The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.05.23

by on August 6, 2023 :: 0 comments

I am a part of all that I have met.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Epiphany” ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all 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 hid with death through bloom and breath; we future risked by obelisk; we quisitioned a physician; we carb snacked and spread crack; we danced delight to take flight; we fable softened to hammock often; we found wind’s way in. A puff of breath, a drop of ink; what’s the difference? ~ MH Clay

Evidensity by Dan Raphael

wouldn’t let me out, couldn’t find me. who else could it be,
hands that size, more momentum than muscle
a car so anonymous no one remembers a driver, whether the sun
shining or clouded, who was going out, who coming in
a door in the street, ladder from a low cloud
get to almost running speed then stop and slide
on changing terrain, from mud to ice, linoleum just below the dirt

i can read the writing on the wall cause i wrote it
with a strong black marker taking three coats to cover.
the less i’m wearing the harder i am to see, not shivering
but vibrating like a bass string, not sweating but slamming
oxygen and hydrogen together to make not quite water
whether it dries to a powder or evaporates with a smell
no one agrees on — fresh lumber, forgotten fish, roses soaked in vodka

when you’re wind there’s always a way in
but so many choices can paralyze, doors and windows
in every direction, passing by, materializing then gone;
not footprints but swirl marks, like slices of fingerprints
like soft hills water’s gone through so many times they’re a comb
or a set of strings to slice things with, whether soft or hard
daytime or night, had to do something while i waited

look at anything long enough it changes, maybe becomes reflective
maybe its molecules spread a little further apart, movement
where there was stillness, faraway becoming close.
i see the sounds rather than hear them
feel colors rippling on my bare arms
time to go where i’ll enter as if already there
contextual deja vu, a dilute but palpable aha
less than a minute to receive enough sparks and tinder

August 5, 2023

editors note: Feel like I just chased a rabbit with a pocket watch… aha, again! – mh clay

when all else arises by Heller Levinson

fable flicker jackpot ways & means the Supremes ‘Stop! In The Name of Love’
overture applause skirt the tally tuck the fissure Giant
Steps go goosey live eels for sale platter paste stash
away bargain chips let it fell rain slip salsa abdominal pain puddles vodka
vermouth velvet the trial of Edie Lang inconsistency breath
long legs connivance gullies gallows raisins corn stalk carnivorous
hammocks afternoon

August 4, 2023

editors note: Yes! As often as possible. – mh clay

Kaitlin Touches the Sky by Isaiah Vianese

Look at my friend
make her way into the air.

A rock song plays
as she propels upward

in a dance of earth and flight.
How does a body do this

with just silk and music?
What spells must be cast?

I don’t know much of magic,
but watch her float there

without wings,
reaching for the light.

August 3, 2023

editors note: Light for levity. – mh clay

before you retire an addiction have another addiction to retire to by Robert Fleming

if only I didn’t carb snack
stomach rolls to heart attack
tongue cleaves to green-sugar Jell-O
exchange cocoa for buff bedfellows?
crack spread in the sack for Jack

August 2, 2023

editors note: No keto for a carb load. – mh clay

Questions 4 doctor by Guest Poet Uzomah Ugwu

Danced with a man found in the white pages
He ran out of my mind not enough digits
To add up, when he dialed, to realize he did not fit there

Broken arms, hurried legs
with a truthful grin
Open to sin, bought some old-style gin
Spent it down my throat caught a taste of the good life
That was not mine

Asked the doctor if he could check my mind at the same time
Around five, he sneezed at my thoughts, told me to walk it off
With some tea and swallow three of these when I do not know
Where to go or how it begins and to remember the end is always near if
You see the light in the night

Asked the doctor if I could borrow his pad
He said no, he had to keep it to rewrite his past mistakes
I told him I was his present and this was how the whole system
Misplaces me with my mental woes if that sounds right
Grabbed my gin and left without my mind
Went to the front desk and rescheduled for another time
To discuss the end of where things begin
And how I keep losing my mind

August 1, 2023

editors note: No good answers 4 you. – mh clay

Obelisk by Milenko Županović

by invisible chains
to an black obelisk,
they continued to live
in the desert
completely insane,
without a future
they are looking for God
in eternal glory
tracks in the sand.

July 31, 2023

editors note: Seeking sanity from the sand. – mh clay

2 Haiku: Mantis & Snake by Tony Huang

Orchid Mantis

Orchid mantis hides,
Camouflaged in flower’s bloom,
Love is now disguised.



Fidelity’s breath,
Snake’s molt to deceive in life,
Death is but the truth.

July 30, 2023

editors note: Wonders to death, no wonder. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a read about creating Composition by Peter Dellolio just might be the opus you’re seekin’!

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

Worlds always collide. And sometimes, the bodies aren’t even that distant to begin with.

Here’s a few notes to get the gist of this tune:

“Just Step Through” by Tyler Malone

The unsteady movement of his slender wrist enables me to hear the remote sounds of a piano. I am usually in another part of the very large house, but at this moment he is just across the hall, writing in the study, describing the piano music.

Occasionally he looks up from the faded, pale notebook paper, gazing through the specially constructed, huge circular window, as if there might be something, an item of scenery perhaps, which might strike his fancy and provide inspiration for his writing. But he knows as well as I that (despite the enormity of the aperture) there is nothing, no landscape, no scenic detail of any kind.

Awkwardly holding the pencil between the thumb and index finger of his right hand, he continues with the work. His hand shakes involuntarily, sometimes to the point where his grasp of the pencil is quite precarious. It may be that this feeling of uncertainty in the act of writing provokes him to go so far as to pretend that the void framed by the window’s pane of spotless glass can be filled with a vision of things that are not there…

Get the whole “Composition” right here!


Hawke Services by Contributing Writer & Poet Marie Higgins just might be the writing on the wall we need to read.

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

We’re all at war with so much. But whatever is going to get us doesn’t have to get in line.

Here’s a snippet to get you on your way:

“Lurking” by Tyler Malone

“There was broken glass all over the kitchen,” I told my husband when he returned my call. “Both windows were shot out. I found BB gun pellets on the floor. I keep finding shards, so I am sweeping again. That’s why I have you on speaker phone.”

My husband hated the hands-free mode. For him, my voice was garbled whenever I used it.

“Who would do such a thing?” he replied.

“I don’t know,” I said, but then I had an aha moment. I stopped sweeping and texted him, I am afraid. I think we need to talk about this in person, when you get home tonight. But not in the house. I will meet you outside when you pull up. Leave your phone in the car.

“I just saw your text,” he said, “I think I know what this is about.”

“Yes,” I said, “we talked about it when we had Will and Belinda over for dinner.”

“Talk to you tonight,” he said and we hung up…

What’cho talkin’ ’bout Will? Find out right here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of July (aka 08.02.23) at our OC home, Barbara’s Pavillion, then you know that once again whirl’d up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

Johnny O
Desmene Statum

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Clark Walker)

Open Mic:
Harry McNabb
Alan Gann
Opalina Salas
David Crandall
Dick Zinnendorf
Mark Ridlen
Valerie Crowe

HUGE grats to ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave live at Barbara’s as well as our FB Live feed! We know you have a few choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to hang out with lil ol’ us!

Stay tuned ’til next 1st Wednesday… ’til then, may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on the whole virtual Swirl’n scenes 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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