The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.09.23

by September 10, 2023 0 comments

I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us.

Mary Oliver

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Embracing Ourselves (No.2) ~ Andrea Damic

Mad Swirl is excited to bring some art from down und-uh to our Mad Gallery, with Andrea Damic’s wonderfully abstract photography. The way Andrea plays with symmetry, texture and light is seriously impressive, producing imagery that feels equal parts dark and whimsical. Even when we can’t quite tell what we’re looking at, we can’t seem to look away — and that playful sort of enigma might just be our favorite part! ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all Andrea’s whimsically dark works, 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 ate our way ‘round a big buffet; we played the fool on the jury pool; we tripped a tosser and dropped a saucer; we played our pull for -enes more full; we life retrieved to Green believe; we were foot freaks and mind sneaks; we were transient takers and movie makers. We would wrest real from our best reels; mad makers, all. ~ MH Clay

Movies by Ken Edward Rutkowski

I moved town and went to the movies sat in my car as the road ran for miles I moved town went to the movies in the show where children they fought and cried and killed each other in the end we all died I sat in my car at the end was a road that went for miles in the show the children in the end we all died so we moved we all died we moved and killed each other they fought and cried before that I sat in my car and the movie turned I went into the movie to another town but the same people we were all grown up up up and away as they say in the movies up and away we all died so we moved they fought and cried and killed each other on the road went from miles in the show where children all of them went up and away when I was young I wanted to be an actor but not anymore I’ve grown Newtown just like a move town and move town just like I moved town and there they were all around me in the town they had moved towns too when all of us had moved the town died I moved town just like I moved town the town died they had all moved well no one moved in again because we did not have any kids no can no more can no more children we moved homes and when all of us had moved the town died I moved town just like I moved town and there we were all around me only this life as we moved we built a new life now living in a city new living in this city there are more of us but plenty of us but plenty of room we moved towns no can we died and no one moved in only kids no kin we did not take up space like we did before when all of us had moved the town died but there was more room we did not take up any space like we did before we grew up and then moved in moved town as well I moved town just like I moved town and there they were all around they had moved town as well no one ever moves town in again because we did not have any kids no can only this life but all of us had moved we built a new life now living in the city in the end we all died so we moved and went to the movies I sat in my car the road was wet it went for miles in the show where children all of them but there was no kin who died no one moved away as they say when I was young I wanted to be an actor but not anymore I wanted to be an actor and that was the score I moved town and went to the movies and moved town just like I moved town I told you they were all around they had moved towns too as well in again because we all died had a way of our own kids no kin only this life as we moved we built a new life now living in a city there were more of us but plenty of room we did not take up any space like we did before we grew up and then moved all of them all of us they forgot and cried they fought and cried and killed each other in the end in the end we all died so we moved.

September 9, 2023

editors note: Read aloud, you’ll see how, we all move, we all move town. – mh clay

Cog Jam by David Dumouriez

You think your feet are broad!
No, you are the smallest thing.
You think you see, but are
you seen from birth to death?
You walk where you think
you know, inside a void
you never try to fill
because you find it too
grand to comprehend and
it’s too easy just to take
the next step, and then the next.
Your impulse will be nothing
near the versions given –
the frames those weak of
body, sneak of mind,
extemporised to gain control.
It’s not the ‘universe’.
It never was.
Those ever growing telescopes
are pointing the wrong way.

September 8, 2023

editors note: Look out, keep walking! (Doesn’t that feel better?) – mh clay

Articles of A Green Faith by Guest Poet Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia

I believe in the embroidery of broccoli
I believe in the shelling of beans and peas
I believe in the peeling of green apples
I believe in the slicing of courgettes and gourds
I believe in the value of greens
These are articles of faith for me
Burn me at the stake , I will still speak up
For the wholesomeness of herbs and gooseberries
Nail me to a cross but I will still testify
In favour of the thingness of things
The foodness of food
The goodness of good
I love the realness of this world too much
To hanker after heaven
Unless it is more of the same
For green to me is the godness of God
Or the Goddess.
I believe , oh yes, I deeply, fully believe !
Green is my gut, and Gruss is my Gott
Such is my Faith.Green are its articles
And forever are they blest.
For Blessed is the Greenness of Greens
That nourish the Body and Soul of Humankind
Forever and forever. Amen.
So help me God ! Let Earth be Green forever !
And let the Devil take the bombs tanks and guns
And the blindmost. For the Green Human
And the Green Goddess will not be mocked
But shall flourish forever in Green Laurels
Green Mosses and Lichen and Ferns and Bamboos
And Giant Elephant Grasses and Elephant’s Ear leaves
And Coconuts and Boababs and Elephant’s Foot Yams
And Palms and Oaks and Redwoods and Deodars
that stretch to the Blue Sky from the Brown Earth
Like Green Canopies and Towers.
Blessed is Greenness.

September 7, 2023

editors note: Green be with you. – mh clay

Light from Alice by Jean Biegun

A fullerene is a ball or enclosed shell of
carbon atoms. The discovery of fullerenes
has been hugely influential in improving
technology in a number of fields.
—The Writers Almanac, August 23, 2010

I want some fullerenes. An old email in my
Writers Almanac folder just reminded me
of their worth, and thus I now crave them badly.

