The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.07.21

by on August 8, 2021 :: 0 comments

“The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.”

Mata Hari

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Chapando IIJ. Gregory Cisneros

To see all of J Gregory’s’s simply complex canvases, 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 smiled to sing an ode to Spring; we sparked a fire ’tween browse and desire; we ripped to rave on a hangnail babe; we took to task a predator’s mask; we hummed a tune through phases of moon; we laughed at the fates of whirling plates; we offered a child to rites beguiled. We see these shackles, raise our hackles, and write to right long wrongs. ~ MH Clay

Communion by David Ratcliffe

Holy doors slam with echo
scudding shoulders into neck
as my hand, damp with holy water,
claws at my collar.

Like watching a stranger’s home video
through the crack of a door
I look to the distant altar
where vows were made
not kept,
peering through the flock,
finding my little girl in the viewfinder
of a grey-suited stranger.

Filming her every pose,
he smiles, a smile he stole from me
and she smiles back
as I drift further out of focus.

I open my hymnbook,
but words on the page misbehave
leaving me miming a dirge to loss;
suppressing a scream…

Children resembling newlyweds
proceed to a garden feast,
joy on faces of innocence
departing through an arched doorway.

I remain alone in my pew,
a stranger to a recent past,
afraid of both pity and pride;
the ambush waiting
beyond an open door.

That is until, my legs disobey
and I’m in full glare
each set of eyes, like lasers
burning me to shut down.

I adjust my frown,
as I’m picked out of a lineup
the guilty, the loser, the weirdo;
my daughter wrapped around my waist
with adoration in her eyes
and as I hold her,
I lose myself in cathedral glass
never more alone in the mind.

August 7, 2021

editors note: Wrapped in the ritual we regaled, pretending rite makes right. (This poem is included in David’s soon-to-be-released collection, “Through an Open Window.” Find out how to get your copy here. – mh clay

Religiously Remote by David P. Kozinski

There is the guidance of missiles
and the redundancy – guidance counseling.
There are guide dogs and sight-seeing guides,
guidelines for application and submission,
Indian guides, trail guides, field guides,
and guidance for diligence. Steering
is another matter.

Ocean ignores all but the moon, rocks
back and forth in its deep pan
singing, dune, spoon, loony tune;
a stony old idea roots itself, increases
suffering, just as intended, and keeps
plates and minds spinning.

With this weapon, they needn’t ever consider
the countenance of the adversary.
Count on killing
to become but part of a daily routine.
Cornflakes, calisthenics, round
to the nearest decimal point.

With this weapon kill all the foliage,
sell the dead land, burn down a village
and rake up the chips.
So many plates whirling furiously;
hilarious comedies, the stand-up who slays them,
the canned warmth of laughter spreads luxuriously.

August 6, 2021

editors note: Who’s in charge of this chicken outfit, anyway? – mh clay

2 Senryu and a Gendai: Moon, Cupid, Trigger by Lori A Minor

sickle moon
every suture
I should have had

a private message
from my rapist

her firstborn hair-trigger temper

August 5, 2021

editors note: A stitch, an itch, and why some wrongly name her… – mh clay

A Servant, I Know, Who Plots by Paul Tristram

I stand under no-one else’s umbrella
… I owe nothing to anyone,
except… point-blank Cold Shoulder.
I speak through hawk-plumage,
and in razors-so-sharp… you bleed,
internally, later
… when I have removed myself
far from ‘Suspect’ musical-chair.
I don’t ‘Wager’ I ‘Take’ and Leave
… ‘Vantage Points’ Trapped.
I say the word ‘Tangerine’ often,
it sickens me… but, it reassures,
fools of some childhood thing or other
… and disguises the Predator,
hiding behind that false colour,
shape, and texture… STRIKE!
‘Unbalance’ differs with onion-layers,
the surgery of Interest,
works better dressed in a uniform
of cold, almost theatrical Indifference.
I salute you, fake-sincerely
… a traceless smile within my
as I lead you forward whilst following.

