The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.29.22

by on January 30, 2022 :: 0 comments

“All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.”

Richard Brautigan

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Despair (2) ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all Thomas’ wicked squiggles, as well as our other resident artists (50 and counting!) take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This past week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we let go a boketto; we passed tense to make sense; we monkey sat through all of dat; we removed strictures on space pictures; we god got ‘em with dog Sodom; we structured approach with stripped tree reproach; we let days seem like a pizza dream. We stared for staring, we quipped for caring. ~ MH Clay

Days Run Into Each Other by Stephen Page

I drive and Teresa navigates (while talking on her cellphone) into Punta to leave the Tetra Sa at the NAHAT carwash, then walk around town, masked, holding hands, enjoying the view of the sea. We sit at a table outside one of our favorite cafés, Le Délicieux. I order an espresso, Teresa a tea. We stroll, window shopping by some of the still not-closed-for-COVID clothing stores.
We watch a movie inside our apartment, and pick up with our fingers to drop on our tongues slices of salami and cheese.
Teresa puts on her mask and takes the 4 x 4 to The Hippies Market to shop for fresh chicken, eggs, and vegetables. I sit on our balcony in my thick towel robe and sip yerba mate.

Our balcony is spiritually lucrative,
The sea and sky untangle our thoughts,
The incandescent air opens our lungs,
Obliterating preemptive attacks by nightmares.

We deadname this year’s fear of COVID
And unsubstantiate Tyrant Reginald’s face.
The death toll will never uncount,
As we debunk false claims of rigging ropes.

I read a feminist translation of “Beowulf.” I like it. The hero reminds me of Teresa, swinging her sword at the dragon of life and the God of the Witch.
I breakfast at noon on media lunas. I sit at my desk and sip yerba mate. I open my laptop and begin typing.
Teresa is out running errands, driven by our remis driver, Eliomar.
I rescind all my past lies.
Teresa is in bed with a headache and high blood pressure. I hurt when she hurts. I lie beside her and read “From Sand and Time.”
Quit floating about you antediluvian! Ahh, Sunday. Pizza!

January 29, 2022

editors note: We chase them to catch them; we end up catching our breath. – mh clay

Slow Juggernaut by Mark Young

The structure. Incline, endocrine. Faint
taste of the roundabouts – various birds,
trees at disparate stages of their fruiting.

The approach is a cautious one. Recline,
exocrine. People patiently wait their
turn. The birds attack the trees. Fruit falls.

The results are disappointing. Supine,
decline. Impatience replaces. Death rates
rise. Empty trees. The birds have flown.

January 28, 2022

editors note: An anthem for consumer culture. – mh clay


Turned on the TV,
and the TV turned on me.
A dog on the screen appeared. I
sneered at how stupid the dog appeared.
Barked, “Jump, Rover – Jump!”
And the dog did, jumped clear out of the TV;
turned on me, how Sodom turned on God;
and you know Sodom turned God on,
all that bored-out butt getting stuffed.
Enough to turn God’s Rod into a sly snake.
The mutt onto my Levi cuff glommed,
the day turning into a circus.
With a fist, I cuffed the beast.
Grabbed a stick and beat the dog off.
Let him lick up the mess. Chased him
back inside the tube. Where he turned
out to be the locomotive for an ad for
Gravy Train. Turned the TV off,
and the TV turned off all three rings of me – left
on the floor, in the den, bored to death; shot
to hell one more doggone godawful afternoon.

January 27, 2022

editors note: Letting doggones be bygones. – mh clay

Space Theories by Mihaela Melnic

There’s no need that I tell you what caused the collision, it’s the Big Bang theory that keeps us writhing and living

We’ve been for so long the envy of gods, so drenched in our mortal electrifying blood

The wheels are spinning and
a karmic force comes along in waves and vibrates like a dervish in trance

We are now kaleidoscopic pictures
that are floating in space

Our souls may be doomed, our bodies may end up in some well
or in the bed of an ocean that knows all about sailors and shipwrecks

But when two minds get glued together
there’s no room left for cracks

We’re bound to become fancied history or a timeless bone
thrown to the dog of disgrace

January 26, 2022

editors note: Bone or bliss; our history is hit or miss. – mh clay


Watch out wen Eros
dat winged god

fills you wit desire.

Da feeling will be
so zonky

dat it will turn you
into wun monkey

wit bananas on da brain

Dats wat makes da world
smile or frown

as it spins fastah
den wun merry-go-round.

And look

da horses
have come to life too

to run even fastah.