Maybe I’ve had two or three all this time and didn’t
know it. Maybe the neighbors might spare a cup
from their new entertainment center.

It was on the day, 08/23, in the Great Depression year
1933, that the man who helped discover them was born
in the Texas town of Alice, not far from the border.

Why didn’t anyone notice fullerenes before then, and don’t
you want a bunch, too? I feel empty without a supply,
prompted again how valuable they are.

I’m not making wordplay on fuller-enes vs. empties,
nor am I impulse-shopping. I need filler for pop-up
wastelands, inklings of cosmic lack.

But, please, where are those little baubles,
my current void stuffers? I keep asking and waiting
and then asking again.

September 6, 2023

editors note: I don’t think what’s for sale on Amazon is what Bob, Dick, and Harry (or this poet) have in mind. – mh clay

Bolzano by Guest Poet Kevin O’Neill

like a walking accident goes where it’s wanted
crescent shaped flimsy fucking partition
department of foreign land offensive
pieces of myself that grow in secret
from my hand to my elbow and shoulder
i renamed the mountain because occupation
means nothing unless it’s spoken
lock stock and barrel – in orla
dropping a saucer’s good luck – limits
scar tissue on the other side – stays out
of trouble cause it stays alone – intracellular
reminds me of the women i’ve loved

September 5, 2023

editors note: This is how good luck is a break. – mh clay

JURY POOL SELECTION by Guest Poet Marc Olmsted

Dressed as a serial killer for the murder trial
On the transit downtown to the court house
a knife cutting the winter dawn sky awake
“I may be butchering the name” said the clerk
to my 3 hours of sleep
– I am not a daywalker –
Filling out the questionnaire after raising a hand sworn in

Still have to come back!
I saw the defendant
(Law & Order classic thug)
& thought
“Well he’s totally fucked.”
I’d upped the ante
This time hair unwashed, not pulled back
Beat-up motorcycle boots
A Halloween Michael Myers t-shirt
& instead of Nike
It says Mike
And the curved checkmark “just do it” brand logo?
A dripping blood scimitar
The other prospective jurors
wouldn’t look at me
“Yes, your honor?”
Got home to the e-mail

September 4, 2023

editors note: A shirking (and smirking) of civic duty. – mh clay

Breakfast Menu by David Punter

Back bacon rashers, I learn, having
exhausted the TV news and there being
no minibar, are 49 kcal per rasher.
Wow! Thousands of calories! Beware.

But This Isn’t Bacon comes in at only
a cool 20 kcal – though if it isn’t bacon,
what is it? And why does it feel
such a strong need for negative differentiation?

Premium sausages 114 kcal per sausage;
the alternative is rather more assertive –
Garden Gourmet Sensational Vegan Sausage
70 kcal. What does a sensational sausage do?

The eggs, interestingly, are counted per spoon,
including fried and boiled. How have they tested
the content of a spoonful of fried egg?
Perhaps I should stop this – madness awaits.

But I am arrested by two thoughts.
The first is that this is an ‘Unlimited Breakfast’
so in the end your calorific consumption
is entirely up to you (obviously).

The second comes as I study the back page
(my Kindle is recharging) and see that ‘photography
is for illustrative purposes only.’ This good-looking
meal is strictly 2D, then; no calories involved.

September 3, 2023

editors note: There’s no accounting for calorie counts at the all-you-can-eat counter. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If your jam is to get in a read, Band Biz by Contributing Writer & Poet Carl Kavadlo is sure to be the groove you seek!

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

Bring on the band to beat back what’s bubbling underneath all of us, and themselves.

Here’s a few notes from this rumblin’ read:

“Under Cracks” by Tyler Malone

The dance was on the second floor. The leader played sax and flute. He brought along a drummer, bass player, keyboard man, and guitarist. All the players shared the singing responsibilities. They were each capable of doing lead and background harmony.

This was to be an easy gig because a lot of speeches and award-bestowing rituals for gang members, for whom the dance was held, were scheduled. The men expected to play a little while, then there’d be speaking. Play another short set, then more speeches, more awards.

The youth were dressed in sports jackets and ties and brought their girlfriends. Altogether forty youth were present, along with fifteen adults.

The kids alternated between sitting and dancing to the latest pop tunes, stuff by the Temptations, Wilson Pickett, Sonny and Cher. The band also played some slow tunes, doo-wops and jazz. Most of these guys danced pretty swell, as did the young ladies. They all did the popular dances—the Jerk, the Frug, and the slow-grind. Some even danced the Lindy.

Around 10:30, some strange thing occurred. Seems two parties that night were happening on the second floor of the Odd Fellows Hall. Along with Dr. Leonard Brown’s Awards Dance, members of a St. John’s University fraternity, called The Dead End Dogs, were holding their own dance. For some strange synchronistic reason, one gang youth named Tony Muzio walked out into the long, narrow hallway of the second floor at the same time as two frat boys strayed from their party. Maybe Tony just wanted to get some quiet. Anyway, he left the room and encountered the two…

To find out what kinda scuffle is about to go down, shuffle right here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.06.23) 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
MH Clay

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks)

Open Mic:
Desmene Statum
Alan Gann
Suza Kanon
Tony Robinson

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…

Part 1:

Part 2:


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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