The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.27.23

by on May 28, 2023 :: 0 comments

Nobody is ordinary if you know where to look.

Maeve Binchy

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“1990 the preface to my manifesto” ~ 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 had some fun eclipsing sun; we aborted our mission to love a beautician; we tripped to try to walk, then fly; we pondered such in a cookie clutch; we laughed sublime toward quitting time; we were rapt with the app that pinned on map; we offered the unction to better our function. We freed the fetters that kept us from better. Selah. ~ MH Clay

Wavering caprice and the restless wayfarer by Hem Raj Bastola

Windy afternoon
The rain
The waves.
Flipping layers
Wavering caprice
And a restless

By the sacred river
Preparing for a holy bath.
I can see the wind
In the rain.
That invisible rain in the air!
Giving us the life, the force!
And the energy.

The center!
The storehouse!
If we let it rattle!
Mice will nibble it.
Your grains will be damaged.
When, head of the engine
Is not sound
How could it?
Function it well!

See the fan is:
Full of dust
What happens…
When you operate a dusty fan!
I want to let you breathe open!
I want to let you feel the heaven!
The light! And the clarity.
It is a process
To be sound,
A method.

So, try to be
Transparent like a glass
Devoid of any class.
As simple as your best
I want to let you rest.
Hovering in the void
A bliss to taste.

And I tell him:
the dust of desire!
Before you clean
Your body,
You need to clean,
Your mind.

May 27, 2023

editors note: It’s not what goes in, but what comes out… “Function it well!” – mh clay

Usage by Sanjeev Sethi

When a confabulation perches on an awkward crossway
with boyhood chums or a lover whose lane is no longer
a compulsion, I state with all the might I can measure up:
everyone has someone or the other on their map.

Post hoc, I seek eye contact. Most are rapt with the routine:
playing with the ice over their thirst quenchers or reading
messages on their mobiles. A few gaze vacantly at me.
Certain utterances: for the self.

May 26, 2023

editors note: Allowing this poem to use your current location. – mh clay

BOMBARDED by L. E. Douglas

He laughs like
a man gone mad
I’ve been in his shoes
many times
To the unknowing-
a laugh of joy
Yes John does
like to joke
But this-
a laugh of frustration
I don’t
envy him
by urgent matters
Joy only found in
the closeness
the movement
of the clock toward
quitting time

May 25, 2023

editors note: A nervous tick, or anxious clock talk. – mh clay

Arrowroot Cookie by Jim Bates

Northwoods lake country
Water glistening waves lapping
Hot sun scorching sand
On the beach playing.

Big brother in charge of younger siblings
Momentarily distracted by building a sandcastle
Baby Will toddles out onto the dock stumbles and falls off sinking fast
Big brother runs to help but the water’s too deep.

“Mom!” he yells. “Help!”
She runs from the cabin and jumps in
Pulling baby Will quickly to safety
Still clutching his Arrowroot cookie.

Alone later that evening
Big brother sits on the dock
Toes dangling in dark waters swirling
Thinking heavy confusing thoughts
Nearly crushed by this first exposure
To the miniscule distance
Between living and dying
Life and death
A soggy cookie clutched like a lifeline
In his brother’s frantic hand.

May 24, 2023

editors note: Too close for a cookie to comfort. – mh clay

The Oystercatcher Blues by Christian Ward

Mother is concerned about me
walking outside like an oystercatcher
with my tetrapod walking stick.

Its rubber hooves starfish paving slabs
as I do the Cha Cha Slide
in slow mo. Local office workers

point and laugh at me pecking
the ground with my aluminium and rubber
beak. They cannot understand

what it means to lose your mobility
and then slowly regain it like an accordion
exhaling to full size. Even though

I was full of joy, I could see
an ocean ahead of me. I have never seen
an oystercatcher fly, only heard

the sad lament of its tracks as the wet
sand consumed them, as if it knew its fate,
as if it knew all our fates.

May 23, 2023

editors note: It’s all tracks’ fate to fade. – mh clay

On Love’s Street by Sushant Thapa

I said I came just for a haircut.
I lied.
She wanted me to relax.
Actually, the heat outside also
Gave me shelter.
She was my long-lost school lover
Trained with her beauty face
Like a smiling art drawn
On a maple leaf
To become a beautician
Of a unisex saloon.
Biratnagar has changed its face
Empty spaces
Have turned into departmental stores.
I don’t find fish in the pond
The ponds have dried like sucked
Blue Ink from an inkpot.
I have no reflection
On the street mirror.
Good or bad
Everything changes
Like the surprising seasons.
The highways have expanded
And my love
Has forgotten to cross the street.

