The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.21.22

by on May 22, 2022 :: 0 comments

“What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.”

Albrecht Durer

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“#12” ~ Howie Good

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 tried to roam toward future home; we rained to get that first child bet; we first love fetched from a city sketch; we tongued out bliss from a long come kiss; we collapsed in ways of previous days; we zested zing from fine cuisine; we ended bleak in glacier speak. Our words are tossed in language found and language lost. ~ MH Clay


The glacier did not speak in tongues
Or speak in a forked tongue
Or a tongue of fire
Or a prayer to God
Or a sixth sense
Or a gift of prophecy
Or a sequence of numbers
Or a pattern of colors

The glacier did not speak in the
Sweat of passion
Or the fire of ideology
Or the mendacity of politics
Or the pettiness of lucre
Or the veil of horror

What the glacier said
Is in small scratches
And polished stones
And lines across the
Walls of the valley
And in the deep of the lake
And the skeletons of fish
And the boulders in a field

And that like all the others
Under the weight of the ice
Or the heat of the sun
We all become
The markings of the vanished

May 21, 2022

editors note: Yet we strive to say as much on paper or in digital air. – mh clay

a word of warning by Preacher Allgood

looking for a bold addition
to your drab and soulless menu?
give our jack-a-lope nachos a try.

ooey-gooey imitation cheese infused into
the steamed and shredded haunches
of a cornball hybrid dreamed up
to sucker tourists into a dying town.

listen to the rave reviews.
“they set up in the gut like concrete and rebar.”
“a Grand Coulee Dam for your duodenum.”

jack-a-lope nachos, baby.
all the zest and zing of coronary distress.
all the heartiness of a capitalist deception.
the finest of unbelievable American cuisine.

a word of warning
the lawyers require us to add.
consume at your own risk.

new customer discount on the MEGA PLATTER.
dig in and discover what you’re made of.

May 20, 2022

editors note: Or refuse to swallow and choke on your own terms. – mh clay

Previous Days by PW Covington

Lean into the chaos

You’re not the person
I fell in love with
Don’t be the person
I fell in love with

I can’t be who
Once I was
In days burned away

By ambition-fires and boarding passes
Movie lots and disaster zones dial tones
Yesterday’s dreamscapes
And highway happenstance relief valves
One-way trumpet sounds
With barriers, undermined, and failing

This ever disappearing moment
Is where I’ll meet you

Standing, staring, blindly
Into the shining, changing, futureworld

Casting our shadows
Ever longer
Onto the collapse
Of previous days

May 19, 2022

editors note: Write your book with a forward look. – mh clay

the sweet yearning by J.J. Campbell

first time i
was kissed
in over a

the sweet
in the air

she was
and i was
trying my
best to be

as usual,
went as
or even

she wants
me to cook
her dinner

i guess i still
know how to
use my tongue

May 18, 2022

editors note: If you got it, use it or lose it. If you don’t got it, go get it. – mh clay

Scratch Pad by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I got out my pencil and scratch pad
and asked her to sit for me.

A large smile shot across her face.
She seemed very excited.

I told her to try to remain as still and quiet as possible.
Then I took a long look and began drawing.

She shifted a few times but remained fairly still.
An hour later I put down the pencil,
announced that I was finished.

I showed her the sketch on my scratch pad.
At first, she seemed confused, then angry.

I could not understand why.
I’d drawn a very beautiful city.

May 17, 2022

editors note: If I show you my city, will you draw me a girl? – mh clay

Conspiracy Theory 101 by Marc Vincenz

Upheld in all beliefs
And traditions, scarce,

But widely transmuted.
I know, a Scheherazade

Of shipwrecks; bet upon
The first child, they say.

And you, you were difficult
To hold, every broken pane

In the house talked to you;
In March, you knew

The rain before it came;
You adored that sodden

Terrain where old souls
Rise smoking through

The leaves; you were
Crying with happiness

In the deepest shade of love,
You seemed to be emerging

In chains of wildflowers;
One day we shall experience

True history in the long-
Hand of the sun.

May 16, 2022

editors note: Offspring; springboards into the perfect pond ahead. – mh clay

MY FUTURE IS WRITTEN by Bradford Middleton

I walked out into my future
this morning and it was like
A dream as I stomped around
this empty little hole and saw
Almost no one at all. I walked
the streets until they ran out and
Not once did I get shouted at or
Begged from as around here
Everyone is poor but as I stood
by our community lake it felt a
Million miles away from my usual
Life on those damn streets back
there in that place that has never
Really felt like home.

May 15, 2022

editors note: Every step brings us close to the future and, hopefully, to home. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a read you can sink your teeth into then check out Miracles Can Take Grotesque Forms by Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Chuck Taylor!

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

If you want to draw blood, be prepared to be the one who bleeds.

Here’s a taste of Chuck’s story to feed your read need:

(photo “Box of Sharp Objects” by Tyler Malone)

They were working for Manpower in Dallas back about ‘78, around fifteen of them, unloading furniture in the sweltering August heat, carrying it into the forty rooms of a new La Quinta Inn on Central Expressway.

Lisbeth was the only woman on the team. The foreman was desperate and took her on because she was six foot two. Lisbeth needed to get some dollars together to finish the book she was writing. The guy she worked with had just graduated from a divinity school in Dallas somewhere. Kenneth was a hard worker, but he couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

As the two carried the furniture inside the room and assembled it, he keeps pushing and pushing, trying to convert her.

“You know,” he said, “unless you accept Jesus, and are baptized into the full faith and name of the Lord, you will go to hell.”

“That’s nice,” Lisbeth answered, wiping the sweat from her forehead with her arm.

“No, hell is not a nice place. I think you know that.” The boy had intense blue eyes and short dirty blond hair.

“I can tell you with good authority,” Lisbeth smiled back, “there is no long-term hell, only short-term hells like we’re in now.”

Kenneth looked back at her with an expression of both shock and incomprehensibility. Her words shut him up for the rest of the day…

Get moved by the rest of Chuck’s read right here!

••• 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.”

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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