The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.01.23

by January 1, 2023 0 comments

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been”

Rainer Maria Rilke

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“happy(?) new year” ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all of Madelyn’s Maddi’s mad 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 last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum, on our way to auld lang syne… we started off in gift day living; giving and giving; we learned what to say on Boxing Day; we, with sentiment lacking, sent Christmas packing; we felt bleak in this Bah Week; we thanked our fortune to not be Haitian; we got a thing from Tao te Ching; we friendships earned with another turn; we, today, are well set by whom we say is first met; May 2023 turn well for thee! ~ MH Clay

Quaaltagh by Sanjeev Sethi

In undulating
to the universe
and its arrangement,
lies the shell
of sapience.

of the breeze
gladdens my innermost parts.
To soak in this synergy
is to be on the beam.

In fulcrum of fecundity
I bow to its bid.
The shorthand
from this steam
pulsates with my punch.

January 1, 2023

editors note: Make this your first encounter of the day; set the tone for your year. – mh clay

I’ll Be Right Here Every Time by Isaiah Vianese

Tonight, everyone wears party hats
and the stars are champagne
spilled over the skyline.
Music plays loud at the party.
Kristin hugs me and I pour a cocktail.
I’m always wistful this season.

I’m at the age when
every play makes me cry.
Even after all the poems and therapy,
I know so little about anything.
I commit mistakes.
I give apologies,

but let me say this wish
for another turn around the sun–
no matter what comes,
high water or new worries,
may we carry each other through.
I often don’t know what to do,

and friendship has saved me.
When my favorite actress sings,
“I’ll be right here every time,”
I hear the magic in that tune.
Dear one – Happy New Year.
I’m grateful to love you.

December 31, 2022

editors note: Yes! Let’s carry each other through. HNY!! – mh clay

From reading the Tao te Ching, #51: by MH Clay

I’m buried in dirt
Tao is my gardener
Wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat
To block a baking sun

Tao grew the sun
From the same nothing dirt
Surrounding me

My sprout self springs
I’ll soon bring blooms
From nothing I do
But wait
For water

December 30, 2022

editors note: A Laozi excuse to slow your roll & grow with the flow… ~ Johnny O

murder, machete, machine gun by Tohm Bakelas

“my name is murder” he mumbled,
“i’m here to kill the haitians with
my machete. i’m going to cut
their fucking heads off.”

“okay” i said, “good thing
i’m greek.”

he laughed and asked if
i had a machine gun

“no i don’t” i said

“that’s too bad”

he shook my hand and
walked down toward the
other patients’ bedrooms,
blasting them with his
invisible machine gun
before disappearing into
his room and screaming

i went back to my desk
and began to eat my lunch

December 29, 2022

editors note: Empty that clip (invisibly), then a light lunch before the NY festivities. – mh clay

Bah Week by Johnny Olson

Spanning the Yuletide and the New Year sits an odd and awkward limbo week in which the shimmering of glitzy Christmas delights dulls and the glimmering of fresh starts teases our hope-filled dreams of things to come.

I’ve grown sour and cynical of such musings that bookend this suspended week. Perhaps it’s my advancing age. Maybe it’s the years of dashed dreams and underwhelming scenes. It’s probably just the bold-faced fact that in the grand scheme of things it’s just another week in another year trying to survive another spin in this grinder called life.

So drink up yesterday’s Yuletide wine. Relish in the fact you spent a whole lot of money you don’t have to buy the artificial smiles you’ll smile to fill up your chosen social feed just for the sake of others to see. Grow nostalgic as the lights and bows and cheesy holiday songs fade away. And get your new year’s cheer ready to sing and relish in your delusion that THIS new year will undoubtedly be shittier than the last. Write your pipe dream resolutions and recite the toasts you’ll boast and pretend any and all of this ceremonial sanctimonious bullshit will make any difference at all.

It won’t. At best it’s hallmark-inspired eye wash. Fairy tales and pipe dreams. You know it. I know it. We all know it. But I get it. Who doesn’t like the distractions of make-believe to make our dying days a dash more desirable? Cheers!

December 28, 2022

editors note: We’re in the middle of it (holiday hump day), so let’s get this out now, folks. The coming slate is blank, yet. – mh clay

Deconstructing Christmas by Alan Gann

Nobody harks the herald
while taking down the lights
on New Year’s Day—
thrum of an almost hangover
reminding you that champagne
and late late nights are no longer
your domain. Nobody jingles the bells
while wrapping ornaments in tissue.
The evergreen branches
beginning to brown and you have already
reminisced over every blown glass bulb,
told the story of the wooden Santa,
picked your favorite ceramic angel.
Nobody sings joy to the boxes
resealed and banished to the attic
where all the jolly accruements
dream of being taken out
and allowed to shine.

December 27, 2022

editors note: We are the accruements of this Holiday Madness; time to crawl back in the box. – mh clay

one backstep ahead by Tanner

you can’t return this item, he told her.
“the dark girl who served me didn’t tell me that,” she said.
“’snot my fault you have stupid darkies working here, is it?”
she got her refund if only to get her to go away . . .

you can’t return this item, she told him.
“don’t tell me what I can and can’t do,” he said.
“I’ve had prettier girls than you do a lot more for me,
you stupid bitch. go get your manager, I wanna talk to him.”
she WAS the manager. but he got his refund if only to get him to go away . . .

you can’t return this item, I told them.
“sez who?” the guy asked.
it’s company policy, I shrugged.
“well I don’t see no one from head office here,” the girl said. “I only see YOU.”
“yeah,” the guy smiled. “and you’re gonna give me my money back
or I’ll have your blood and snot all over this counter.”
“yeah,” the girl smirked, “he will, you know,” as they lovingly embraced . . .
they got their refund if only to get them to . . .
well, you get the idea.

in conclusion?
should you wish to circumvent a store’s refund policy?
I’d strongly recommend being
racist, misogynist, threatening and just downright unpleasant.

better yet,
why not be all of these things at once
on Boxing Day?

that’s my advice, shoppers.
not that you need it.

December 26, 2022

editors note: Perfect advice for the reversal of your Xmas Cheer! – mh clay


The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin’ on… NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in our Mad Swirl’s World? Then come 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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