The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.04.22

by June 5, 2022 0 comments

“everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy!
everyday is in eternity! everyman’s an angel!”

Allen Ginsburg

••• The Mad Gallery •••

untitled ~ Eric Suhem

To see all of Eric’s trippy illustrations, 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 dreamed of a day with guns thrown away; we laughed lots to not box; we joked to spite a proselyte; we splashed in a mask; we burned a tread from overhead; we knew we’d won when felt by none; we stood apart from our finest art. We write black and blue. It’s. What. We. Do. ~ MH Clay

What. We. Do. by Johnny Olson

We are man! Watch us fuck some shit up! This is our finest art. Fucking. Shit. Up.

We knew this was gonna happen. We were warned. Now we’ve gone too far. Was just a matter of time when the stovetop got so hot that all the pots would boil over all at once. And here we are, at the precipice of our own death and destruction, bubbling with rage.

We are man! Watch us fuck some shit up! This is our finest art. Fucking. Shit. Up.

And now we have to reap the consequences of our fucked up world and have no one to blame but our damn selves. Yet still we squabble. Yet still we war. Yet still we divide. As Rome burns, we blame the flames we stoked, all for our own selfish ignorance, for destroying this magnificent freeloading journey upon this heavenly blue orb.

We are man! Watch us fuck some shit up! This is our finest art. Fucking. Shit. Up.

They told us it would be too late when “They” told us so. We didn’t listen then. We’re not listening now. Still selling off tomorrow with the meager profits we gain today. It’s an empty win. Yet here we are, professing…

We are man! Watch us fuck some shit up! This is our finest art. Fucking. Shit. Up.

We wicked fallen beings deserve the fate that awaits us. Maybe we’ll be saved at the 11th hour. But sadly, last I heard, Superman skipped planet. And Jesus? Word is He got sick of hearing His words twisted by hypocrites. He was heard muttering, “Save your damned selves.” as He ascended back to heaven. Perhaps aliens will swoop down one of these days and hopefully they’re of the friendly kind. But even if they are, we’d fuck shit up.

It’s. What. We. Do.

June 4, 2022

editors note: Is this a sad fact or a witty whack (at us)? Hmmm. Don’t quite feel like laughing… – mh clay

the sweetest sound by Tohm Bakelas

out beyond the field of dead ferns
where the silent river flows,
lies a valley of dead dreams
where the soil observes no lives.

sunshine blooms between vegetation
where darkness sheds no death.

someday when the icebergs melt
and man destroys man
there will be the sweetest sound
heard by none
observed by none
and felt by none.

June 3, 2022

editors note: After all our matter, what matters won’t. – mh clay

There’s A Tea Party Overhead by Ivan Peledov

Gods throw lumps of ice cream
onto the roofs of freight cars.
Books on the library shelves
teem with emptiness.
Tattered maps of the world
hide empathetic walls.
Maudlin pedophiles roam the streets
under the frozen lips of the statues
and invisible stars.
You have never been here.
Your burning heels are the proof.

June 2, 2022

editors note: There’s no proof of progress with no eyes left to see our prints. – mh clay

When snorkeling… by Jerome Berglund

When snorkeling with
threshers the cage is purely
a formality

June 1, 2022

editors note: Either way, you’re gonna get wet. – mh clay

Keyholed Renaissance [New Doorways & Fresher Seeds] by Paul Tristram

If I was Impressed I’d Smile,
Annoyed I’d Laugh…
but, your Proselytizing
is bringing out only Silence.
Metanoia is not ‘Repentance’
she is a lady of ‘Regret’
… and is far more relatable
than Kairos [Unfortunately].
I’ve spent 7 days Fasting
everything but ‘Symbols’
… I’m far outside
the GRASP of Persuasion…
and WOBBLING around
upon the fragile platform
of this calm [Inner] Patience.
I’ve Discovered something
a ‘Knowledge’ Hidden
inside a creaking-doored
Solitude… and I would like
to share my new Miracle…
but, you just will not Shut Up.

May 31, 2022

editors note: How to controvert a con. – mh clay

Kickboxer by Michael Estabrook

. . . even though you’re older
you cannot comprehend
how it happened so fast . . .

When you’re older
you wake up groggy
stiff and sore but I don’t get it
didn’t do anything yesterday
except eat and drink
watch a bit of TV
and yet now I feel
like I’ve just fallen off
the back of a truck.
There must be something
to be done about it.
Googling tells me get up
hydrate, take a kickboxing class
and I laugh and laugh.

May 30, 2022

editors note: When you’ll hurt till you laugh. – mh clay

Swagger goes, tears flow by Timothy Pilgrim

A novel dream windhoved in —
late spring day, America finally birthed
real change — helped boys, guys,

expel rage, begin to breathe,
toss Berettas, Glocks, Colts away.
Sacked, purged deep urge to kill.

Let children play, laugh, live.
Made school yards safe. Even rabbits,
ravens, robins, wrens escaped,

no longer practice targets
of the killing craze. Quite a change,
deranged shooters — always men —

throwing aside the tough guys pose,
not blogging hate, not firing away.
People everywhere melted guns —

generals buried grenades, rockets,
missiles, drones. Males, young, old
began to think. They cried, cared,

admitted feelings, stopped the swagger,
ceased to seethe. Women sighed,
reveled in relief — loved the peace.

May 29, 2022

editors note: Must this just be a poet’s notion? Why not make it today’s news? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Then check out this week’s featured read A Bicycle Built for Two by Contributing Writer Jim Bates!

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

Love redefined is true love no matter how many times you redefine it.

Here’s a kibble of Jim’s story to sink your teeth into:

(photo “On the Prowl” by Tyler Malone)

A tandem bicycle was the last thing Liz and I bought before she left me for her personal trainer, a muscle-bound guy named Zeke.

“I’m never coming back,” she told me as they drove off on his Harley.

“Fine!” I yelled after her. “See if I care.”

Except, I did care. I missed her a lot; for a while anyway. But then I got to hate how I was feeling, so I made a fateful decision: No more relationships with women for this guy. No way, no how. Not ever. I didn’t want to get hurt again.

So, there!

Heartbroken at losing Liz? Absolutely. Moving on? Most definitely. I sold the tandem and bought a brand-new bike. Five-speed beach cruiser, cherry red with white-sidewall tires that’s got a basket in front so Libby can ride with me. That’s right, Libby. She’s my new gal, a sweet little, cinnamon colored, long hair Chihuahua. I adore her…

Fetch the rest of this puppy-love-story right here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of May (aka 06.01.22) at our OC home, Barbara’s Pavillion, then you know that once again whirl’d up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced our stage (both live & virtual) with your words, your songs, your divine madness…

Johnny O
MH Clay

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks)

Round One:
Valerie Parsley Crowe
*Anthony Ripp
James Barrett Rodehaver
*Gayle Bell
Harry Mcnabb
*Atenea Afrodita
David Crandall
*Mike Zone
Mark Ridlen
*Marianne Szlyk
*Ethan Goffman
Lauren Coe

Round Two:
Desmene Statum
Tony Robinson
Kevin O’Neill
Robert Tinajero
Martin Hache
Dick Zinnendorf


HUGE grats to ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave live at Barbara’s as well as our FB Live feed! We know you have a few choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to hang out with lil ol’ us!

’til next 1st Wednesday (aka 07.06.22)… may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on the whole virtual Swirl’n scenes 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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