The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.11.23

by March 12, 2023 0 comments

There was nowhere to go but everywhere,so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Jack Kerouac

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Lost” ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all of 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… our peace was worn by heaven-born; our earth was sacked, by famine wracked; our flower was greetin’ though seedling beaten; our love was tricked, our heart evicted; our heart, not riven, in love was given; we blissed our soul in a steaming bowl; we weekend walked by bus stop talk. No matter what day, we write our ways. ~ MH Clay

Saturday in Cork City by John Doyle

​April 2009

Autumn’s apocalypse left us little.
Our salvation should be the heart –
thirty-four years and counting without vacation,
lungs unlikely to clock off for a cigarette break,
reckless, stone-knit and hollow disciples
who unknit their futures from me
while I ask a beautiful-face man
standing by a bus-stop
where Saturday could possibly end – or even better, begin.
Only he, I see, knows of hearts
more sacred.
I wrote a song for him today.
Now let me find that music,
let me praise that machine and its evergreens – forty-seven years without a vacation.

March 11, 2023

editors note: The pensioners’ penchant; a Saturday well spent. (We welcome John to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Once Upon a time in Vietnam by Luke Ritta

A river of discarded beer bottles glistens in the harsh afternoon sunlight as they serenade each other down the murky Mekong Delta.

Steaming bowls of Pho are scattered all over the country like stars in the endless night sky.
Delicate bamboo shoots, strips of tender beef, fat prawns, thin noodles, fat noodles, anise-tasting green leaves, fermented crunchy chili oil, pungent smokey vinegar, white cartilage, grey fish balls, greasy red neon-coloured duck and cloves of garlic floating in the salty broth like magnificent pearls.

The aroma of rancid fish, decaying corpses, harsh fumes from generators and motor bikes, cups of nose-tingling fish sauce, rotting garbage, is all forgotten in an instance with the ice-cold refreshing citrus taste of sugarcane juice.

Awww Bliss!

A river of discarded beer bottles glistens in the harsh afternoon sunlight as they serenade each other down the murky Mekong Delta.

March 10, 2023

editors note: Stirred up in the stew for me and you. – mh clay

YOU by Jasna Gugić

You who have never
crossed the boundaries of
dream teach me to shout from
mountain tops
at the end of the day,
teach me to open my hands
clenched in fists
and do not be gentle
like those
who give kisses to everyone,
without tenderness.
Do not be false,
latent and arrogant,
be yourself all the way,
be the one
who does not leave his heart
in himself
but gives it to beat
in someone else’s chest.
And only then
will I let you
into the caves of my loneliness,
wilderness and silence, too
I will allow you
to cross the boundaries
of all limitations
and enter my heart of infinity.

March 9, 2023

editors note: What it means to “have a heart.” – mh clay

Death Letter Redux by Scott Wordsman

The day I found out that
the woman I loved was with
someone else, I took a cab
home from wherever I was
and sat for three or four
hours on my floor. It’s one
thing not to believe a lie;
it’s another to fully exhume
a truth you’d rather die
from natural causes than
to have beaten into your brain
in manifold ways. When I wake
up each morning, the light
in my kitchen, once warm and
resplendent, is nothing now
if not loud, a toddler shouting
through every room in the gut.

One day, you’ll get too
high and also imagine
that the world you once
wanted is no longer possible.
When that day comes,
tell me about it, (how does
it feel?), if it stings, if when
one day, we meet inside
another life, we can try
again. In March, I told you
that I meant what I said
in that letter and I’d mean
it forever. You got back to me
later, but you weren’t you,
and I was no longer me,
and we were just part
of a picture that was once
part of a garden that was
part of a house that no
one no longer lives in.

March 8, 2023

editors note: Unhoused in your own house, something to write home about. – mh clay

Flower Petals d328 by Marc Isaac Potter

Can we be more delicate,
More intricate,
With this flower that is also a daughter.

Understanding the petal
Of the flower is just the beginning

Unexpectedly, rage has a part
To play as the flower’s worried

Drunk, he beats his daughter
Just as his father beat him.

