The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.17.23

by June 18, 2023 0 comments

He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.

M. C. Escher

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“naked shadow hiding in the light” ~ Edward Michael Supranowicz

Mad Swirl is thrilled to bring a new mad mind to the Mad Gallery, and we think you’ll find his work as much of an eyeball treat as we do. Edward Supranowicz brings us art that seems to come straight from a kaleidoscope, and whether it’s bright neons or blacks and grays, we could probably stare at each piece for days without getting bored. There is something otherworldly about each piece, almost like they come from another planet. Or maybe just an acid trip. Either way, we’re having a helluva time with them! ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all of Edward’s colorfully 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 named a right for a widow’s plight; we flailed around unsteady ground; we hastened now to be an urban refugee; we weeded our way to a god’s bouquet; we embraced an affair of the heart, together apart from the start; we sang alone, estranged from home; we rested long while tested wrong. Our wrongs set right, these words we write, are printed here in plain sight. ~ MH Clay

TESTING ME, 3 by Marie Higgins

You said nothing, but listened
I, perhaps, see imperfections mirrored
from your silence
like water droplets that fill in spaces
and well there may be a nugget of truth
and there are the laugh-at-myself moments
of sound, wishful sanity

history after hours slows
until not much is happening –
it is a strange woman who determines
her place readily
but women prefer to make the determination
for they are necessary for the dance

I am at the garden’s edge –
rounder from the winter
and have my own desires
don’t draw from authority, but I
prefer truth and not trick of media

therefore, I walk into conflict by
my own reality
spray words that don’t stick
hear my own strange voice in
someone else’s reality
but is my writing and I alit

June 17, 2023

editors note: Alone, it’s no light thing to alit. – mh clay

Paper Whites by Guest Poet Jayrold Artist

It was not wholeness I sought,
stationing myself by the window,
where the stab of slanting ray of sun

contempts the body for what it is
and what it is willing to endure.
While inside, the paperwhites, as though they knew

the old necessities, bend over,
mourning the seeds of lust
that couldn’t burst into bloom upon the sudden

Weather-shift of my skin.
To pledge for common ground,
The fair surfaces, the sea finally arriving somewhere

To where it’s been building castles in the air for centuries
since the lovelorn gods have cried
its bluest waters were no longer what I look forward to.

Every night, I lay the same body that will never
Keep abreast with its desire’s bleeding length.
And watch the room blackened with guilt.

Thinking how many times I have killed
This woman inside me, to flee from danger.
In this country that never bothered to sing back.

June 16, 2023

editors note: In the throes of singing a lone song. – mh clay

TO APHRODITE by John Najjar

I have journeyed through rough seas
Past rocky islands that threatened to ship wreck me.
Through the place where
The Sirens thrashed my naked ears
With their gaping and tortuous voices
That razor a naked heart,
To this place
Where I least expected to find you.

Such is the nature of Aphrodite,
For She loves to heal with mirth.
Before I was aware
You were bringing
My heart back to its homeland.

When I first noticed
How you seemed to glow,
I realized that this
Movement of love and desire
That passed between us
Had drawn me to you.
We reached out to each other
Sang a silent lament
And formed a circle
With the dew from our bodies.
I knew then that
Something secret and precious
Moved between us
Surrendering our hearts.

With my heart pressed against yours
My lips against yours
I drew nourishment from you;
You from me.
Alone apart
We remain together.
We remain apart
Joined heart to heart.

June 15, 2023

editors note: A god’s affair of the heart, together apart from the start. – mh clay

Lesser Flowers by Guest Poet Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia

The lesser known flowers
The low growing weeds
inspire in me

Bouquets of shameless market roses
Bold lilies in cellophane
Are revolting
Pathetic are the hostesses
Arranging them in vases
In carpeted drawing rooms.

A child walked to school
Picking dandelions and grass florets
Bunching them in a small fist
With sweet scented clover
A posy for a teacher
With kind eyes
And a ready smile.

For the Lord of Heaven
I shall carry only Earth’s weeds
And if He does not smile
I’ll weep for all eternity.

June 14, 2023

editors note: We call ’em weeds only when we don’t want ’em. – mh clay


For me, citified life has lost its glow.
Yes, New York is truly a lonely town,
where anyone can be lost in thought,
in granite canyons of dark shadows.

Narrow streets formed wild wind tunnels,
natural habitats for urban tumbleweeds,
of yellowed newspapers and plastic bags…
wasteful castoffs of preoccupied commuters.

Everyday living bedeviled by discontent,
of subways and trains never on time,
studio apartments with exorbitant rent.
and dinner out, a sticker shock event.

It was hard to navigate crowded walks.
always claimed by cardboard dwellers;
their assets deposited in shopping carts,
many doubling as mobile wine cellars.

Dirty water dogs from a sidewalk vendor,
considered by many to be haute cuisine,
fast food that was perfect for grab and go,
off to a park bench or back to the office.

