The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.23.23

by September 24, 2023 0 comments

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Reflecting on Where ~ Andrea Damic

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 saw older but not moldered; we options placed, arachnid embraced; we showered unrest till our entered request; we sought natural karma, our escape from Big Pharma; we called counterfeit some truth alternates; we comforts proffered, disaster deterred (for a smoke); we hid in our caves, our hedgerows to save (and not choke). Breathe in the bad air, exhale your light. That’s right! ~ MH Clay

Any Shelter in this Storm by Agnes Vojta

Little did you know
that we would all turn
into cave dwellers

and that the word shelter
would be followed by
in place.

Home is
where you stay,
never mind the heart.

As the world is caving in,
we are holed up
in our separate burrows

and stretch out
electronic tentacles
to connect.

I hope,
in your mind
you are painting

in vibrant greens
as the thorn hedges
grow tall around us.

September 23, 2023

editors note: Keepin’ it green beneath a grey sheen. – mh clay

Asking The River by Ahmad Al-khatat

Why are you feeling sad my friend?
Why are your tears like black Onyx?
I know for sure that your heart is a
rainforest-like green jade.

I advised you before,
life is a colourful & grey portrait.
Each instant, you are either.
Loveable & unlovable!

My friend don’t fall into the darkness.
Let me write you beautiful thoughts!
because you are my beautiful icon!
Hand on hand dissolves my worries.

You notified me after,
Daylight ends with us in chains with sorrow
Curious if we ever chase happiness without
drinking, asking the river if he wants a cigarette.

September 22, 2023

editors note: A little vice to achieve some virtue. Got a light? – mh clay

Equal Opportunity by Archie Abaire

This compassionate country
mandates acceptance of facts
that are differently verifiable.
We must regard each fact

as able in its own unique way.
Citizens must grant it equality,
whether it was wrested
from primary sources

or was a lucky contextless find
or was artfully fabricated.
Let no one abridge
the freedoms of any

foundling fact on account
of it having been born
in a desolate neighborhood,
its parents unknown.

September 21, 2023

editors note: Alternate your alternates, keep that folly fresh. – mh clay

Essential Toil by Stephen Kingsnorth

Mist vapour clouding, nasal scents,
lulled restful calming, sense to drowse,
through root and stem to leaf and bloom,
by xylem, phloem, organic flow,
balms and oils, lore’s cure released.

Bole wrapped sooth bound, cork cambium,
a dressing for flesh wounded, soiled,
the medicine cupboard packed and stored,
appointed ointment for the soul,
the extracted value, learned, told.

Brittle bones framed by leathered skin,
tired wizened face from wearied limbs,
depository, wise distilled,
for storied in the ancient arts,
essential foil to parried fakes.

September 20, 2023

editors note: Authentic apothecary offerings over foisted pharmaceuticals. – mh clay

I Hear Emo by Guest Poet Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

There it is

I dial my wrists and thus the handles
curating the temperature
The water scintillates itself
a crocked, interred army, straight line attack pulsing in the fore as
I step into the watery nebula

I settle I sigh
And so then at my most vulnerable
I hear that weird whiny whinny
Slurried word
Melody smeared
A message for me, a fortune
To be unleashed in the next shower

I will bathe
But o that ring, no

Up next then
Putting in my request early

September 19, 2023

editors note: Can’t wash that earworm away? Replace it with another. – mh clay

Texts by Guest Poet Elizabeth Galewski

When I told him about my open relationship,
he fisted his fingers in his hair
and asked, “What does this mean?”

Two days later, I texted:
I’ve been thinking about your question.
I think it means you have options.

Him: Do tell.

Option 1:
We can trade professional advice.
Option 2:
We can steer whatever this is
into the friendzone and park it there.
Option 3:
We can try for a relationship.
This option would involve work:
questions, talking, rules.
But it would be my preference.

I vote 1 and 3.

Option 1 already comes included in both 2 and 3.
So we are agreed? Option 3?



In retrospect, I should have included Option 4:
We can flirt via sporadic messages,

Me: I’ll bring the high heels out in the future,
if you promise to be very bad.
Him: Luckily, I’m good at being bad.

and co-create imaginary scenes,

we swim together in deep water between forested bluffs
he surrenders his left forearm so I can study his tattoo
we crawl all over each other on the floor like tarantulas

September 18, 2023

editors note: What we all hope will happen when we swipe right. – mh clay

Undiscovered by Nolcha Fox

I find myself in wilderness I never thought I’d see.
Rolling hills and prickly fields in hues of brown and gray,
a place where time has not caught up to what I used to be.
The ground is strewn with mirrors that are cracked and warped and cloudy.
Looking down I see me older, undiscovered territory.

September 17, 2023

editors note: And such is a shocking discovery! (We welcome Nolcha to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a bad ass story then Jeannette, Reigning Sweet Potato Queen of L’anse Mauvais Chus by Contributing Writer Barefoot Cajun is sure to win the prize!

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

We need to grow. The world needs to grow. But we both grow until we don’t recognize one another. But that’s how we grow together.

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

Lost Queen ~ Tyler Malone

It was 1953 one of the hottest, wettest and most hurrican-ed summers yet. People on the South Louisiana Cajun Prairie were pounded with the craziest of weather. Louisiana is known for its interesting, to say the least, meteorological feats! One of the reasons this Barefoot Cajun lives here. Gonna take more than a spot of poor weather to move this old man from his beloved prairie!

Jeannette and her family lived right smack dab in the middle of an old sweet potato field. During the day Louisiana grew lots of those beauties, sweet potatoes. Jeannette had been named the sweet potato queen that year.

The festival was held in a small village known as L’anse Mauvais Chus—area bad ass. Interesting name, right. It got its name from wild donkeys that roamed the area. They caused all kinds of ruckus from digging up the sweet potatoes, eating them and causing a stink in the area from stomach gas. You know sweet potatoes will do that to you, give you gas. I mean during the morning people could hardly stand it. It smelled like a barnyard of farts. And the fart noises were a nuisance as well…

Get the rest of this wild ride right here!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

Bloodstones is a collection of Rob’s poems as they were presented over his ten years with us as a Contributing Poet and provided post-humously by “Novelist/Difficult Woman/Rob’s Almost Wife,” Amy Conner.

Rob Dyer’s poetry was “…volcanic. Erupting flames and molten rock, filling the air with combustible gases, [it] decimated forests, leveled villages with a savage innocence whose contradiction he’d leave the reader to resolve, sifting through ashes to salvage meaning.”

In memory of Rob Dyer, Bloodstones is available here, this collection is his legacy of sacred stories, told in whispers, revealed in roars. Read them all. He wrote them for you…


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…

Sayin’ It…

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Leave a Reply