The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.04.21

by September 5, 2021 0 comments

“The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself.”

Caspar David Friedrich

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Serenidad VIJ. Gregory Cisneros

With this one we close out J. Gregory’s feature run in our Mad Gallery. But don’t you fret, we got a new featured artist all set! Stay tuned!…

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 watched the sky to see a Stone fly; we stood at the border of coming disorder; we danced with the keepers of under-thought sleepers; we pictured paints in traces of saints; we applauded our edibles like clear-conscienced cannibals; we ventured disclosure through frontal exposure; we slumbered alone in the dream of a drone. Whether watching or standing or dancing to see, we’re clapping and gambling our words in a dream. ~ MH Clay

High-pitch by Timothy Pilgrim

I dream you back, a butterfly —
flit in, dance past belly, thigh,

touch cheek, settle on sheet.
I offer texting thumb, you float down,

vibrate there, do not flee.
Maybe you’ve changed, will stay,

vacuum, massage me, clean the sink.
You sleep. I grab phone, snap photos,

store your rainbowed slumber —
an Instagram treat, red, lilac,

gold, green. You wake, unfold wings,
transmute to drone, rise,

hover briefly, high-pitched whine.
I wake too, you zip off east.

September 4, 2021

editors note: When “sleepin’ alone in the drone of the darkness…” – mh clay

Exposed by John Dorroh

I pulled down your past
and watched it ooze onto
the floor, spreading like
hot jelly, exposing your
footsteps and soul. You
asked to look at mine
since it was only right
and would make it better
between us.

Mine was airy and
light like crepe batter.
The death of your mother
and the loss of my job
at the bank; your Cancer,
my bulging disc.

The checklist of personal
histories served no purpose.
Aimless one-upping, Hmph!

After sucking on cigarettes,
we pulled up our pasts and
walked out into the morning

September 3, 2021

editors note: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours… You first. – mh clay

Dinner-menu poem by Dr. Ampat Koshy

The restaurant was called Nalukettu
I went there in a dream
Wonder how many would remember that old scene
The dwarapalikas were alive and dancing
And the table was set for one
As if just for me
They put before me the traditional customary plantain leaf
And brought first a pair of fish eyes
For starters, for good luck
Matsya kanyakas or hilsas
It could be one or the other or both
All the way from Kolkatta
It was going to be a many course meal
I could feel
Shoulder of lamb from Kerala
Fried, dripping in oil
From Thiruvananthapuram
Breast of chicken
From Kottayam
The ham was from somewhere in Rajasthan
Then there was a mixed gourmet dish
Stretching halfway across the world
Camel meat from the Middle East
Smoking burnt black barbecue from New Orleans
Sirloin of cow and thighs of quail meat
A Texan delicacy
Legs of a frog for the end of the meal
From the underworld where the sirens sang and Circe lived
Then washing it down with condensed milk and tender coconut water
Stange menu in a dream
For dinner
I exaggerate not
I eat surreal nightmares
You can call me a cannibal
But it is all just sweet summer flesh
Of cantaloupe and its seeds
Cut in half in jest.

September 2, 2021

editors note: Cannibalism with a clear conscience. – mh clay

Picture by Milenko Županović

The shadow
on the land
the traces
of the saints
in the thoughts
of the apostles
in prayer.

September 1, 2021

editors note: Seeking truth in shadows; reason to pray. – mh clay

Danse Macabre by Al-Bayan Ghirra

We’ve been here since the dawn of time,
And here we shall always be;
But when the lips of dancing phantoms move
And you hear no sound in the crazy night,
When the desperate dance
To the rhythm of their false hope,
You know you’re alone.
When the freak disturbingly appears
Wherever you go he looks at you,
And you look back petrified,
Shut your mouth and listen
To the lunatic far in the distance,
Back in the corner of your dying brain,
Silently enunciating, whispering, and laughing;
Sleep beneath my thoughts
Where every word you say
Evaporates in time.

August 31, 2021

editors note: Say as many as you can, the time be damned. – mh clay

Rat Solstice by J. Gregory Cisneros

A viral mist flooded the blood of the human world
and the vascular walls of bodies thinned out.
The senses atrophied and breath drifted
toward its own drowning.
An elongated time settled into the tedium and the fear.

The architecture of alphabets collapsed
dismembered by misinterpretation.
Mental constructions fell apart.
Meanwhile, empty phrases and indentured thoughts
swirled in the electronic winds and cultivated fogs
of perfumed static.
Confused animals howled back.
What wildness is left today
that is not fenced in by grey sheets
of Liquid Crystal Display?

A sour sun was shining when the teargas rained down.
Black batons kept a dark rhythm on rolled and broken bones.
Empty eyes filled with phlegm.
The grateful riots were warmed
by campfires of torched cars.
Few looked up from the flames to admire,
through the fossil smoke,
the forgotten stars.

The End is Near – Always.
Entropy being the last and first perpetual law,
a black hole of devouring chaos
is yawning next to us – Always.
The fortunate are dancing with joyful desperation
and screaming when they sing.

We are not alone in the Universe
but nothing is coming to save us,
the distances are too long
and we are not worth the effort.

August 30, 2021

editors note: With the coming chaos, our only recourse is to arrest the entropy in our minds. – mh clay

For a Stone rolling… by Chris Zimmerly

Rilling a mourning bird morning
The Great Charlie Watts
No longer casts a shadow
Our telescopes trained
On his flight into the Light
Our feet got to move

August 29, 2021

editors note: To all our rock ‘n rollers, we salute them with our feet. R.I.B. (rest in beat), Charlie! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If your need for a read brought you to this here post, heed its call, it’s an Omen“… which just so happens to be our featured read for this week!

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

“Life, death… It’s all life until death, so love like you don’t know what’s about to happen.”

Here’s a bit of Sunil Sharma’s foreshadowing tale to get you on your way:

(photo “Hidden Motion” by Tyler Malone)


The dream woke him up with a start.

Such a dream will wake up any guy!

A shudder passed through him.

Dead of night—the howl of a stray dog added to the uneasiness. Was it a premonition? The Grim Reaper stared malevolently; neon sign lit up the urgent message on the billboard, at the interstate highway, his car waiting at the traffic signal, in New Delhi’s tri-junction at the Connaught Place:

Last one hour left! Hurry up, before it is too late!

The stockbroker felt an eerie sensation, a chill. Such a portent in dreamy state!

He went to a dream-reader next morning and got the message confirmed by that mysterious expert in a cowl, beads and feathers, red eyes. The verdict, in a raspy voice, was clear: A divine sign. Time for you to pack up for another world. Please say goodbye before you exit the stage!

The stockbroker was puzzled — Goodbye? To whom?

— To the one that misses you the most!

The answer by the dream- reader left him in no doubt about such a rare person.


Don’t tempt fate, get the rest of this read right here.

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.01.21) 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 (LIVE & VIRTUAL) with your words, your songs, your divine madness…

Johnny O
MH Clay

Musical Overture:
CZWP (Chris Curiel, Chris Zimmerly & Clark Walker)

Round One:
Paul Sexton
Atenea Afrodita
Alan Gann
Opalina Salas
Mike Zone
Brett Ardoin
Marianne Szlyk
Ethan Goffman
Tamitha Curiel
Anthony Ripp

Musical Intermission:

Round Two:
Carlos Salas
Elliott Hill
Josh Weir
James “Bear” Rodehaver
Wes Chambers
Taylor Teachout
Dick Zinnendorf

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 10.06.21)… may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O


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’…

Seein’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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