While he makes her pull –
In turn – her
Flowers, all completely

Out of the ground.
Once the ground is barren

He makes a comment about
“You made your bed of roses, now sleep in it”

He makes her sleep out there on the ground for 12 nights in a row

“I was a flower once upon a time,”
she said

Decades later she is
A very old woman
Knitting by feel, a pair of socks

March 7, 2023

editors note: Abused to blossom all the same. – mh clay

Famine by Sudhir Kumar Meher

Further, the trees won’t bloom
or bear fruit

with our conceited hands, we’ve
chopped up the wings of the clouds

there will neither be blood to drip
nor will there be thirst to be quenched
even if you squeeze the breasts.

Henceforth, fire will smoulder
the earth will crack open

and thousands of hands will elongate
from there to throttle our necks.

March 6, 2023

editors note: Earth’s embrace is impartial either way. – mh clay

in heaven we are… by Mykyta Ryzhykh

in heaven we are not known or heard
I managed to become a god in my own room

the sky choked
the river drowned

humans are the real gods
gods of death

March 5, 2023

editors note: This ain’t no teenaged angst. This poet is from Ukraine, writing to us in real-time. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a read to help spread your wings, The Butterfly Effect by Contributing Writer & Poet Marie Higgins is sure to break the cocoon!

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

The world you leave behind is the world you’ve already created.

Here’s a taste of this familial tale to get your reading wings flapping:

“What’s Outside Isn’t Always Inside” by Tyler Malone

Johnny looked at the various cases of our dad’s butterfly collection and said, “Remember that character, Buffalo Bill?”

“Weird,” I replied. “I was just thinking about the same thing. I first saw that movie while on a date with Will Wreck.”

“Will Wreck? You dated him?” he asked, with a hint of incredulousness in the asking.

“I know, right?” I said, “he was a little quirky, generally nice, but obtuse to social graces.”

“But I don’t think Buffalo Bill used butterflies,” said my brother, fixated on the movie. “I think he used some kind of moth, like a sphynx moth. Why do you think we both thought of Buffalo Bill at the same time?”

“That’s a loaded question,” I replied.

I preferred to follow my own mind, and think of Will Wreck. First, what a name, Will Wreck! I hope he changed it. After all, who wants to be going out with a Wreck? Who wants to get married to a Wreck and become a Wreck? Who wants to get married at all?

“Remember how Mom and Dad fought all the time?” Johnny asked, interrupting my thoughts…

Get the full effect of this metamorphosis story right here!


Check out our shining new featured read, Vape by Mehreen Ahmed.

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

“When a cold world stabs so hard that it burns and we can’t tell the difference between extremes, that’s when we know we’re lost.”

Here’s a few rays to get you on your way:

“A Time to Reflect” by Tyler Malone

Rozie vapes, tanning in high afternoon sun in a bikini, lounging by the roof-top pool on her tall apartment building. She scrolls through socials as she relaxes, surveying her skin every now and then, lavishly applying sun screen on her long hands, legs and the upper body portion. Her white skin slowly browning into light almond. She smiles as she reads the daily posts. Her lips spreading until her pearly teeth are showing a mystery simper, coining the corners.

She receives a call and speaks in a foreign language. She laughs and changes position in the lounge chair. She splays her legs every now then to get sunlight into the inner thighs. Then she turns over and lies on her belly to let her back get full exposure to the sunlight. Her upper body and head inclines, propped up on the forehands under it. Still scrolling her iPhone at the same time.

It is the sunlight she seeks to bask. The light caresses her bottom, her sinewy arms as it also speaks to her in a way that no one else understands. She closes her eyes and looks at the sun and communicates with it which only the sun understands. Her phone rings again. She exhales before she picks it up. She speaks in the same foreign language like before.

A good fifteen minutes of monotone talk. Her pitch rises. She changes position, stretching on her back this time. However, she is yelling and crying instead of laughing, this time. The sun tries to appease her, bestowing warmth upon her slim waist, and rounded buttocks, flat midriff. But it fails to placate Rozie…

Don’t let the sun go down on this story! Get your whole read right here!


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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