The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.01.23

by on July 2, 2023 :: 0 comments

You can find the entire cosmos lurking in its least remarkable objects.

Wislawa Szymborska

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“split nature” ~ Edward Michael Supranowicz

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 freed forsooth our naked truth; we flew up in a straight cut; we spun on the spats of professors and cats; we were stymied and stuck on what the f**k; we made much of a touch; we learned no more to force the door; we turned out, poor, and bankrupt, made them give their seats up. Next stop, Willoughby! ~ MH Clay

The Worst by Paul Smith

Of all the things we have to live with
betrayal is the worst
unrequited love
requited love that ends up
badly because
you’re a jerk
are nothing
poverty bankruptcy foreclosure
I heard are not that bad
but I wouldn’t know
what I do know is that
on that train from Nuevo Laredo
to Monterrey
I promised them I’d watch their seats
while they took a leak
and a Mexican took them
climbing in through the window
with the other cowboys
at a place called Catorce
where there was a rodeo or something
me sitting there dumb with my lame español
and when the ladies came back
they looked at me
with a distrust
stronger than ANFO-p primed
with stick powder
like I was Judas
for letting a smelly Mexican sit there
and that is nothing
compared to what I did to you
and one more thing
I know
Is that you’ll be waiting
Itching to get even
one last thing I know
is I can’t find Catorce anywhere
on the map
I think it’s gone now

July 1, 2023

editors note: All gone but the regret. – mh clay

Working On Me Pentacles by Paul Tristram

She made a huge ‘Mistake’
thinking Candle Magic
would Extinguish
the Burn of… Separation
the Past to the Present.
[Forcefully] Breaking
down [Emotionally] ‘Closed Doors’…
is the same as Killing
a Songbird to hear Music
… there’s Nowt
the other side but… Decay.
I do not ‘Regret’
… I Learn quickly and…
Narrow my Boat Forward
… much better Equipped.
Apologies do not Assuage,
or Fix a thing… that
is what ‘Goodbyes’ are for.

June 30, 2023

editors note: When broken is best left behind. – mh clay

embodied by Guest Poet Kashiana Singh

our last waltz
waves move in chorus
to a humpback’s song

wrinkled tomatoes
my skin succumbs
to your touch

warm bread
my body is now

inviting silence

summer night
taste of your tears
in my mouth

June 29, 2023

editors note: A sweet, sad goodbye. – mh clay

09.02.21 by Guest Poet John Grochalski

devoid of art

piecing together the last night

from facebook posts
and twitter comments

more hangovers
than some have lived lives

i am too old to work like this
but i know no other way

this morning the wind
feels dangerous

and the air from the ocean
smells like dead fish

last night
the gods rained floods upon this land

and i just poured myself
another drink

too tired
too stupid to seek shelter

i stumbled off to bed instead

and into nightmares
of commerce and poetry

only to awaken into this now
before the sun

waiting on the muse


what in the fuck?
what in the actual fuck?

June 28, 2023

editors note: What, indeed? – mh clay

Night Fell on Two Poets by Kenneth P. Gurney

Night fell on two poets.

They shared a burger cut in half.

Tennessee shooed away all its cats.
The mouse union dominated volunteer state politics.

The poets gained no superpowers from their repast.
The burger left only ketchup stains behind.

The expelled cats invaded Kentucky
and cleared low income housing of mice.

Poets moving into a neighborhood
did not cause property values to drop measurably.

The expelled cats that invaded the deep south
gathered for weekly meetings in used book shops.

All the poetry professors at the state university protested
that their combined salary was not worth one football coach.

University of Tennessee fired its football coach
so the state could afford the inflated price of replacement cats.

Dawn broke on two poets.
They shared tea and a bagel cut in half.

June 27, 2023

editors note: Cats and poetry professors, unite! – mh clay

Shrikes by Patrick Sweeney

shrikes band sawing aluminum in the cool morning air

June 26, 2023

editors note: Birds? Beasts? Both! (We welcome Patrick to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Living In Austin Nude Apartments by Chuck Taylor

Being nude is a state of mind that aims for purity, I’d say.
You can be an orange flamingo standing against the omnipresent blue and green,
I told them.
You are better than any man carrying a rifle of assault.