On one steed

da mustang spirit
wants to buck

wun sudden ridah
dats holding on

to unseen reigns
in one hand

and wun plantain
in da adah.

In dis horse dash
witout wun jockey

tings can get
really interesting.

Wat does dat mean?

It means watevah
you tink it means.

Tossed onto
wun dirt road

wun dismounted chimp

is tinking about
all of dat right now.

January 25, 2022

editors note: Thinkin’ on dis when slippin’ on dat to hold on to da adah. – mh clay

after post modern by Archie Abaire

kaleidoscopic images
grasp at them as they
twist twinkle twirl
across neuronal wires
endless non-loops
processing to nowhere
in particular
the only destination

passing along the way
pre-antiquity gaps
of anciently destroyed libraries
and nature’s erasures
post-antiquity gaps
of recently prescribed history
fragments tumbled by doctrines
twist twinkle twirl

mirrors emit
pungently sweet colors
brightly shadowed scents
synesthetic, dis-esthetic
hyper- anti- auto- hypo-
elegant malaise

all the while marching
from adolescence to senescence
and back again
no stops between

processing has no significance
signifying does not process
sense is dead
long live sense

January 24, 2022

editors note: Trying to make sense with no change for a dollar. – mh clay


on the Coney Island Pier

waiting for the first snow

in this barren place I taste the oceanic solitude

inhale the vacant universe & the cosmic breath of the Ultimate Nothingness

now I dream & gaze mindlessly into the Void where a vast desolation eats my brain

Covid time

on the Coney Island Pier

drifting through the chimerical snow I vanish into a dream a fugitive from the Un-Reality

the eerie earth & its unspeakable secrets & the Self growing in me-transmogrified & alien

January 23, 2022

editors note: Take a long stare into what you’ll be somewhen, somewhere. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you need an escape then our weekend featured read, Nails by Fay L. Loomis will get you on your way.

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

Salvation comes with a little blood, both from the giver and receiver. The giver, though, sometimes is the one saying their blood is to be drunk, and that’s where hope lies.

Here’s a bit of “Nails” to hammer our point home:

(photo “Salvation Salvage” by Tyler Malone)

Mom had a way with nails. One bitter Michigan winter, she pounded beef steaks to the back of the house. I didn’t see this with my own eyes. Heard it from my brother-in-law Leroy who explained that the frig hadn’t been working for the last two years. It’s possible that I was more embarrassed than he.

A few years later, after my parents had settled in California, I got a letter from Mom, her singular handwriting sprawled across several small sheets of lined tablet paper. Nestled on one of the pages was her tale about buying a large bunch of green bananas that she had hung in a closet to ripen. When she discovered a rat had had his way with them, she nailed the door shut. Don’t ask…

Sneak on over here to get the rest of this tacky story on!


If you’ve got a hunger for a read, All the Animals Tell Me So by Contributing Writer James Lawless may not feed that hunger but might feed your feels.

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

“Remember me, I gave everything for your life: my past, my future, my body.”

Here’s a taste of James’ barnyard tale to get you goin:

(photo “Got Your Goat” by Tyler Malone)

There was a thick smell of fresh manure while I was prowling around a native farm getting information for this article. The thought of the foul air surrendered to the aural of a mooing cow which drew me into the barn. I edged closer to the animal with its head locked between iron bars and its teats connected to a milking machine. The cow’s moans topped the din of the milking contraption and translated into human words:

These are bad times for animals, she says, especially before Christmas. That’s because humans consume more meat during the holidays.

A chicken cackled, humans think of themselves as vegetarians when they eat white meat. They take us away daily. If we don’t produce our quota of eggs, they send us directly into the Rotisserie.

The cow bowed its head in recognition of what was said and continued. The animals pay for all the “special” human days. We dread Easter. Oh, those innocent lambs. It breaks our hearts…

Get the rest of this tail tale right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of February (aka 2.2.22) when we’ll once again be doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION and on Facebook LIVE (via Zoom)!

Starting at 7:30pm, hosts Johnny O & MH Clay will kick off these open mic’n Mad Swirl’n festivities with some musical grooves brought to you by ol s’cool Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks) with musical guest Matthew Frerck followed by our open mic.

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate.

RSVP at our Facebook event page or send a message to

Come to appreciate.

Join us LIVE at Barbara’s Pavillion- located at 323 Centre St, Dallas -OR tune in to our Facebook LIVE feed starting at 7:30pm

Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call…

Mad Swirl!


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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