our throat – burnt open by canned heat – blue lubricant
expelled for lonely hours
ozone stench of mucous membrane
sounds of laughter wafting thru headphoned doorways
paused by unresponsive fingerprints
June 27, 2021
editors note: Still, we try to discern rail from tube. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the week:
“(DIE)T. Yeah, that’s the key word.”
Here’s a few bites to satiate that hunger:
(photo “Pizza Party” by Tyler Malone)
“Hi, Wendell.” I turned my head, tracking the voice past the light blue wall with a seascape print on to the doorway. It was Jared, my dietician. “How are we doing today?”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a jerk, but I’d been cooped up in the hospital living on their boring food for eleven days and I was sick of it. I guess I took my pissed-off vibe out on the poor guy when I said, very pointedly, “We are doing just fine, thank you very much.”
There, take that, I thought to myself. But, in replaying my reply in my mind I guess it didn’t sound quite as confidently assertive as I thought it would.
Oh, well, I’ve never been one for conflict. I’ll accept that, but let’s change the subject and talk about food. Now there’s something I can really sink my teeth into. (Ha-ha!) In fact, that’s why Jared was here. I guess it’s my love of food, especially processed food loaded with lots of salt or as Jared calls it, sodium, that was responsible for my hospital stay, my second heart attack in five years.
“Third one’s the charm, Wendell,” Jared told me yesterday, trying to strike fear into my cholesterol laden heart. Easier said than done…
Sink your teeth into the rest of this juicy story right here!
••• Open Mic •••
Mad Swirl Open Mic has a new home: Barbara’s Pavillion in Oak Cliff!
Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of July (aka 07.07.21) when we’ll be warming up our new home, Barbara’s Pavillion by doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do! We will be trying out a hybrid of LIVE in-person and virtually via Facebook LIVE!
Starting at 7:30pm (CST), join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay, along with musical mad grooves from Swirve (with Gerard Bendicks on skins!) as we kick off these open mic’n Mad Swirl’n festivities…
Come to participate.
Come to appreciate. (join us LIVE at Barbara’s Pavillion OR 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’…
Short Story Editor