August 4, 2021

editors note: Run for cover when you hear, “Tangerine!” – mh clay

HANGNAIL by John L. Yelavich

You’re like a hangnail, so annoying,
can’t seem to get rid of memories of you.
Your soft skin was like sweet cream butter,
now the wrinkles match your surliness.
Your lips were like a lambert cherry,
now they taste like an unripe persimmon.
Your bed was a bastion of fervent desires,
now it’s where fantasies take their last breath.
You were a wildflower with tattoos to match,
now your once sweet blossoms have wilted.
Your eyes, a mirror, reflected our passions,
now it’s smeared with snowy residue’s insidious grip.
Your body was the envy of a long line of lovers,
now it’s beaten, battered, used, older than your years.
Your orgasmic rivers once drowned my spirit,
now dried up, into your ravine no one takes a dip.
Cravings numbed, out of place, they walked out the door,
delusions dead, raunchy images in my mind expired,
no longer communicating by seductive touches,
a harsh reality flushed my threadbare senses,
not even Valium-filled veins could quell this aura of evil.

August 3, 2021

editors note: All the more evil when a reflection of self. – mh clay

NIGHT CANDLES by Roger G. Singer

street lights,
weak and bland,

exposing those
those desiring

gods and
bending into,
leaning away,
guarding carefully
hushed exchanges

they walk
and turn,
shadows following
to the next light
where hearts wait
to be wanted

August 2, 2021

editors note: What all of us deities desire. – mh clay

Spring by Susandale

From every pore of earth and sky

A promise to be kept


In a knot

Tying together blossom and birds

Sun spirits

curl on April’s shoulders

And rain shadows

Slant across the earth

atremble with flowers

Waiting to be born

Hush pretty petals

Shush, winds in the trees

The willow fronds



sing their green-eyed

lullaby to spring

August 1, 2021

editors note: In this sweltering summer, we sweat in remembrance. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s featured read “While The Poor People Sleep (With the Shade on the Light)” comes to us from Contributing Writer & Poet Randall Rogers.

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

“What’s going on? Actually, what’s going on inside you? What’re you carrying? Who are you carrying?”

When we say this story is shitty, know that we mean it with the utmost respect. Cop a squat and see what we mean:

(photo “Out With the In” by Tyler Malone)

Hi, my name’s Arch and I live inside. I’m inside him, Eddie. I come out at night while he’s sleeping. Out of Eddie’s anus I crawl. Like a nocturnal form of tapeworm, only I go exploring at night. But I’m no worm. I’m small, that’s for sure. Small enough to live inside him and crawl out of his asshole every night. Yet, I’m normal. No, I’m not always bloodthirsty but I do like a good edged weapon. Problem is knives and such— especially sharp ones!—they’re difficult to get past the sphincter when I get home. I have to leave them outside the asshole when I get home…

If that teaser go you moving, get this whole shitty read on right here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of August (aka 08.04.21) at our NEW HOME, Barbara’s Pavillion, you know that we whirled up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced our stage with your words, your songs, your divine madness…

Johnny O
Chris Zimmerly

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel & Gerard Bendiks)

Round One:
Desmene Statum
Brett “BA” Ardoin
James “Bear the Poet” Rodehaver
Gayle Bell
Paul Koniecki
Atenea Afrodita
Harry Mcnabb
Paul Sexton
Tamitha Curiel

Musical Intermission:

Round Two:
Roderick Richardson
Suza Kanon
Tom Bannon
Alan Gann
Jessica Ozoude/James Dumaine
Josh Weir
Elliott Hill
Dick Zinnendorf
Eli Sellers

Musical Intermission:

BONUS Round:
CJ Critt
James “Bear the Poet” Rodehaver
Atenea Afrodita
Josh Weir
Suza Kanon
Elliott Hill
Harry Mcnabb

HUGE grats to ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave from Barbara’s as well as our FB Live feed! We know you have a few choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to hang out with lil ol’ us us!

Be safe & ’til next 1st Wednesday (aka 09.01.21)… may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feeds, your eye can spy on these virtual Swirl’n scenes 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 bein’…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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