••• The Mad Gallery •••
Another Unforeseen Enigma ~ Bill Wolak
To see all of Bill’s mad collages, 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 week to hype more Holiday Hijinx in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we saw how we go from berries to snow; we versed the gaps with table scraps; we stopped to grieve o’er the plight of Eve; we made a daughter rise in sight of biased eyes; we deeply blew through five senryu; we praised the form of a thunderstorm; we penciled our best through a rapid test. It was a good showing of our coming and going. ~ MH Clay
RAPID TEST by Jeffrey Park
in the text, the rabbit died, never
felt a thing, could still walk
a straight line and read the bottom row
A C D P B T
fit your vehicle midway between the uprights
with no more
than three adjustments
make your marks dark and complete
no more than three adjustments
and erase your marks completely
which side is darker, decide, don’t waffle,
don’t blow too high
a2 + b2 = _2
make sure an adequate sample has
been collected by the device
bite down hard
press the button when you
see a flashing light, you failed
to follow the directions
well done, round two, take a number, take
its square root and add seven
how many people got on the bus
how many got off
testing, testing, 1 2 3 4 5
5 4 3 2 1
pencils down, pencils
down in front, there is no right answer
testing, testing, this is a test
this is only a test,
this the only test, the lonely test,
this was a test.
January 8, 2022
editors note: Can’t teach to this test. Gotta learn as you go. – mh clay
Missile Gala by Robert L. Martin
Missile gala, night sky glitter,
spectral magic, restless clouds,
floating nervous feet,
carnival grounds in the
blackened ferris wheels,
angry cannons affixed,
sparkling missiles firing,
jagged lines of fire strewing,
beauty of the nighttime sky,
aerial galleries boasting
of strength, artistry, power,
carnival of the Thunder Gods,
demonic pleasure, angelic horror,
domination of the sacred sky,
ruthless beauty on display,
nature and the guts of nature,
the inside looking out,
of power wandering from its cave,
setting its sights on the land below,
laughing at the tranquil seas,
firing its beautiful missiles at will,
lighting up the sky,
oh beauty of the mystic night,
gala of visual delight,
of power unleashed,
of nature impassioned,
of passion embodied,
and beauty running in the wild.
January 7, 2022
editors note: Zeus is such a show-off! (We congratulate Robert on the release of his new collection, The Air Almighty. You can get your copy of it here.) – mh clay
scent memory, etc. by Kat Lehmann
(five single-line senryu)
scent memory trigger my autonomy severs itself
ing ing ing she escapes from neverhere
enunciating a nameless grief schwa
nowhere fast rain drops her outline
hear t be at she breaks down in
January 6, 2022
editors note: Make your own connections here (we did). – mh clay
Erin by Mandy Gilsenan
My biased eyes marveled upon my own creation,
the moonlight illuminating her perfectly flawless skin,
glowing, pale and bright as the moon itself,
perfect and iridescent.
Her eyes a canvas of blue skies and birds in flight,
as she searches the night sky but is
lost in imperfect thought and wonder,
impatiently waiting to feel whole.
Her lack of confidence seems unnatural
in a place of beauty, for a girl of beauty,
I with an eye of bias revel in her perfection,
her only imperfection, blindness to my sight
She shines bright in my dark night,
illuminates the dark passage of my time.
She shines bright through every phase,
but only my biased eyes can see.
January 5, 2022
editors note: Accolades for offspring, while saving some for self. – mh clay
Eve’s Bounty by Melissa Chappell
Set a bounty,
hang it high
like a mouse.
Sort through the
like the bloody
Yet for so
Vie for the
Banish her from
the garden all
this time to
till the soil
its dust rising.
And how many
pass this by,
January 4, 2022
editors note: No passing unseeing unless willfully blind. – mh clay
Your Yellow Kitchen by Will Reger
I wanted to be a mariner,
but recall you bore me on land.
I wanted to be a flyer,
but again you never taught
me how to land.
So I became a poet and now sit
here under your sapphire table,
grabbing whatever crumbs
you choose to share.
I try to learn how to make
a difference from where I sit.
I still dream of your
Thank you. Don’t argue.
