The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.20.23

by on May 21, 2023 :: 0 comments

What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.

Albrecht Durer

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Let It Go” ~ Luanne Castle

To see all of Luanne’s hauntingly whimsical collages, 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 paid dues to flash clues; we failed to learn from freezer burn; we grocery listed while tight fisted; we thoughts tossed to endless loss; we were hard to tell of hometown hell; we sky walked in star talk; we lived our scene in river green. The things we see, the where we be, inform the words we write, you see. ~ MH Clay

Green On The River by Ken Edward Rutkowski

I’m green on the River not so green on the River I have seen its end I’m green on the River I have not seen the beginning I am green on the River every morning I watch it move an old man fishing in the River the last two mornings never again so green on the River if you venture away from the River you get lost maybe This is why people don’t go back don’t go too far I am green on the River I have not seen the beginning I’ve not seen it send I dream I’m like those fishermen I know I am not like those fishing I know I am like this fishing in green on the River every morning I watch an old man fishing on the River the last two mornings never again I know I am this old man I know I am these fishermen I have left the other ones behind in hindsight looking behind me now I’m green on the River everything is green on the River everything I have never had lead me down this River up this River down this River down the alleys of my mind up this River down this River down the alleys of my mind everything I have I have lost I remember you and what I used to be I remember you who I used to be now I know someone else now I remember you who I used to be the man I see every day every day I see the man I’ve seen the beginning I’ve seen no end every morning I watch the old man I used to be every morning I remember you what I used to be now I know someone else the man I see every day is a blessing is a curse is a blessing is all of these things in a blessing is none is the curse is none I have been all these things through but I know better I know better these things I do not believe.

May 20, 2023

editors note: Certainly can’t without yellow and blue. – mh clay

Remember by Bruce Mundhenke

Remember lying on the earth,
Looking up at the stars in the sky,
Amazed at the wonder of it all,
Thrilled to be alive…
Questioning the meaning of the light that filled your eyes,
Wondering if other worlds were out there,
Somewhere in the night,
Talking until the stars disappeared,
About countless wonders untold,
Believing we had eternity,
To watch it all unfold.

May 19, 2023

editors note: …until eternity has us. – mh clay

My Hometown Writes Me a Letter Asking Me If I Will Please Consider Suicide by Ron Riekki

for their sake.
The hometown tells me
it has grown tired
of my exhaustion.
The hometown has stolen
all the ideas I have ever had.
The hometown tells me that it is awarding
a medal to everyone who didn’t grow up in the hometown.
The hometown says that my family’s restaurant
has burned down, but, it says, it makes for some wonderful pictures.
The hometown says that it is no longer my home
and barely is a town.
The hometown erases my name

from my birth certificate.
The hometown says that my new name is
The Book of the Dead.
The hometown says there is a No Trespassing sign
where I used to like to walk.
The hometown remembers when it would get so cold
that cows’ ears would freeze and break off.
The hometown teaches me a new word: hown,
which means you own the hell out of someone.
The hometown is a large heavy book, a tome, and it forces me to carry it to its cemetery
where my uncle used to light dynamite and throw it into the nearby swamps.
The hometown has a bluff where at least six people have either thrown themselves off
in desperation or tripped and fell, which it is, it’s hard to tell.

May 18, 2023

editors note: Hometowns are for hightailing it, posthaste. – mh clay

Overthinking… by David Ratcliffe

Some may think me rude
think me thoughtless,
though in fact,
maybe I think too much
leaving nothing to say.

Warriors invade me in longboats
on chariots,
on horseback
in armoured cars,
on medication,
weaving in, swooping out.

So, I keep you safe,
protected from demons
that threaten that
what my mouth may emit.

Occasional thoughts excite
though hardly make the page
for fear of failure.

Conversation echoes around my head
Philip Larkin addresses Dylan Thomas
between sips of brandy
Thomas peers back
over a flagon of ale
mockingly generous
with underhand praise…

I forget my thoughts
as they filter, into endless loss.
I am the unenviable proprietor
of a house of overthinking,
forgetting thoughts
as they filter into endless loss.

Once they leave, they seldom return
overtaken by Larkins voice,
or a verse to be woven.