Sitting in the park was my desired escape.
I smiled while watching young lovers cavort,
cringed at dealers dealing, druggies using,
but amused by morning mayors holding court.

I did hit my mark, achieved some success,
developed close bonds I will never forget.
Now I’m frustrated, my focus is wearied,
in need of a change, a whole new mindset.

I’m leaving the grime of potholed streets,
in my rear view mirror, they fade to black,
just praying that I’m now on the right track,
as I eagerly flee traffic’s smoggy wake.

June 13, 2023

editors note: Dejected desert denizen departs. – mh clay

In the Wake of the Earthquake: 6 Feb 2023 by Susie Gharib

My eyes mirror the cracks in buildings
and in hearts,
in the pupils of children
who now dread sleeping in their beds.

My pulse beats louder than the bowels of the earth
and fear wrenches my quietude
like the gale that preceded the earthquake.

The ground beneath my feet quails
like a giddy quicksand
for gravity has departed from this region
that is benighted with wars,
with disease,
with seismic unrest.

June 12, 2023

editors note: Wake walkers, beware. – mh clay

Indian Democracy by Guest Poet Manoranjan Sahoo

A widow is promised
remarriage, but not
as dignified as the
lady who gets wedded
for the first time.

(Translated by Pitambar Naik)

June 11, 2023

editors note: Not all rights are equal. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

As you’re sampling your social feed, scrolling on by, we hope Jury Duty by Wendy Taylor will catch your eye!

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

Everything is all at once when pain is in the fourth dimension.

Here’s a bit of this “social” commentary to get you clickin’:

“Our Ride” by Tyler Malone

If Maddison had not once known someone called Henrietta, she would have thought that there was not a soul in the whole world who was currently called Henrietta. Perhaps in the time of crinolines and night carts, but not social media and lattes. And there was the Henrietta, who Maddison once knew, when they were twelve, and taking dance lessons together, Maddison square and clumpy, Henrietta a bendy sapling, smiling at Maddison, a babe in arms. Not in person, but on Maddison’s phone. Maddison was filling in time, scrolling through Facebook while waiting for her name to be called to be assessed for jury service, along with a room full of slouched shouldered strangers, stale sweat and cheap perfumes mingling, fingers swiping, swiping. Except for the henna-haired bohemian, knitting a vest for her eighth grandchild. Maddison had reassured her grumpy bespectacled boss that she would only be away a week should she get picked, as the case was minor. Unfortunately, this turned out to be untrue as more information came to light, and Maddison was away for five weeks upsetting both her boss and clients. But at the moment Maddison was enjoying the brief lull in her busy schedule to catch up with her social media. She briefly considered checking emails but knew she would get no thanks for “keeping her finger on the pulse,” so brought up Facebook instead. The photo of Henrietta, newly applied make-up looking slightly clownish, on an exhausted pale face, that an hour earlier had been contorted in pain, holding a baby swaddled in pink was not a surprise to Maddison. This wasn’t because they had been in contact personally, Maddison and Henrietta slurping sweet, milky, coffees together, in overflowing cafes, crowing with glee at Henrietta’s impending motherhood, and how happy she and husband Fraser were, but rather that Henrietta had posted many, many pictures of her swelling belly on Facebook and Instagram, and how happy she and Fraser were. As Maddison gazed at the post, Maddison felt vaguely envious of the grinning Henrietta, which was silly, as she had no maternal inclinations at present, and as it eventuated, never, happy to concentrate on her career, supported by her kind, considerate, linguist, professor, husband of many years, who constantly quashed his own yearnings for children…

Sometimes social posts just aren’t always what they seem to be. See what we mean right here!


The latest featured short at Mad Swirl, The Lost Continent of Bezokoz by Mars Brocke might just be what you’re looking for.

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

It’s not true, not a lick. But we know what we feel: love to pain, pain to hope. And we sink. Forever. And we call it life.

Here’s a hint of what you will find:

“What We’ve Lost and Where We’re Found” by Tyler Malone

My young son, Len, asks me whatever happened to the lost continent of Bezokoz. In class, he said, the teacher made a passing comment about it and shrugged off any questions. She said that Bezokoz was nothing more than a footnote, then explained what a footnote was.

He stands before me in the living room, his pajama plaid pants, now the rage among his fifth-grade peers, are hitched above his navel. They’re a size too large. And he remarked that if mom were still here, they’d be a good fit. She knew how to measure. For weeks, he’s been begging me to allow him to have his nipples pierced. He wants to be like somebody else. Don’t we all.

I tell him that Bezokoz was once a very small continent between Asia and Europe before it sunk into the sea, and perhaps, beneath it, as one controversial, often ridiculed, historian suggested. Many traders and wannabe colonists crossed Bezokoz in search of riches, of gold in its various forms. My son’s jaw goes slack…

Unearth the rest of this 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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