“Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all – that has been my religion.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Challah VI ~ 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 were all in to share Lynn; we biked from the bothers of blows from fathers; we love assented, drainpipe descended; we estranged from stuff not good enough; we wrapped our things in puppet strings; we achieved parity in reverse charity; we rippled rest from whispers blessed. We’re in to bike on drainpipe, strange and stringed with given things. Shhh, shhh, shhh. ~ MH Clay
I HAVE YOUR SHADOW by Roger G. Singer
a curious passing
breeze is blessed
by her whispers
there’s a reflection,
a moment of being
releasing a modest
they speak of dreams
and how ripples
in a still pond
the mercy of an
April 2, 2022
editors note: More than having one’s back… – mh clay
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Cord Moreski
They resented us
when we rented on their block
scoffed at my parents’ occupations
made fun of our outdated cars
felt charitable after they purged
old clothes from their closets
that eventually became ours
now I see their kids
all grown up like me
at bars or on social media
working the same tired jobs
driving the same model cars
feeling the same familiar pain
but I know that
if they ever asked for help
I’d still give them
their shirt off my back.
April 1, 2022
editors note: What wears around comes around. – mh clay
The new type of puppets by Iulia Gherghei
Let’s live in someone else’s skin
Let’s deal with other problems
Different level of stress, maybe
Maybe a more relaxed person
Who freed herself from the anxiety claws
Let’s pretend we are kind and compassionate
And the other person’s dreams make sense to us too
For two thousand years, you didn’t grasp the meaning to
Love thy neighbour as you love thyself
The recipe to happiness
You are resilient in your stubbornness
Keep ignoring the other person
Keep spiraling in your hatred
Keep destroying your surroundings
Of course, you trim your front lawn
You wash your car
Your nails are nicely buffed
Behind the posh appearances
A rotten apple lays though
Your bathroom cabinet is witness
All that glimmer, all those plastic smiles are medically induced
So you don’t really respect the temple, your temple
So no chance to respect anyone else
My words here are spilled into the wind
We don’t need robots then
Just well adjust chemical puppets
Following a dream they were told they need to follow
March 31, 2022
editors note: Love thy doctor as prescribed. – mh clay
Let’s be strangers again by Mitra Samal
Let’s be strangers again
on this doomed day when
your eyes have no trace
Let’s be strangers again
and walk together but not
match our steps.
Let’s be strangers in an
ocean of people and go
our own ways. Let not our
verses rhyme, let not our
eyes meet, and let not our
fingers touch again, let’s
be strangers again.
Let all the familiar things
become bizarre again,
let new memories enfeeble
the old ones, let the
thousand pictures go to
trash and a new diary
begin again. Let’s just be
But the air is filled with
mysteries of past and an
ageless question lurks in my
mind, “Am I good enough?”
So, before I begin the new
chapter of my life, let me
be myself again. Let me
learn to like the broken
pieces of my life again.
Let me love again before
we become strangers again.
March 30, 2022
editors note: To be a stranger to self is the worst estrangement. – mh clay
You’ll Need To Bathe If You Want Me To Do That Again by Paul Tristram
Whoops, I nearly broke my neck
upon that discarded Love Egg
… where were we?
oh yes, I was right here, wasn’t I.
Ouch, that’s pinching… careful
with those ‘Personal Questions’.
Nah, I’m staying for a bit
… I like watching you dressing,
whilst my ‘Emotions’ are settling.
Oh, long stripy socks, for sure
… ask a Punk Rocker, innit.
Aw, all my hats suit you…
except that one, I’m only jesting
… you look Cute-As-A-Button.
It’s not my fault that
‘One More Time For The World’
and ‘I’m Gonna Be Late’…
get me all Excited-As-Fuck again.
20 more minutes, my darling…
then I’m leaving half-dressed
down the back [Dodgy] drainpipe
… just to show your neighbours
how ‘Hot’ you really fucking are!