May 22, 2023

editors note: Best to look both ways before crossing. – mh clay

Eclipse Facts and Fancies by Harley White

When the Moon moves between the Earth and Sun, then comes a rare happening that can stun, above all a syzygy alliance, the term from the Greek in astro-science.

Once solar eclipses in history were viewed as a frightening mystery. Cultural superstitions abounded as rumors spread far and wide unfounded.

Many imagined the light was devoured by dragons or beasts super empowered. Herodotus wrote of one that brought peace and made warring factions their battle cease.

The Chinese of old took drastic measures against stargazers for drunken pleasures that altered their senses though being skilled; hence they failed in prediction and were killed.

A poem was penned to commemorate the court officials’ miserable fate, which stated, ‘though sad, it was risible that they could not spy the invisible’.

The death of England’s King Henry the first prompted the notion of omens accursed for rulers; ‘twas just after one had passed described as that “hideous darkness” vast.

There are tales and legends to tell galore. But later on, researchers learned much more. Curiously, helium was revealed because of our star’s disk being concealed.

Yet the one that is “most important” called, made Einstein famous, and left him enthralled, was the shadowing of nineteen nineteen when theory entered the proven scene.

Eddington relativity tested— which to this day has never been bested as general cosmic model supreme— showing warped spacetime through bent starlight scheme.

In the total umbra it’s black as night till the exiting shroud sets the Sol right. At starting and finish as it proceeds occurs the spectacle of Baily’s beads with a ‘diamond ring’ that’s an extra boon resulting from the terrain of the moon; thereupon that stellar phenomenon is gone, though its memory lingers on.

Thus, solar eclipses provide a chance to astronomical knowledge advance as well as to witness a great event, one that is literally heaven-sent!

Then it’s back to our grinds and muddled minds wherever our personal path unwinds…

May 21, 2023

editors note: Fancy facts our minds traverse; better learned through rhyming verse. (Thanks, Harley!) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’ve got some time to slay, check out our weekend featured read, All Men Kill the Thing They Love” by Contributing Writer & Poet Susie Gharib.

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

Born to die and born to love. How do those things exist?

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

“Sunburned” by Tyler Malone

I do not keep birds in cages. People resent my attitude as a type of sheer sentimentalism. They remind me that fauna were created for their service and entertainment. As for my vegetarianism, it is a blasphemy against the generosity of a god who sanctioned animal slaughtering. Sheep are kindred spirits, admit the animal-loving, but they were born to be consumed by homo sapiens, not to mention pets that in other realms end up barbecued and on greasy plates. All men kill the thing they love, Oscar Wilde reiterates in my head, some with a bitter look, others with a flattering word, cowards do it with a kiss and brave men with a sword…

Polish off the rest of this read right here!


Once upon a time, Dallas’ “gaudy jewel on the buckle of the bible belt” was a place to behold. Sadly, the gritty shimmer is fading fast… as seen in Deep Ellum Blues” by Contributing Writer & Poet Joey Da’rrell Cloudy.

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

Here is where home was: no place you can find now.

Here’s a bit of Joey’s Deep epitaph to get you weepin’:

“Dallas Space Junk” by Tyler Malone

Mona was nothing special. If you saw her on the streets, you’d think she was just another Goth girl from the badlands, as unremarkable as Norma Jean before she conjured Marilyn. When she wasn’t on campus, you could usually find her at home reading over some metaphysical tome or napping lazily on the ragged black futon with a copy of Memoir of a Beatnik curled up beside her and Queequeg, the Japanese wood block print of a cat. A well-worn copy of Wallace Stephens’ collected works lay open to The Blue Guitar and Cosmic Trigger topped the pile of books that surrounded her. Most nights she was here, sitting in her brown metal folding chair, behind a battered secondhand card table covered with the handmade jewelry she fashioned during the day and sold each night here, at her regular spot, in front of the pulsing red neon and jaundiced florescent lights of the tattoo shop. Here is where, weather permitting, she came to sell her jewelry. While the beautiful people drifted by insentient smoke without ever giving her a second thought. She preferred it that way. She had been practicing for a lifetime the art of making oneself small. Shrinking herself within herself, until she seemed to be…or rather seemed not to be. It was no easy feat to disappear in the midst of prey, but she’d had years to practice her craft and now it worked effortlessly. It was an illusion, like Marilyn’s persona, only a simple glamour after all…

Get the rest of this Ellum reminiscin’ 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 madness for yourself!

••• 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, 18 states! This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl! 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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