The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.16.22

by on April 17, 2022 :: 0 comments

“The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything.”

Anatole France

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Good Year ~ Howie Good

Mad Swirl is excited to present collage artist Howie Good to our Mad Gallery. Howie’s work says a lot by often saying very little. Collages tend to be chaotic in nature but there is a sort of clean directness to Good’s work that makes it especially easy on the eyes. not to mention, we found that each piece had a lot of heart in it, in a way that felt as though we were taking a look straight into Good’s heart. There is certainly madness to it, that much is certain, and a profound intensity to what seems to be conveyed. But just beyond that, there is a simple beauty, one that pulls us in by our hearts and refuses to shake us free. ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all of Howie’s mad collages, 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 us an ointment for disappointment; we mudded the mist with a pragmatist; we sticked up for a pick up; we cried out for a redoubt; we staggered, careening, searching for meaning; we gardened replete from the catbird seat; we sucked and choked on a perfect smoke. Vice is nice and not so nice. ~ MH Clay

The Finest Cigarette by Ahmad Al-khatat

On the first day of the new year,
I light the finest cigarette up and
sip a cup of black coffee by myself,
then write about hope on the typewriter.

The night is born with stars and torn.
The children of the world recall their little pets,
While the children of Iraq & Syria remember
the dates of their sibling’s death in the war.

I no longer run after the birds and butterflies.
My days are low, like the tears of a dying angel.
My life is no longer delightful and brief,
Even love has been eliminated from my universe.

No one seems to care about my flying wings.
Everyone is celebrating the night we were shattered.
The wooden floor sustained your bitter tears.
This oppression made me an alcoholic and hopeless.

Another cigarette, another bottle of Russian whiskey.
Another great rhythm and blues to listen to alone,
Waiting for the time, and walk missing from the pub.
Destiny undresses my flesh and leaves me as rotten skulls.

April 16, 2022

editors note: The current calamity drives all recollection of calamities past from our minds, but not from his… – mh clay

SACRED SEQUENCE by Marie Higgins

Prayerful fence-post meetings
Of the little sinless trespassers

Strawberries spied and thieved
Whilst the Waiters wait

Perfect pepper plants
Slip-tied like martyrs to poles

While celestial vines
Explode inside cages

Tiny bright beloved yellow
Blooms becoming

Untainted green orbs
Filling to glow red-like until

Tomato trios cling aerially
Like mobiles over babies

Nearby butternut blooms burst

The surprise takes
When the gardener arrives

Dappled yellow and green
Novitiates will begin

A pious pose
In veneration of the sun

Until beveled pinstripes hug
Hippy buttery frames

On the gardener also
Bending to collect earth’s offertory

The beans make the preordained
Climb righteously up the metal trellis

Where catbirds rest and revere
The sacred sequence

April 15, 2022

editors note: Sinless trespassers and all; how does YOUR garden grow? (We welcome Marie to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Wardship by Sanjeev Sethi

Meter of meaninglessness
drafts us to seamless duties.

Like darkness unfolds my
hand to reach its destination:
limiting me to flitter
on the grayscale of feelings.

Without His haft
I am not half of myself.
Again and again, I invoke Him
to direct me to ply the river of design.

April 14, 2022

editors note: Pondering what it means to make as the maker meant. – mh clay

Desert by Milenko Županović

In the desert,
an abandoned church
out to the gods
in the darkness
of time.

April 13, 2022

editors note: Building or bosom, best not empty be. – mh clay

Short Form: Leaf by Patrick Sweeney

I was the one who stopped for the fallen leaf

April 12, 2022

editors note: The rest of us walk by. (Loving this short form; Haiku’s little brother packs so much into so little.) – mh clay

Pragmatism by Bhargab Chatterjee

When thunders and lightnings rampage
across the sky and create innumerable
openings for the cyclones, I switch off
location in my phone and walk around
freely so that no one can access the
spaces that I cover. I believe, something
inconclusive is better and more meaningful
than anything so-called conclusive and

April 11, 2022

editors note: What we make from the murk is our own. – mh clay

EXASPERATED by John L. Yelavich

Searched for a rainbow,
found a lump of coal.
Wished for a pony,
got a broken fishing pole.