The broken, the filthy, the incorrect.
All of it is wrong.
Even on this burning day,
when the most lethal radiation
will pierce many walls to touch us.
January 3, 2022
editors note: A kitchen confab inveigles verse; no argument. – mh clay
Prediction by Tom Pescatore
life passing within four walls
a leaky faucet of time
the overgrowth of yard
before the window
effortless and green
a million sown fields of pokeweed
glowing pink for a moment
in the stillborn sunrise
it’s partly cloudy today
I am superimposed over this reality
there is rain in every imaginary forecast
time is a summer storm
before the windowpane
the blackberries of july will become the winter’s snow
before I am gone
January 2, 2022
editors note: Predictions are prophecy when a finger in the wind can prove we’re alive. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the weekend:
“Come on, go out and get to know people. There’s no way it’ll all go wrong, no way at all.”
Here’s a snippet from Jenean’s tale to get ya started:
(photo “See, You Don’t See Anything” by Tyler Malone)
“No child is born angry, say the experts, but this is hope not fact,” Dr. Daprahana maintained. “Wrath resides in everyone at birth along with emotions like love and shame. Under the right circumstances, these emotion seeds can root in our consciousness and explode into actions, some deadly, some sublime, and some both at the same time.”
Having heard metaphysical psychology Professor Daprahana’s lecture, grad student Jim Petersen needed coffee to comprehend it. He sat at a window table in the commons poring over his notes, sipping a $4.95 mocha latte as caffeine and mumbo jumbo competed for his brain.
Then she came in out of the balmy jasmine-scented twilight. He might not have noticed her—it is the nature of potential victims to be invisible—except she spilled her coffee when she sat at the table in front of him and breathed out, “Darn it!”
Like him, she was out of place with the young and perky…
Get the rest of this killer read right here!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the weekday:
“This new year, time is a reality. Age is a reality. And so is moving forward, onward. Upward.”
Here’s a bit to get your ride goin’:
(photo “Off to Blast Off” by Tyler Malone)
I got a radio call early one morning to relieve another deputy at the site of a small plane crash in an area called Bermuda Dunes. The night shift deputy was finishing his report when I arrived on the scene.
All I had to do was wait for an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Bureau to arrive from Los Angeles, two and a half hours away and turn the accident scene over to him.
It was not a pretty sight. The pilot was coming in for a landing on a clear, calm morning at the small uncontrolled airstrip in Bermuda Dunes, one of those housing tracts that had an airfield built with homes near it for owners of small aircraft.
The pilot had been drinking and flipped the plane over as he came onto the runway. He was dead on impact.
The plane was sitting in the desert upside down. My job was to stay near the crashed aircraft and keep the gawkers and curious neighbors away. The fire department removed the victim’s body from the plane and loaded him into an ambulance as the neighbors strained to get a good look.
I had to wait for an hour for the crash investigator. This was sometime in 1979 and I was surprised to see a woman get out of the official National Transportation Safety Bureau vehicle.
She was a nice-looking lady somewhere in her mid-forties, I would have guessed. She was wearing baggy blue coveralls and Wellington boots. Her blonde hair was cut short giving her the look of a military officer.
She had a firm handshake and introduced herself as “Wally Funk.” Cool name, I thought to myself as we exchanged business cards. Her card read, “Wally Funk 11.”…
Light the rest of this candle in 3…2…1…
••• Open Mic •••
So here we are… 2022! Felt kinda like 2020 again, what with the virtual setting we found ourselves in this past 1st Wednesday when we called ALL ye yin & yang hangers, ye yang & yin winners, ye lookers for the new, ye bookers of the blue skies beyond the auld lang syne… ye transformers & reformers & resolved heart warmers come & shake the old & new together to make a “now” like no other at Mad Swirl’s New Year 2022 Open Mic!
Here’s a shout out to all who graced our virtual stage with your words, your songs, your divine madness…
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel)
J Gregory Cisneros
HUGE grats to ALL the participators & appreciators who perused our Zoom room madness via 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 02.02.22)… when we hopefully will be back at Barbara’s Pavillion, may the madness swirl your way!
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’…
Short Story Editor