The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.26.22

by on February 27, 2022 :: 0 comments
"All things must change to something new, to something strange."

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Force-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 made evening allegretto in red dress and stilettos; we longed with the dawning for love in the morning; we chose copulation over extermination; we spoke no rage to turn the page; we did what we can to take it like a man; we cleared the floors for a storm indoors; we penned a verse (not the word) to ripple in reverse (absurd). Every week, we turn loose with the juice. ~ MH Clay

Mercy Glory Cranberry by Jeff Grimshaw

Mercy in 2/4 time
Said she craved pomegranate juice

I saw the window flex
& beyond: 19 different greens

& before: a coffee can containing
19 colored pens!

So who slapped the kitchen counter
Flower decal? & who

Else saw the rippling puddle in
The refrigerator enamel?

— I almost saw but sang (as
Always) ‘I refuse—’

& it rippled on without me. Within
Me it rippled in reverse. (There is

A word for this, I ken, or there
Will be) Mercy Mercy

Trace my fingers with the plum
Pen! Mercy Mercy

How much linoleum
Have you converted inverted conveyed

& translated? O here
Is the sun, awestruck & amazed

Mercy he would like to borrow
Some of your pens

February 26, 2022

editors note: Oh, mercy, me! Pass the pens. – mh clay

Serious by James Croal Jackson

Vodkas ignite a serious conversation we sing cacophony
our mouths open machinery in the room whirs the gears
clank and then the whole dark bar lifts its legs and flies

no windows though
we perceive sudden shifts as turbulence impending
storms we move as far from as we can talk about

February 25, 2022

editors note: This happens when you’re more think than you drunk you are. – mh clay

The getaway by Mike Zone

Night shift
Past midnight near the witching hour collapsing nigh dead at the door as the sun rises
I’d hear her within an hour or two
talking loud on the balcony
lamenting lost youth and cracked beauty
sometimes she’d corner me in the parking lot with a bottle of whisky as I smoked pot behind the carport
“sometimes you just have to take things like a man”
“you need to be a man about it”
“throw her down and just take her”
“I just need someone to use my body”
“I’m so lonely”
What I could I not do except not follow her into her place
the booze was expensive for her income bracket
leather face, sagging in all the right places, smelled like cancer but not quite
what did I do?
Went upstairs
there was no sex
as she undressed
three cigarettes in less than an hour and three cans of bud light with her whisky
even this was too low life for me
nude and battered she told me about the word of god
I told her I didn’t believe in god
“but you at least have a bible?”
“you’re fucking mean, get out of my house” she shrieked
Big black bible blues
Thank god I got out of that one
waited for the sun to go down
to be done for the day
insert myself back into the night
away from company
away from myself
desperate yearning

February 24, 2022

editors note: All in a night’s shift. – mh clay

Thursday by Jack Henry

throats crowd with words
& i cannot clearly hear what is said.
two women argue about this & that.

there is a laugh
then a gunshot
then sirens for the dearly departed.

i lick my fingertip & turn the page,
and turn the page,
and turn the page,


February 23, 2022

editors note: We’re numbed, afoul of the daily feed. – mh clay

Outsmarting ants by Timothy Pilgrim

Ragged barrier of bleach laid down,
I know it won’t stop them all.
Like student painters, they crawl
the perimeter, search for shallow crossings,
intend to bring every morsel
of burnt burger back. My sponge
from above daubs up rogues, scouts
on point for damp trip to patio edge.
I squeeze them free. They begin
a new path to the supper dregs. Intent,
nozzle ready for any who succeed,
I sense your presence behind me.
Drawn by the sheerest of nighties,
I find a direct route to bed.

February 22, 2022

editors note: Exterminatus interruptus. – mh clay

In the Morning by John P. Drudge

He awoke
Before the light
Remembering her
With a wistful longing
Before the skies
Had turned to ash
Like the eyes
Of the dying
When they were young
And eager
With the hunger
Of the morning
And the sins of sorrow
Buried deeply
In the anticipation
Of welcoming flesh
Excited to be alive
In the glistening
Of another coming

February 21, 2022

editors note: Bittersweet, like coffee with two sugars. – mh clay

WINTER…POSSIBLY… by Mandakini Bhattacherya

If winter comes…

A rhododendron shall march to meet
a girl in stilettos and red dress.
The man at the street corner shall
offer her corncobs and roasted
peanuts over a blaring radio.
The screen at the film festival
shall drape cream and psychedelia
over mugs of coffee.
The tanpura and the thumri
shall serenade the lovers sleeping
in the far seats. Bidi-cigarette-glows
shall signal thoughts into motion
over bonfires popping sesame and corn.
The red box in the attic shall
become a block of ice freezing you
and me in its middle.
And the red girl in stilettos
shall march with the burly
rhododendron, a queen commanding
pleasures from her kingdom.

* tanpura – an Indian stringed musical instrument
* thumri – an Indian classical music composition

February 20, 2022

editors note: Here’s a winter we can warm up to. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

N33D-a-R3AD? Th3n you’v3 com3 to th3 right plac3! Mad Swirl’s featured weekend read, Missing the E on my keyboard comes to us from C E Hoffman.

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

Here we are, on Earth pretending we’re the only things that ever existed; that the air is ours, that the water is just for us to drink, bathe in, but never die in.

(photo “Never an Easy E” by Tyler Malone)

This one is too short to tease so E’s on over here & get this read on!


If you’re dying for a read, Finding the Corpse by Contributing Writer & Poet Randall Rogers kills it with his latest! (sorry, we couldn’t resist)

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

Mother is so close to smother that they could be one-in-the same.

Here’s a bit of Randall’s requiem read to get you goin’:

(photo “Luck of Love” by Tyler Malone)

Can’t believe I’m not here anymore! Look, my son is looking up at me. He’s waving to the ceiling! He’s waving to me! He’s thinking, might he cut off a lock of my hair? For future cloning? He’s thinking…What!? Too much hassle! Won’t be around to see me cloned anyway!

Son, are you sure bong hits are appropriate now? Gee, son, don’t take it so hard. At least the detective doesn’t think you did it, blubbering idiot you. Realistic. I thought you were mentally stronger. Nice to see you loved me, though, thank you. Feeling’s mutual kid…

Catch the final breaths right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.02.22) when we’ll once again be doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION and from our Mad Zoom Room (broadcasted via FB Live)!

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 (with special 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…


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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