The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.18.23

by on March 19, 2023 :: 0 comments

All art is a confession.

Gaston Lachaise

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Troubled (2)” ~ 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… we stared a while at a Cheshire smile; we took to task the colored mask; we grayed the heft of nothing left; we stripped the gloss from dog days lost; we left the night in predawn light; we rained to get the sound of wet; we got no thrill from the kill. Everyday, we did anyway. ~ MH Clay

If you think life is a starvation, by Jayanta Bhaumik

the meat centre begins with the price of the tongue.

Just one forkful and a succulent creature lacquered around the tongue.
The appetite note is a confusion: everything is a taste, but not food.
I wonder if hunger is just a slow universe, like other half-cooked ones,
born to ready the meaty physics holed up by humans, animals,
other animals.
Mere drillings into the stuff do not let you learn what is not so random
about this gaping gap, quite experimentally discovered, but of course
all men get less surprised who believe in the filling. Just filling, no text
no major aloofness or suitable crescendo,
no trope-like adventure – only filling. Patches beautified this way,
how every dark symphony takes on nights and galloping stars,
how moon belongs with a daily pretender’s obsessiveness and our neat
comedian makes the entire sky mooned. Then there’s no hollow at all,
only a rooftop expanded to your incremental growth, your ambition
of thumping, your dream of living free, combustion-proof,
light-hearted – a light.
You are now able to see: how among a million teachings one is to
optimistically close every book or mouth. How not to find music
in the ashes, only to collect soundlessness when a mother in an urn,
not a mother, bones no more bones but cherish of a mineral, kept,
optimally, as food for the soil. Meanwhile, another mother,
the mother sparrow, is busy teaching the baby sparrow what a food
is all about, without a fear when a fear is whether a body is just too
blunting, dust-proof, dust-free – a mother bird teaching a baby bird
what a body is all about, eaten, slowly, more slowly, or fast,
without necrophobia.

March 18, 2023

editors note: Food for thought? Makes me hungry… – mh clay

freezing by Guest Poet Patrick Sweeney

freezing rain using all twelve tones of the scale

March 17, 2023

editors note: Shiver the sound of this. – mh clay

PREDAWN LIGHT by Marie Higgins

Winter sheets strap the writer to the window,
Predawn, a Rorschach sky –

Unhinged, white, puff-packed clouds,
Edges unstable, celeritous and projecting,
Against a fading blackboard,
Speckled with flecked stardust

Diagnostic moon peeks opportunistically,
Watches for clues, stares;
Antlers bounce over razor-round hooves,
Kleck-klecking across concrete and shadows

Nearby, a blaring spotlight works to blot the many,
Bare, gnarly branches on some bricks,
Whilst a jingly-collared schizophrenic hound
Makes a pair of fox personalities split
From the predawn light

March 16, 2023

editors note: What we see with sleep in our eyes. – mh clay

CROSSROADS by John L. Yelavich

Stuck at the crossroads of passion and pleasure,
whispers withered, as minutes vanish into hours.
While dancing under moonlight’s warm white glow,
meandering minds are lost in sentimental songs,
flaunting fantasies, eyeing shadows on the wall.

Heartstrings were wound tight, much too tight;
wary, restless souls lost their magnetic charge,
no longer electric, couldn’t light up a clear night.
Each longed to breathe liberation’s infinite air,
cravings and reality became dissenting forces.

Twirling tongues failed to fuel beads of sweat,
fervent desires and loving strains now expired!
Onetime shared dreams no longer wished upon,
juicy tempting delights suddenly turned bitter,
cherished bonds faded in their rearview mirror.

Out of rhythm, they can’t keep time to the music.
Sensual notions and capricious carnal escapades,
fleeting as a cool breeze on a sweltering dog day,
slipped precipitously away, lost in numb impulses,
their souls are stripped; lifeless, lonely and still.

March 15, 2023

editors note: A sad end to an old romance (or, maybe a lame party). – mh clay

THE VOID by Guest Poet Colleen Boueil

My eyes fixate on twin deceit
your double speak deafens
silently bruising my reason.