You though are the treasure buried deep
my undeniable, despicable, undeserving obsession.

May 17, 2023

editors note: If “you” were me, would you hold your tongue (cap your pen)? Think about it… – mh clay

Another Great Day by Richard LeDue

Force feeding on optimism again
in between flipping through a supermarket flyer,
where apple sauce is 20% off
and the coupons bright
like a cartoon sun
trying to sell me breakfast cereal,
but the paper flimsy enough
to prevent a paper-cut,
while my grocery list
writes another poem about inflation
that no one wants to read.

May 16, 2023

editors note: Too much ennui to raise interest. – mh clay

Lunacy by Jerome Berglund

Sun showers!
out of nowhere blindsides
crafty brigands

elevator down
ovens smoke
choking smell of sulfur

ice melt takes finesse –
half-measures, refreeze
in worse configurations

dust bunny
caught under chair leg
hunter’s snare

think done for season,
false sense security lulls…
out window, snow comes

May 15, 2023

editors note: How the simplest things can make us crazy. (We welcome Jerome to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


Linger leaves in air!
Time floats, she daydreams…
Grasps leaves, flash clues from nowhere.

Stormy river heights!
I revel in fulfilment.
Mind made up, I cross.

Hibernation long
Bolsters inner resources.
We breeze through new day!

May 14, 2023

editors note: Initiative derived from inertia. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Grab a hold & get you some Sweet Willy courtesy of Contributing Writer & Poet Ann B-D!

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

What’s good about a little dick? Well, that’s a little personal, but there’s some occasional magic. But it should just entertain, never change the world.

Here’s just the tip to get you goin’:

“Going Down” by Tyler Malone

We were fooling around in bed one night, me and Tim, when we came up with the idea. Where did it come from? Maybe it was the weed we’d smoked, pretty good stuff, and like Tim always said, Garbage in, garbage out. Obviously, the idea was anything but garbage.

Well, there we were, no clothes on and I looked down at him and said, So you’re the one that always gets the world in trouble, eh?

Who, said Tim—me?

No, I said. That. I pointed at his penis. I don’t mean you, I said. I mean men and their egos and their need to one-up each other. Stupid male hormones, testosterone poisoned maniacs leading the world to destruction!…

Get the whole weiner right here!


If you’ve been prayin’ for a holy story to suddenly appear, A Prophetic Incident by Barry Green just might be the answer.

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

You can say anything if you say it with God at your side.

Here’s how this prophetic epistle begins:

“Death House” by Tyler Malone

Walter pulled his old black Studebaker Wagonaire, with a blue covered bible in the back seat, onto the right shoulder of the interstate and, after looking to his left to be sure no other cars were coming, walked to the center of the southbound lanes and fell to his knees. He had been returning home from late religious services at the Church of the Very Happy Word, located in a storefront of what had once been a candy store in a small village in upstate New York, when an alert blared from his radio – “This is not a test. If this were a test, you would not be hearing this message. This is the Highest Power speaking. You are to pull to the side of the road, walk to the center, kneel down and prepare to pray, then await further instructions.” The alert sounded again, then the radio went dead. Walter immediately pulled over…

Get the whole holy testimony right here!

••• Mad Merch •••

New Mad Swirl Merch : Tees, Mugs & More!

The whole mad swirl of merch begins right here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some mad threads to sport, then you’ve come to the right post. We have mens & ladies tees, zipped hoodies in all sizes & more colors. We also brought back mad mugs to fill with your favorite coffee, tea and/or whiskey!

New to the line-up: Bandanas! Water bottles! Bucket hats!

Come browse & if something catches your eye, get a little something-something for yourself & while you’re at it, get a little something for your nearest & dearest mad one in your swirlin’ world!

••• The Best of Mad Swirl : v2022 •••

The Best of Mad Swirl : v2022 AVAILABLE NOW!

The Best of Mad Swirl : v2022 is a 115-page anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists hailing from 4 Continents, 11 Countries (Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Serbia, Syria, UK, USA [18 states: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, KS, MA, MI, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, TX, VA, WA, WI], Viet Nam)

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2022” then get yours 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…

Stickin’ ’round,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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