The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.11.23

by on February 12, 2023 :: 0 comments

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“A Deeper Urgency for Every Kiss” ~ Bill Wolak

To see all of Bill’s wonderfully 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 spoke some words to calm the sea, come from close proximity; we smiled while seeing a beautiful being; we set to see the them in me; we wings called for angel fall; we suckled long through countersong; we scraped our way through thirteenth day; we steered away from listing wrong, bird fuzz glowing radio song. It’s a full band, all frequencies full. ~ MH Clay

The Alchemist’s Children by Jeff Grimshaw

File down the callus!
Said the alchemist’s daughter
Mix another monkey!
Laughed the alchemist’s son
Roll a frosty rolling pin
Across the table top
& crush the frozen seeds,
Now that the seed counting’s done

Two birds preparing
To pretend to be peaches,
Two ripe peaches dropping
To the dark rich earth
Their fine feathers fluid, their
Fine feathers fuzz,
Their pale green bellies glowing
From the radio song, &
Hollow bones aquiver
With the radio buzz!

Turn up the music!
Said the alchemist’s daughter
Turn it up more!
Laughed the alchemist’s son
10,000 moths swept into the volcano
20,000 wings afire like jade
The flames shot up with a deafening roar
Wind sliced through the canyon
Like a white hot blade

Everything’s glowing
Sighed the alchemist’s daughter
Everything’s gone
Laughed the alchemist’s son

February 11, 2023

editors note: They didn’t learn this in a STEM program. – mh clay

Thirteenth Day Moon, Catalunya by Rye Brayley

Without tradition, there is a loudness
A violent volume that pierces

A fireless thought
that renders the dancer’s shadow still

A shriek that veils the bold echoes
of the ancient chamber,
which never needed electricity to be

Scrape your fingertips slowly along the stone

Stare brazenly through the sacred glass

Stomp your heels on the worn wood
And silence their madness

February 10, 2023

editors note: Neither hear nor there. – mh clay

countersong by w v sutra

you could have had a host of friends
back in the 70s but not any more
no splaining in these internet times
nothing to slow the onset of boredom
living in dear old concrete sheffield
came to ourselves we did all shaken
by storms of illness that sought itself
in our sulking minds the sensible ones
who drank and drugged were spared the dismount
the shamefaced climbing down
with silver coins in hand conceding worth
every day our wicked mothers
left us in the street to play
to be unlucky fools our fate
imagining worlds outside our own
beyond the price made manifest
the mind surviving taking tricks
unraveling the contradictions
clinging lampreys slowly riding
wicked tight on old leviathan
chewing through the crusty hide
gorging in the darkling deep

February 9, 2023

editors note: We scrape and suck to make our luck. – mh clay

Birds walk the streets by Nolcha Fox

they don’t bother with their wings,
fallen angels seeking breadcrumbs
the wind left behind.

February 8, 2023

editors note: Angel alert: Slim pickings on the streets of earth. – mh clay

Them by Heather M. Browne

How beautiful it is
when the me of us
of beauty
in you

How short sighted
when what I see
the them of me
as another lodged
only within

February 7, 2023

editors note: Can’t take sides with them in sight. – mh clay


The skin on the backs of her hands
Looks like lady slipper petals
So delicate
She scratches it incessantly
Buckled into a wheelchair
By the elevator door
In front of the nurses’ station
Which is where the staff
Park the patients who don’t get visitors
Threadbare pate pitched forward
Stained hospital gown doing its job half-heartedly
Covering body parts
That are faded memories
Of what they once were
Seemingly asleep
Until the elevator doors
Whisper their announcement
Of someone’s arrival
Then, only then
Does she become animated
Her head lifts
Her smile is almost rictal
“Hi hi hi hi hi!”
She sing-songs
“See me!”
Her unspoken plea
I bend down
And carefully embrace her
Telling her she looks pretty today
Her fingers catch in my hair
Her skin smells like
Chicken grease
Rheumy eyes lock on mine
“Bless you bless you bless you!”
She warbles
It feels like a long time passes
Before we release each other
I think she just might be
The most perfect human being
I’ve ever met

February 6, 2023

editors note: They scare us because they might be us one day. – mh clay

Sunday morning by Jaya Abraham

When you spoke nothing,
I dreamt of the sea,
Between us,
Calm and silent.
When the tides came,
I waited for the lull,
To forget the storms,
Till the day break,
The oceanic chaos in me,
Waiting for words.
But the radio rumbles on.

February 5, 2023

editors note: It’s not just words can calm the sea, but words from close proximity. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re looking for a tale with a tail, Alejandro by Contributing Writer Phyllis Souza will get yours waggin’!

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

We all need friends, but a best friend is something for all time.

Here’s a few sniffs to get you goin’:

“Pup Lyfe” by Tyler Malone

I’m Alejandro. A dog. Chihuahua, to be exact. My owner, Al, is an upholsterer. We live together at his house. It’s big! Al has a friend, Chuck. I don’t like him. Sometimes when Al isn’t looking, he kicks me.

One day, Chuck drops by. He doesn’t call. Just stands on the porch and bangs on the security screen. I run toward the door and slide across the tile entry. I bark incessantly.

Al appears. He picks me up. I don’t know why he lets this schmuck in, but he does.

My ears flatten. Baring my sharp teeth, I growl.

“Don’t mind, Alejandro. He’s harmless,” Al tells Chuck and carries me into the kitchen and sets me free on the cold floor…

Fetch the rest of this story here!


Dig this week’s featured read, a different kinda love story called Maurice Laid Out in a Pink Teddy by Barefoot Cajun.

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

Where does love exist when it passes? Well, it’s everywhere. And that’s why we dance with the dead.

Try this on to get you started:

“Headstand Tailspin” by Tyler Malone

Maurice moves upon the South Louisiana Cajun Prairie swooshing in and out

I see him from time to time

Sporting a new body, sleek and fine

But still soaring naked

He once told me that bodies were meant to breathe

By that he meant bodies weren’t meant for clothes

Maurice died from blood cancer in 1999

He was just shy of his eightieth birthday

A big party had been planned by his girlfriends (gay boyfriends)

Maurice had a large cadre of friends, straight, gay, bisexual, transgender

Everyone loved him…

Get the rest of your read here where we bet you’ll love Maurice too!


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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