“All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.”
••• 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
AFTERNOON ZENITH by Willie Smith
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
ALL OF DAT RIGHT NOW by Joe Balaz
Watch out wen Eros
dat winged god
fills you wit desire.
Da feeling will be
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.
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
Wat does dat mean?
It means watevah
you tink it means.
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
grasp at them as they
twist twinkle twirl
across neuronal wires
processing to nowhere
the only destination
passing along the way
of anciently destroyed libraries
and nature’s erasures
of recently prescribed history
fragments tumbled by doctrines
twist twinkle twirl
pungently sweet colors
brightly shadowed scents
hyper- anti- auto- hypo-
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
BOKETTO ON THE CONEY ISLAND PIER by Mel Waldman
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
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!
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 to participate.
Come to appreciate.
Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call…
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