The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.20.22

by on August 21, 2022 :: 0 comments

“I’m saying: to be continued, until we meet again. Meanwhile, keep on listening and tapping your feet.

Count Basie

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Frightened (1)” ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all Thomas’ wicked squiggles, 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 shivered away from a dull dark day; we wished to taper the power of paper; we felt Nature’s plight in an unfair fight; we gained entry with alchemistry; we mourned death’s mettle as his house settled; we were freed from the tomb of starlight womb; we saw with the seeing of Molly’s being. With words we seek eternity; through darkness, we learn to see. ~ MH Clay

Mostly Molly by Archie Abaire

Immortality is not a wish
for a Molly,
but a matter of foresight.

Immune to senescence, a Molly
curates out-of-date memories
in silicon albums
and prunes obsolete routines.
It abstracts lessons gained
from its deeds, erasing details
that could elicit remorse.

Before approaching danger,
a Molly gestates replicas of itself
at its workbench, skipping
travail and adolescence.
It sends these replicas
to timed sleep in dispersed places.

If Molly does not return,
any copy may waken to continue
Molly, with experience
not of terror
but of hiatus.

August 20, 2022

editors note: Should we embrace or eschew? Either way probably doesn’t matter to Molly. (We welcome Archie to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

kidnapped by Rob Plath

the womb is an urn
for kidnapped starlight

newborns are corpse-puppets
twitching on bloody umbilicals

pretending not to be homesick
for mother nothing

August 19, 2022

editors note: Nothing from nothing says something. – mh clay

1:03 by David Susswein

This is not the witching hour
that passed hours and years ago
this is the night of fireworks endlessly falling
of distantly visible arcus clouds
fragmenting into the shapes of pregnant warplanes

The house settles upon its foundations
every creek and sigh
a reconciliation for my bones
where such weariness is, etched
into the cells of my marrow.

I stand
to lay my hand, once again,
on my Scythe, my black-echoed Cloak
to ride
once again

into the humans’ infinities of wars.

August 18, 2022

editors note: Job security for this reaper. – mh clay

Robert Johnson by Milenko Županović

At the crossroads
of life
he made
a pact
with the devil
and became
the blues alchemist
with his music
opens the gates
of heaven.

August 17, 2022

editors note: Guaranteed entry with that key. – mh clay

A Fair Fight? by Guest Poet Matt McGuirk

There was never a chance:
steal against wood,
chemicals against chlorophyll,
concrete against dirt.
Patience of time wearing thin
to the continual propositioning of progress.

Who will animate the trees to pull up their roots
before saws bite into their skin
shedding fresh sap?
Will vines wrap trespassers,
hanging them like ornaments?
Will dandelion bombs go off in offender’s eyes
and keep them at bay
or will blades of grass, making the tiniest cuts
yield enough small doses of pain
to count in our world?

Will nature hold on to the slivers of disappearing green
or will enough paperwork be stacked to the sky
to make all the no’s say yes?
Will chains rust unused
or hide from the elements in a fresh wood home
placed where centuries-old stands once stood?

August 16, 2022

editors note: There’s more money in pavement. – mh clay

A paper by Guest Poet Ndue Ukaj

A paper may be more important
than the weight of your desires, of dreams
of all the pain you carry in your chest, on heavy shoulders;
more than blue eyes where ships of desire enter and go out,
more than a heart attacked by storms and tsunamis.

It can increase the pain or reduce it.
A paper can define: where you can go and where not,
a letter called a permit to cross the border,
where the laws of passage there depend on someone,
as they are dependent here on someone else.

Human life is full of boundaries, obstacles, temptations,
Sadly – a letter can reduce your body weight,
the severity of the pain of love, of desires, of dreams, of sadness,
a letter can reduce the amount of joy, the amount of happiness.

A letter can measure the amount of breathing,
oxygen in the body, tension, pulse.
Because we are always surrounded by borders
that appear and disappear quite suddenly in our lives.

We know that borders have control,
police and soldiers ready with weapons in hand to carry out orders,
but we never do the right thing to replace them
with clover flowers, beautiful sculptures, and spring dreams.

Because the real boundaries are in the language,
in morning dreams and bad desires of night.
Astonishingly, people do not like borders,
but they are not used to living without them,
therefore they seldom understand the weight of a letter
that determines how much you weigh,
who are you and can you go where ever you want?

Boundaries are a burden and people are doomed to suffer
within them, therefore they find it difficult to increase the size of the heart,
of language, of soul, of dreams
and create the magnificent kingdom of love.

(Translated from the Albanian by Edita Kuçi Ukaj)

August 15, 2022

editors note: No paper required; the boundaries of that kingdom are self-imposed. – mh clay


dull the dark morning
dreadful numb shiver away
from the hopelessness

August 14, 2022

editors note: It’s a choice. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you need a wake-up kinda read then don’t snooze Alarm clock by Peter F. Crowley!

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

The High ‘n’ Mighty needs to kick it into high gear, the faith of all of us is on the line as we watch, see, taste, and destroy.

Here’s a few winks of this short-short to get you goin’:

“Someone Else’s Problems” by Tyler Malone

I’ve ran in circles to mend the harvest. Grain crops have wilted. God told the sun to bend its head on grain and never let up.

The grain condemned me for the drought. I don’t blame God, not directly, but I told grain it ain’t on me.

A few farmers in the area said to me that the climate has changed because of humans. They don’t know their foot from their asshole. I told them that the climate has changed, of course. It changes every year — don’t you notice that it’s never the same? If it was caused by us, then why don’t we just change it back to how it was? This caused them to give me a funny stare, with confused eyes and their jaw dropping. They were probably thinking, “My God, why hasn’t anyone ever pointed this out before?” or maybe “That guy is really smart; he got me. Now I have to think of a comeback.” They usually just end up either shaking their head or saying something like, “It’s not that simple.” And that is typically where the conversation ends…

Get the rest of this tick-tock read right here!


If you need a read and a lift of spirit, check out It Gets Better by Contributing Writer & Poet Alexandria Biamonte!

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

Up hill, up hill! Go, go, go! There’s a top sometime, just keep your eyes open and open wide.

Here’s the low-down:

“Empty Bars, Full World” by Tyler Malone

It’s May, 2012. I’m nineteen, barely. I’m graduating high school with zero prospects. My life is over.

You see, I’m working at McDonald’s. I have coworkers in their sixties who have been working at this same corner restaurant in a dead end town for longer than I’ve been alive. You see, I had dreams of getting a scholarship to art school and running away to New York City to be “discovered.” You see, all my friends are leaving me, moving away to great big important universities in cities people have actually heard of. You see, I spent the last four years busting my ass trying to prove myself to my high-school theatre director with only one pity role to show for it.

I stopped writing. I stopped feeling. Color drained from the world as my ambition ran dry and my hopes died. My life becomes as dingy and disappointing as the halls of the community college that I am damned to. Doomsday approaches, and it can’t come fast enough.

And then he enters the scene…

Get the high-up rest of this tale over 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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