Into the void you rumble past
nothingness remains, yet lingers
choking me on fool’s false gold.

Soulless promises, like inert bones,
vanish into bleached forgery,
neurotic dust begging validity.

Memory skims pallid edges,
saturates all my thorny cares
rendering only faint erasures.

I hide inside love’s rotting shadows
remnants of smooth bargello hues
which once defined my long ago.

No tempera, no colorful pigments
exist without you in my freeze frame.
I am drowning in hollow neutrality.

Without you I lack vibrancy…
Where have all my bright colors gone?
Perhaps jammed into wax crayons?

March 14, 2023

editors note: Such love is better lost. – mh clay

Masks by Guest Poet Andrea Damic

masks on faces, hide
truth behind

blue, when feeling down
green, with a twinge of envy in a smile
red, when on a cantankerous spree

why hide behind them we wonder, as
we go about our lives, pretending

yellow, when filled with cowardice
rainbow, with a message of change
pink, as our hearts sing

masks on faces, wearing
our obscured selves

black, when mourning loved ones
white, while celebrating loved ones
grey for anything in-between

only in dreams, our
true disguises unfold, as
our masks fall

yet we are …unaware

March 13, 2023

editors note: No matter how we color ’em… apparently not. – mh clay

An Ode to Cheshire Cat by Irena Pasvinter

Your Mischievous Majesty Cheshire Cat,
Pray tell me, what do you think of that:
Lately, you are in my thoughts a lot —
Have you been following me or what?

When in the mornings at the mirror I stare
I search for myself, but I’m not there.
Am I a victim of identity theft?
Only a smile is all that’s left.

And though this smile is sort of mine
it morphs and twists like a tricky rhyme:
I see my mom, then my brother and
I glance again — and it’s my dad.

Your Shape-shifting Majesty Cheshire Cat,
Frankly, I try not to think of that,
But what if one day I forget how to smile?
Will I disappear, not just for a while,

But vanish completely? Don’t hide it, my friend:
Without the smile, there’s nothing: THE END.
When in the mornings at the mirror I stare
I search for the smile. I’m glad it’s still there.

March 12, 2023

editors note: A stare at the health of a feline self. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a sign that you need a read then check out our latest featured story, Medieval by Contributing Writer & Poet Susie Gharib!

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

A new dream is just a moment away, but are you ready for the whole new life it brings?

Here’s a sneak-peek at Susie’s enigmatic tale:

“Time to Reflect” by Tyler Malone

It all started with an essay that one of his students wrote for a composition test. It bore no relevance to the topics proposed, so it naturally got a zero for being off-point, but it was easy to recognize who wrote that irrelevant piece because that test was preceded by a CD that introduced the topic to a very unsuspicious tutor. A student brought it to his office, claiming that it would enlighten him on the strange events that were taking place in their territory. The war had made everybody eager to listen to every conspiracy theory and political analysis that might make sense and the scapegoat was the freemasons…

Get the rest of this scheming read right here!


Our latest featured read, The Silencing by Santosh Kalwar, is a modern tale of an all-too-familiar headline.

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

“It’s a new day! There’s a new boss! Don’t worry, they’re the same as the old boss.”

Here’s some scoop to get you on your way:

“No One Need Not Apply” by Tyler Malone

On May 29, 2017, CEO Jeff Goldenbaum of GoldTech, one of the world’s largest technology companies, said something he would later come to regret.

When, in an interview, he was pressed on GoldTech’s complicity with exploitative business practices and inhumane working conditions and low wages in the impoverished countries where many of GoldTech’s devices are created—he simply said, “business is business.”

By the time the interview was over, he was trending on Twitter.

It wasn’t long before GoldTech employees themselves took to the Internet to voice their complaints.

“Goldenbaum basically admits to being a capitalist pig and everyone’s SURPRISED?” tweeted one.

“Not like we’re treated much better,” tweeted another—igniting a firestorm of its own.

It was like so many other scandals: someone in power says something they shouldn’t have, everyone complains, nothing changes. But the backlash against Goldenbaum kept growing, particularly amongst the employees of GoldTech…

Get the whole scandalous story 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…

Spillin’ the beans,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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