The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.14.21

by on August 15, 2021 :: 0 comments

“An artist is nothing without his or her obsessions, and I have mine.”

Andres Serrano

••• The Mad Gallery •••

PelonJ. 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 punked a prancer, an old mad dancer; we slept (and dreamt) alone, just outside the happy zone; we hung a story on an inventory; we made false start at love as art; we sang to the groove of a bonehead move; we stopped the show, no who da foe; we hapless homemakers were taken by takers. We got as good as we gave. ~ MH Clay

Re-Education by David Punter

You may dance your colourful dances,
twirl strange batons, flail the sky,
stamp hallowed ground with boots of leather,
sound depths in a consecrated cry.

You may sew rubied embroidery
to clothe against the winter’s long song,
pick out old harmonies on flutes of iron
accompany yourselves on pipe and gong.

You may send your children out to the round tent
where they will perform the adult rite
to the tune of birds with curved, ferocious beaks
who teach them the lasting lore of the fight.

All this you may do as you have done
in the centuried past; but you may not
challenge the power of State or minion
by slightest tittle or faintest jot.

And when we bring paying crowds to see
quaint ceremonies, buy trinkets of cheap gold,
you will smile and caper to tunes
not of your own choosing, nor known of old.

And then you will enter the dull classroom
and learn by rote our version of dead history
where the plants have no piquancy, the trees
no shape, the forest floor no mystery.

And afterwards there will be work – the mines,
the factory – and you will make staples of fear
that mock your liberty, enact your dispossession,
and you may be at home; anywhere but here.

August 14, 2021

editors note: While home, not yours, is made of you. – mh clay

Da Foe by Robert Fleming

without da no restraining order
no-one to shoot at
who da salt?
who da peppa?
no-one to say don’t come here again
i miss da foe

without da no war
no button to push
who da dark?
who da light?
no-one to oppose
i miss da foe

without da no broken heart
no-one to have headache
who da top?
who da bottom?
no-one to hate
I am da foe

August 13, 2021

editors note: For friends, no foe-cus. – mh clay

Boneheads by Ian Mullins

must be exhausting
being you – the couple
of hundred times
I tried it
it nearly killed me,
obliging me to crack
my own bones
free from their skin
and whistle through them
that this life is splendid,
if not sane; not at all
like a life sitting
quietly around our campfire
with bones intact, finding
better songs to sing

August 12, 2021

editors note: Let’s keep our bones to ourselves. All together now… – mh clay

Your blue tamborine by Emalisa Rose

With a mutual penchant for
old timey markets, film noir,
and posthumous tributes to very
dead poets, we’d connected.

Imbibing on moonshine, divinity and
your blue tambourine, we made art in
an all night rococo, rounding the clock.

Then we simultaneously parted, for
reasons, unknown.

The canvas, part empty, mid a quandary
of questioning, brushstrokes and sudden

Our poems on the nightstand, glimpse
an etch-a-sketch theater, of our “once
was the time.”

August 11, 2021

editors note: When once is not upon but was, remember… – mh clay

Inventory by Bill Wolak

Wherever I look, stinging nettles shoot up. ~ Clare Goll

A frayed, untied shoelace
trailing between dreams.

A skeleton key buried in a desk drawer
lost as a compass in a shipwreck.

A cigar box filled with
the towpath’s flashcards.

A poisoned hand mirror tucked
inside its black velvet carrying case.

A doll with sand seeping
out of its cracked eye.

A rusted anchor tossed
into a snowbound dumpster.

A lifetime of moonless nights trapped
inside my grandmother’s silver thimble.

August 10, 2021

editors note: Wherever your stitch in time, list mine. – mh clay

trying to murder my shadow by J.J. Campbell

is my new

might as well
be a restricted
zone these days

i’ve stopped chasing
my tail or trying to
murder my shadow

but there’s this sweet
angel in my dreams
that is determined
to kill me

one day, i might
as well let her

August 9, 2021

editors note: Waking, sleeping; the end’s the same for all. – mh clay

SHEENA IS. by R.M. Engelhardt

Is still a
Punk rocker

At 65

Heavy makeup
Ripped punk
T shirts


In the
Of early


August 8, 2021

editors note: It’s her dimension, misnamed. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? This week’s featured read, from Contributing Writer & Poet Harry McNabb, is sure to please!

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

“Everyone has a move to make until they’re punched in the face. So do yourself a favor and slug your own kisser, and maybe you’ll see something new in the stars.”

If you’re already a fan of Harry’s work, you know you’re in for quite the joy ride! If not, hang on & enjoy this teaser of Get Ready, Jonathan to get ya goin’:

(photo “Piece by Piece” by Tyler Malone)

The call I had been expecting came through. I was laying on my bed thinking about screwdrivers, thinking about how I’d love to unscrew my jaw and let the muscles just hang there like David Foster Wallace.

I answered.

“Hey, what’s up, Ashton Kutcher,” He said.

“What’s up, Mama’s Boy Otis,” I said.

“What you doin’?” he said.

“Just, you know, going through my routine. Did some reading. Some walking. Some other shit. You?”

“Just having some brews.” He said.

“I thought you were quitting drinking.” I said

“Yeah, but I don’t know. I’m not ready, I guess.”

“Right on,” I said. “Gotta be ready. How was work?”

“Fucking terrible.”

“Yeah?” I said.

“Just terrible. So fucking bad. I don’t want to even talk about it.”

“Right on,” I said.

“Yeah, just…I don’t know,” he said.

“Right on. I got ya,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Yeah,” I said.

Both of us were quiet for a while. A little bored. But we were both glad to not be by ourselves…

Get ready & pick right up where this talkin’ tease left off 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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