Tried out for football,
never made the team.
Hoped to catch the spotlight
never felt its special gleam.

Dreamed of a lovely woman,
dated a conniving witch.
Desired a night of passion,
came home with a nasty itch.

Bought my first new car,
had it stolen in just a week.
Discovered water in my TV,
when my roof began to leak.

Traveled congested roadways,
just fueled my aggression.
Narcotic prescription drugs
only masked my depression.

Changed my way of thinking,
slowed down my daily grind.
Rejection of ludicrous goals
brought me peace of mind.

April 10, 2022

editors note: “You can’t always get what you want…” – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

We gotta story by Contributing Writer N.T. Franklin that even yo mama would say is worthy of a read!

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

It’s not a cycle of violence, it’s a cycle of defense in the name of the women we love, not the monsters we are.

Here’s a tease of It Went Down at the Ace to get you ma-ma-ma-movin’:

(photo “Come Meat Us ‘Round Back” by Tyler Malone)

Joe Willy finished filling up his pickup at the self-serve pump and headed toward the store with a grimy twenty-dollar bill. He stopped short and whistled.

“Whoa there, Ray Dan, where’d you get that shiner?”

Ray Dan shuffled his feet. “Aw, I was defending my mother’s honor. Your mother’s, too.”

“Howzat?” Joe Willy didn’t wait for an answer. “You didn’t get thrown out of Smokey’s, did you? Crap, it’s the only place with cheap beer we’re allowed in.”

“Aw, nuthin’ like that. I was minding my own business, doin’ some shopping, ya know.”

Joe Willy cocked his head. “Uh-huh.”…

Get socked by the rest of this tale right here!


Hey! Got a need to spare? If so, we got a read to spare!

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

A penny for a poem! It saves lives.

No beggin’, just requestin’ you check out On the Droll by Contributing Writer Flora Jardine:

(photo “Double Living But Not Double Well” by Tyler Malone)

Some people experiencing homelessness are people experiencing a good gig. They could choose to experience employment, but some, like my one-time next-door neighbour Brady, feel that being on the dole works fine, and a tent in a park is pretty good shelter in a mild climate. Better than paying rent.

Some tenters augment their assistance cheque by drug-dealing or shoplifting, but Brady’s above all that. He’s quite entrepreneurial: I see him hawking poems on the street.

“You still living in that building?” he asks me as I approach.


“Sucks, man. Like, you pay rent and shit?”..

Get the rest of this read right here for $free.99!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

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! 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):

Featured Artists:

J Gregory Cisneros
Alan Murphy
Thomas Riesner
Bleak Teeth

Featured Poets:

Jeff Bagato
Tohm Bakelas
Jon Bennett
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Jean Biegun
Jean Bohuslav
Casey Bush
Laurie Byro
PW Covington
John Dorroh
J.K. Durick
Michael Estabrook
Joseph Farley
Robert Fleming
Susie Gharib
Iulia Gherghei
KJ Hannah Greenberg
John Grey
Paul Hostovsky
Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo
Mike James
Ivan Jenson
Sally Jo
Ferris Jones
Carl Kavadlo
Vyarka Kozareva
Padmini Krishnan
Tyler Malone
Robert L. Martin
Tom Montag
Ian Mullins
Madelyn Olson
Johnny Olson
Brittany M. Ortega
Irena Pasvinter
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
Randall Rogers
Madu Chibueze Romanus
Sreemani Sengupta
Beate Sigriddaughter
David Susswein
Rp Verlaine
Isaiah Vianese
Agnes Vojta
Trier Ward
Richard Weaver
Stefan White
Stephen Jarrell Williams
Catherine Zickgraf
Milenko Županović

Featured Writers:

Jim Bates
Glenn Bresciani
Mike Fiorito
Susie Gharib
Jeff Grimshaw
Prapti Gupta
Flora Jardine
James Lawless
Edward N. McConnell
Vivek Nath Mishra
Randall Rogers
Chuck Taylor

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…

Bein’ True,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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