The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.12.22

by on March 13, 2022 :: 0 comments

“Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.”

Jack Kerouac

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Castigado-IV ~ J. Gregory Cisneros

To see all J. Gregory’s darkly intense yet weirdly whimsical canvases, 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 buffed the luster of a blockbuster; we stank in the stain of a rank putain; we reminisced on the flare of Claire; we got no start from selling art; we creatured one with clinking sun; we smiled away the call of day; we blissfully ranted on mass enchanted. It’s magic every time. ~ MH Clay

THE RICH & ENCHANTED MASS by Bradford Middleton

On those blessed
Blissed out days of sun walking
The promenade next to the beach
Always reminds me i just got to
Stay here. Not necessarily right
Here but by that rich enchanted
Mass of glistening beauty
Which when the sun shines
Means my eyes can see off
All the way to the distant horizon
Fuelling dreams of what may
Lay beyond…

March 12, 2022

editors note: Here’s a fuel no cartel can control nor government tax. – mh clay

When good days come to call by Ari Whipple

When good days come to call
The reason is seldom clear
Sometimes it’s just because
The rain has washed away
All the snow and
The wind chime is blowing in the breeze
There’s no fancy reason other than that
Just a day like other days
An ordinary day that passes by
You barely mark its passage
Except that it makes you feel good
All sunny on the inside
Despite what is happening outside
The weather change definitely helps
The snow disappearing
Perks me right up
The possibility of my hike being warm
Makes me smile
And then there’s hope of tomorrow

March 11, 2022

editors note: One (good) day at a time… – mh clay

in the lake with the clean creatures by J. D. Nelson

I was printing in the dark
I was the salted egg

the clipping frog wears the crown
he’s as serious as a wheel within a wheel

we see the world of the funneling crows
we hear the frightening sounds of the cool hulk

the cloud of the forked fox
the soiled pot is an ancient camera

the pyramid here
that clinking sun

March 10, 2022

editors note: A new eye on Nature in the clink, clink, clink… – mh clay

ALMANAC 49 by Christopher Barnes

Foyer to-do.
Retailing entices.
Galleries of bona fide art preoccupy.
Sculpture is moseyed around.
Constable’s blemish.
Eyesores your leaving.

March 9, 2022

editors note: You peek, you purchase. Throw the deadbeats out! – mh clay

years ago by John Yamrus

i knew a woman
who was in Paris in 1927
on the day that Lindberg landed.

she talked
about the crowds
and the noise and the joy.

about the mess
and the shouts and the tears.

she was told
they hadn’t seen crowds like that
since the day the war to end all wars came to an end.

was young
and worked for one
of the little magazines that
sold in Montparnasse and nowhere else.

her name was Claire
and she was over 90 when we met

and she
served us
chowder in antique bowls
that could have been new when she

was a girl
and Lindberg landed
and all the world got crazy, wild and drunk.

March 8, 2022

editors note: And here we are, crazy, wild, and drunk, again! – mh clay

Putain by Ron Riekki

“You can’t imagine how stupid the whole world has grown nowadays.”
―Nikolai Gogol
born Apr 1, 1809, Ukraine
died Feb 21, 1852, Russia

No, through all my tears I still shall laugh,
Sing songs despite my troubles;
Have hope despite all odds,
I want to live!”
—Lesya Ukrainka
“Contra Spem Spero!” [I hope against hope!]
born Feb 25, 1871, Ukraine

It’s raining in Ukraine today, now, raining
rain and bombs. Ex-Pres Donald Trump

calls this an act of “genius.” Disingenuous.
The art of whore. Excuse me, I meant to say

Putain, in French, means ‘whore.’ It’s spelled
Tee-are-you-em-pee. That’s P. Like urine.

Gee, are you empty-headed? Showers today
in Kyiv. Echoes of “I was put in a narrow

cell with a concrete floor.” And sanctions
will be softened by China. Dedovshchina

sanctioned by Russia, internal violence
that’ll be spread to the world. The way

that the 1918 influenza pandemic and
World War I were wed. The way that

Covid-19 and Cold War have gnawed
on the world. Watch how Russia will

infect us, this world, with viruses, both
biological and technological. And all

illogical. Stress ill. Sick. “How stupid
the whole world.” The world holed.