People would come into my living room, some half-homeless sleeping in their cars, some street musicians, some overnight security guards, some police, and some lawyers—and they’d all be shocked catching the light off my cock.

Better laugh when you jump back, I’d tell them.

Then their clothes would start to feel itchy.

You’re like a snotty handkerchief, they’d say to me.
Too honest, they’d say.
Too vulnerable, they’d say.
Your skin is splotchy.
Don’t you dare think you’re a god.

I do feel a demigod, I replied.

Your groin squawks like a chicken chased around the yard, they’d say.
Time to chop your heads off, all you naked Kens, naked Barbies,
Living in this sassy sewer of nudity.
You are all too plastic when you’re naked.
You set our conformist hearts on fire, they’d say.

I was ugly wearing clothes, I came back.
My self-esteem was stuck down in a grease trap.
Sure I’m ugly, but naked I’m powerful, an ocean liner afire in the calm Pacific

Cover your eyes maybe? I told the doubters.
My love for this world
may be way too much for you to bear.

June 25, 2023

editors note: Wear your love; clothes are optional. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a read that’s outta this world, then Beer Buddy Blues by Richard Bishop just might take you there!

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

Welcome to Earth, where we’re all one and at one with keeping others out.

Here’s a bit of this otherworldly read:

“Upwards But Always Down” by Dan Rodriguez

It was fortunate when Peter Williams chose our newspaper, and specifically me, to tell his story. Now I was visiting him on death row, one day before his scheduled execution.

A guard led me through a series of locked doors to a ten-by-ten room, painted battleship gray, with two olive folding chairs and a chipped steel table bolted to the floor. Two guards escorted Peter, shackled and cuffed, through the prisoners’ door. The bags under his eyes made him look like a zombie. They had shaved his head.

The senior guard, a big man with the gray RAF mustache said, “You sure you want to be locked in with this guy?”

I looked at Peter and saw a man with a story to tell. “I’m sure.”

The guard shrugged. “We’ll be outside if you need us. Take your time. I’d rather be here than breaking up fights in the yard.” They locked us in with a rattle of keys.

I took out a yellow legal pad and a Bic pen, and when I looked up, Peter’s eyes narrowed, studying me.

His voice was flat. “Stand so that I can see your profile.”

I stood and turned sideways. “Why?”

“I want to make sure you’re not one of them…”

See what Peter’s peepin’ for right here!


Our featured read, The Land Owner by Contributing Writer & Poet Michael Brownstein, sure is a blast!

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

One moment will be your last moment. Thing is: will you see it coming?

Here’s the scene to get you on your way:

“In Pieces” by Tyler Malone

From Meth Mountain Chronicles

I wanted to be a pacifist, he said to no one in particular.

There were five of us in the bar if you include the barkeep who kept on cleaning the same five glasses again and again. One guy stood at the bar drinking whiskey and rye, nearby another sat on a bar stool and every now and then knocked on his glass for a refill of beer and I sat facing him two tables down.

When they came down from the hills the first time, they broke into one of my outbuildings. No big deal. I was rehabbing it and there was nothing of value inside.

I nursed my lukewarm glass of beer too close to the fire burning stove and warmed the glass with the warmth of my hands. No one else seemed to acknowledge him.

The second time, they broke a window in my car.

He took a long draw of whatever he was drinking. I don’t even know if he noticed me noticing him as he talked to himself.

After that, I asked my daddy for his shotgun, and I always kept it nearby. The third time three guys crossed onto my ranch and neared my porch. I turned on the porch light and stepped outside holding the gun easy in my arms…

Set your sights right here to get the rest of this read on!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of July (aka 07.05.23) as we do the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION!

Starting at 7:30pm, join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay as we will kick off these open mic’n Mad Swirl’n festivities with some musical grooves brought to you by Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks) followed by our usual unusual open mic!

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate…

(RSVP at our Facebook event page or send a message to

Come to appreciate…

(join us LIVE at Barbara’s Pavillion- located at 323 Centre St, Dallas -OR- tune in to our Facebook LIVE feed starting at 7:30pm)

Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call… Mad Swirl!


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

Leave a Reply