The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.16.21

by on October 17, 2021 :: 0 comments
"It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors." Oscar Wilde

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Fainting (1) ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all of Thomas’ wicked squiggles & scribbles, 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 picked hopeful words from chosen birds; we silenced disasta from a fly in the pasta; we much preferred to dream of her; we doubt disdained, then walked in the rain; we mourned the damage from a hard night’s passage; we heard a bird take up the song about break-up; we watched a guilted lover balk at stopping jilted lover’s walk. All these places placed on paper otherwise consigned to vapor. ~ MH Clay

Stop Sign by Stephen Jarrell Williams

She closes the car door slowly
Leaving me as she cries

Middle of night
Crescent moon
Deserted road
Corn crops tall in every direction

She walks away
Head down
Miles to the nearest halo of light

I turn the car off
Get out and follow her

My car door left open
Keys in the ignition
Headlights on
The back of her beauty
A magnet
Pulling at me and the stars above

She says quietly
I just want to wander for a while

And I let her
In my silent

Her sadness to know
She thinks and won’t tell

The stop sign
No longer stopping her

Tearing at her dress
Gasping for the years
To speed up and slow her down.

October 16, 2021

editors note: A tragic jam. – mh clay

Break-Up Song by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

A message from the radio.
Oh, it’s just a song.
Some break-up lyrics and
a bit of pleading.

I turn the dial for something
else less desperate.
I find nothing to my liking.
The radio just offers

the same old songs that get
stuck inside my head.
A message from a songbird
just outside my window.

I tune in to that for a while.
The bird lyrics soothe me
this morning. It’s probably
just another break-up song.

October 15, 2021

editors note: At least it’s commercial-free. – mh clay

Thickets of You by John P. Drudge

Through bold
Thickets of energy
Into slow passing time
Before that night
When you came to me
In pieces
And on fire
That night you fell
Toward tomorrow
And tumbled down
Between the lines
Of measured necessity
And never ending

October 14, 2021

editors note: The hardest path to cut comes by another’s sorrow. (We welcome John P. to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

CLOUDS OF CHAOTIC CROWDS by Strider Marcus Jones

Leave the house dust
With fools gold
This conveyor belt lair
A castle in the air
For Dante’s dreams of doubt
To wander about
In, with voices that pretend
To be a different friend-
Oh my, what a frame,
Too big to blame
And beyond a simple say
To save and stay-
So, close the dungeon door
To be what you were before
And walk away
Into the clouds
Of chaotic crowds
Falling as rain
On sterile plain.

October 13, 2021

editors note: Here, where turnabout is fair play. – mh clay

DREAM OF ME by Marie Higgins

I’m barely younger,
Just as blemished,
Little more to prove.
I could be taken,
As just as you,
So won’t you dream of me?
In the wicker chair,
On a parking lot,
Inside a mountain top –
Find yourself,
In the dream of me.
Yell at me,
Unleash our dog,
Caress my hair,
In the dream of me.
Be scared,
Laugh out loud,
Talk nonsense back,
In the dream of me.
Whatever happens
In these dreams,
Matters not to me.
What matters true
To this old gal,
Is that when I’m
Next to you,
Before early light,
That you say, You
Had a dream of me

October 12, 2021

editors note: A scheme to me dream. Did you? – mh clay

Various Herbs and Spices by Jada Yee

Mother was blind.
I was mute.

A portly fly took a nosedive
into her pasta.

Her fork shoveled tomato lava over the swollen raisin.

Torn apart by acidity and convulsive, stabbing twists,
dark chocolate salt fertilized
the garlic, mushrooms, and basil.

Mother smiled at me, like a child
who will never know the truth.

October 11, 2021

editors note: When the secret in the sauce is better kept secret. – mh clay

AUGURY by Robert Demaree

The ancients thought that
You could tell important things
From the flight of birds.
Those who think a hope for peace
Lies in emulating nature
Have never watched three hummingbirds
At a feeder on an August morning.
Myself, I attend closely
To the goldfinches
In the northeast quadrant,
Dusk, coolness settling in,
Hopeful new undertakings
Late in life.

October 10, 2021

editors note: Picks precurse portents. Pick well! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need an escape? This week’s featured read, Cruise Ship by Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Chuck Taylor will get you on your way!

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

“Gotta get away, right? What do you bring? Yourself, always. Always yourself, everywhere.”

Here’s a bit of Chuck’s tale of love lost:

Beware, You're Aware

(photo “Beware, You’re Aware” by Tyler Malone)

You know what?


I hate to say, but I have given it a lot of thought. The truth is, well, I don’t love you anymore.

What? Now don’t be silly. We’ve been married 15 years.

I’m afraid it’s true.

Oh, come on. What’s the matter? What is bothering you?

Nothing is bothering me. I feel much better opening up and telling you.

Sex and passion aren’t real love, you know.

They are part of love, or they used to be.

Those things don’t last forever.

Speak for yourself…

Float on over here and catch the rest of of this restless wave!


If you find yourself in need of a midweek read Blue Fate by Marcelo Medone is sure to fill the bill!

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

“We’re here, then we’re gone. But how do we go out?”

Here is a taste of what you’ll get when you dive on into this tale:

(photo “Going Out in a Blue Malibu” by Tyler Malone)

Amanda dreams that she is beautiful, with a body without scars and wrinkles, that she is young and that she is free from her illness and her earthly ties. Although we could say that every living being, every creature has its intrinsic beauty and thus that would be an unfair comment. Moreover, age is a relative matter, because nowadays seventy years are not the same as when she was young.

Many think that Amanda is special. Because she longs for living in peace and smiling and being kind to others and to herself. She feels that there are cycles in life that must be respected. That biology governs individual doings. That it is proper to follow the internal impulses and not fight against them…

Don’t fight the urge to get the rest of your read on 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

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

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