Whored. Bodies soon wheelbarrowed.
Helled. How the dies in bodies was

always right there. All you have to do
is open your eyes. This will go beyond

Ukraine. A reign. In blood. Crimea crime.
A ruse. A rush. What’s next? Belarus?

Finland? My home? Villages seized. And
this means epilepsy. Diseased. Destroyed.

I woke to find a world of smoke. Night-
mared. Vladimired. Vlad the Empirer–

another actual Big Brother. If you
have a camera, then film. If you are

a writer, then write. If you’re a fighter,
then fight. Wake up. The world is

at war again. Guerre. Beware. Be
aware. I want to live. I want to live.

I want to live! I want to live! I want
to live! I want to live! I want to live!

March 7, 2022

editors note: Just cuz it’s “over there” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t beware! – mh clay

Blockbuster by Brian Wood

So easy to spot, for each film
Costs one billion dollars and by
Rule has one helicopter chase.
The title is White House Down Sky
Fall Jason Bourne Ultimatum.
Each cliché takes its rightful place.

They fill the cast with broad types, not
People. The villains used to be
Russian communists but now are
Russian plutocrats. Usually
They are jejune dead-eyed men, caught
By hammer, sickle, gold red star.

The women are bleached blonde dull: their
Job is to stand speechless, in awe
Of our hero, as he takes on
That mass of men who break the law.
All their shots miss and they stand there,
Nicely, waiting to be mowed down.

The plot? The Woman He Loves is
Killed in act one of the sequel,
White House Down Again. The villain
Has a speech about the evil
U.S. and then our hero throws
Him thru broken blue windowpane.

When the yellow curtain comes down,
I sometimes wonder, or don’t, why
We watch. As if we need a far
Off place, where our rules don’t apply,
And we’d be dreaming of our own
Hammer, sickle, a gold red star.

March 6, 2022

editors note: Meanwhile, just east of the west, a villain enacts his evil plan while we watch. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a quickie this morn, The Schoolmarm and the Referee by Contributing Writer by Phyllis Souza, just might be the read you need!

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

It ain’t cheap but it’s what’s called living.

Here’s a bit of this twisted tryst to get you goin’:

(photo “A Bar’s Good Start” by Tyler Malone)

DO NOT DISTURB hung from the outside doorknob.

She was a schoolmarm who couldn’t resist a good-looking referee, tall and built.

The morning after the game. Seedy motel room. The smell of stale cigarettes clinging to the walls.

His striped black and white jersey and trousers lay crumpled up on the floor next to the bed.

“Get up!” She slid the heavy blackout curtain to one side…

Come & get some more of this tale right here!


If you’re lookin’ for some life schoolin’, check out our featured weekday read, Lessons Learned by Thomas Elson.

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

This is life: living and learning how to be uncomfortably numb, close to that old heartbeat you’d rather forget but gives you life.

Here’s a bit of the tutorial to get you on your way:

(photo “The God in Our Hands” by Tyler Malone)

• Those closest will leave
• Be quick to take offense
• Smiles are transitory
• Friends even more so
• Hold back screams
• The heart always races at times like this
• An exploding heart doesn’t kill
• Dreams of safety do not materialize
• There are no answers
• You can’t disappear
• Over-sensitivity and hyper-vigilance must be permanent
• Punching a mattress is the best stress reliever
• Avoiding others is not recommended but ofttimes is advisable
• Hands over the ears will not stop the voices and the pain
• Covering your eyes does not stop you from seeing
• Sometimes a primal scream is all you can do

Inside the white room with assorted tubes, bags, and electronic panels, several machines whir and beep at regular and irregular intervals. It was thirty minutes after shift change, and she would not see a nurse for another hour.

She curled her hand, then wove her arm through the side rails of her father’s hospital bed; caught herself and pulled back. She decided to press one of the buttons on the control panel. Might as well raise his head and back a little. No point letting the blood pool or whatever the hell it does…

Get the rest of Elson’s lessons 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

Leave a Reply