March 29, 2022
editors note: The ultimate in showing love (or, at least, lust). – mh clay
masochistic little princes by Rob Plath
when i was 10 years old
me & chris found
a discarded door in the woods
& some cinderblocks
among a heap of garbage
& we made a makeshift ramp
in a nearby overgrown lot
& we spent sunday afternoon
jumping it w/ our second-hand bikes
we often fell when we descended
skinning our knees & elbows
on cracked pavement
bruises all over our bodies
a bloody lip and nose
slivers of busted beer bottles
stuck in our skin
beneath ripped, greasy t-shirts
but we straightened our handlebars
adjusted our crooked seats
set the chains back in their metal teeth
& began again
mounting that magic battered door
over & over
crashing thru the weeds
laughing as we each tumbled
our young shapes
flowering w/ purple welts
that at least did not come from
the heels or fists
or belts of our fathers
March 28, 2022
editors note: Taking the fall for the flight. (We welcome Rob to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
LYNN SHARE HAIKU by Sam Silva
pain and anxiety
over the telephone line
step by step resolved
March 27, 2022
editors note: Everyone is looking for a Lynn to lighten the load. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
This weekend’s featured read, “Candle Unmaker“ comes to us from Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist & Short Story Editor Tyler Malone!
Here’s what Poetry Editor MH Clay has to say about this pick’o the weekend:
Can’t hold a melted candle; might’s well head home.
Here’s a few flickers of Tyler tale:
(photo “Where What Burns” by Tyler Malone)
Television imagination remains untwisted in summer while our dad says, “Stay with grandmother. It’s going to be hot again, way into the hundreds, and while she’s not quite there yet please just stay home.”
As Dad shut the door, fervid outside air rushes into the house where hundreds of colorful candle statues with slick, wet-looking perfume bodies wait for fire but only know deep heat. The dusty doughy sentinels share their dry fruits as the closing door brings in a fresh, curious smell: road-laden boiled tar from fresh resurfaced streets.
By the door’s grimy yellow frame, the car key rack hung crooked. Bless the road is etched in wood above a single Bible-black key for a once black but now rusted beast resting in the front yard. The key hangs hot, ready to twist. My younger brother looks at me as I grab the key and yell into the stale sweat throat of our home, “We’re going out!”
Carpet fibers burn shoe soles as we walk outside, away from our grandmother’s flattened bed sheets, her thin summer gown, her window’s pear tree offering ripened shade and rotten fruit, a television close to closed eyes and a landline far from offering reaching hands. When it rings, sating thirsty, evangelized prayer-filled air, someone gets their wings to take to the sun.
Unlit candles all around her, only one wick was ever lit with our grandfather, and another was never lit again…
Shine some light on the rest of Tyler’s read right here!
Check out “Keep the Candle Burning“ by Contributing Writer & Poet Anthony Ward!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the weekday:
Life, we don’t know what it is, really, but we know how it feels, even if the words aren’t married to the thoughts.
Here’s a morsel or two to get your read juices goin’:
(photo “It’s Lit, Who’s Home?” by Tyler Malone)
Silence. Matt anguished these situations when natural conversation came to an end and eyes met like magnets drawing the gaze with repellent retreat.
His stomach rumbled like thunder, causing his thoughts to inflate. Filling his head with heat he didn’t need.
Can she hear me thinking? Matt thought with himself. The paranoia galloping up to his ears. I think she can hear me. Can you hear me? He screamed inside, beside himself with disquiet.
Matt hated first dates as much as he was hopeless with women.
Why was she twirling her hair around her finger? Did it mean she was bored? He was sure she was bored as she kept looking about the space between them…
Get the whole course of this read feast right here!
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of April (aka 04.06.22) 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 Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel)… with special guest Derek Rogers!… followed by our open mic.
Come to participate… (RSVP at our Facebook event page or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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!
••• Mad Swirl Press •••
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2021 is available right HERE!
2021 has been yet another extraordinarily challenging year. Thru it all, Mad Swirl was there, every one of the 365 days of it. We didn’t miss a beat. Those beats are what you’ll get when you dig into 2021’s best of collection. Get your firsthand view of one helluva of a f*cking year.
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2021 is a 107-page anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists hailing from 5 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, & North America); 15 countries (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, Syria, & USA [20 States]). We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best” of MadSwirl.com! The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”
And for those wondering just what and/or who Mad Swirl is…
Mad Swirl is an arts and literature creative outlet. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a diverse collection of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 170 contributing poets, our Short Story Library has over 40 participating writers and our Mad Gallery has over 50 resident artists.
This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!
Huge grats & shout-outs to our 2021 featured Contributors (in alphabetical order):
J Gregory Cisneros
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo
Robert L. Martin
Brittany M. Ortega
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Madu Chibueze Romanus
Stephen Jarrell Williams
Edward N. McConnell
Vivek Nath Mishra
If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2021” then get yours right here!
P.S. Get the WHOLE “Best of Mad Swirl” anthology collection (2017-2021) 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…
Short Story Editor