There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Selfitis: The obsessive taking of selfies ~ Fernando Carpaneda
To see all Fernando’s wonderfully mad & mysterious 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 lilting lurched through ruined church; we shrapnel lived with a fugitive; we daylight player made love in prayer; we ate the least while sat at feast; we particled all articles; we rapid streamed a running dream; we pushed back an attack. No chaos can stay us. ~ MH Clay
Rockets by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Rockets, not UFOs, fireworks, affable probes,
Fall on kids, babes, lovers, dogs, horses,
Until we say tolerance is overrated.
October 21, 2023
editors note: This is no game of catch! Both sides lose. – mh clay
Live dreaming by Mike Zone
Nocturnal indigo light when my eyelids flutter wide shut from the shameful disdain in the art of being
What does it mean?
the butcher’s bride does not discriminate in the sharpening of knives at the plum diggity witching hour
midnight can be your sunrise
twilight is just another high noon showdown
a pearl necklace on the beach
attacked by waves
Ramen noodles boiling inside an interrogation room
the microwave a slow descent into fever dreamed heavenly inferno where legends never to be have been specifically born to die
John the Baptist, now there’s a man whose head would look great on a platter
the stardust kid sputters
placing pennies over the cracks of sidewalks in a substandard effort to prevent the further breaking of mothers’ backs
All-Fathers in crisis bleeding liquid time
Awakened- dreaming like jazz
Blessed like a roman emperor
in the moonscape lit paint
cloaked in snakes
pseudo genetics scrapes on a nail
the wizard of cats
at mercury speed
October 20, 2023
editors note: Here’s exactly where you can ram your REM. – mh clay
particulate render immaculate by Heller Levinson
well-up rut relish
October 19, 2023
editors note: What more could we need? – mh clay
A Roman banquet by Luke Ritta
Over 200 ravenous workers devour their lunch in the huge site canteen that looks over the tower of London and H.M.S Belfast. Bowels of steaming mashed potatoes, slabs of smoked cold sausage, Romanian tripe soup, Albanian black pudding, spicy Ethiopian curry, huge Gherkins, Shiny smoked river fish, loaves of poppy seeded bread, melted cheese and ham panini, BLT, tuna mayo, chips drenched in vinegar, torrents of caffeinated energy drinks, creamy white pasta, tangy red pasta, skinny Frankfurters, mountains of crisps, cherry tomatoes, Chocolate bars, bacon and eggs, tins of sardines, steaming Polish dumplings, oily chicken thighs, liver pâté, rice with roasted red peppers, a crusty baguette and a solitary tub of hummus. As for myself I don’t like to eat a lot at lunch so I just observe while eating a few black grapes and drinking cups of warm water.
October 18, 2023
editors note: You can like what you like just pass the salt. – mh clay
proclivity by Jacklyn Henry
daylight bleeds through my morningside window
as sunrise aches across the eastern sky, and i blink awake,
and yet my joyful awakening sullied by the snores
of a little-known man laying naked next to me.
we shower together, drink coffee half dressed in
a garden alcove built for such occasions, we
collapse back into bed and i finally ask,
what is name again?
dogs bark in the distance, dark clouds gather
over nearby mountains. rain threatens. children
laugh in the playground of a church on the corner.
i have my own church where i try to worship
seven days a week.
October 17, 2023
editors note: A proclivity for piety in a self-made church. (They’re all self-made). – mh clay
“From Bow Street to Bethlehem…” Says the Girl in the Candyfloss Dress, Speaking in Welsh About Stormclouds by John Doyle
You’re weak, I’m weak, that ex-cop four doors down who’s son died swimming in the Euphrates,
he’s chicken-shit helpless, I mean so helpless
what could we do but egg his door every Halloween?
He was 43 years old when his son died swimming in the Euphrates.
There’s a photograph online of David Jansen in 1974, he’s 43, he looks 18 years more.
David Jansen drowned in rivers made of skull-crack mud and bitches’ brew,
he felt it would rise him above this banal traffic light sorrow
where a city blue sings his blues,
directs traffic across no visible river,
hearing low-fi electro folk cause trouble in dried-out clouds.
We filled a hole with that boy’s soul on the hillside
born soon after we became a Republic,
we should be looking up at Hell from where we are,
we’ve allowed ourselves to sink so low,
more pressing things though
include how that storm is coming, driving Harlech’s steeds like toothless beasts
from the bible, so at odds with how beautiful the Celtic Goddess looks,
far from New York City’s shrapnel-knitted stiffs.
This is what we say when we mean serendipitous,
we may be short of the Mark sometimes when we speak,
that’s ok, Matthew, Luke and John seem to take us with a sack of salt
October 16, 2023
editors note: A gospel withdrawn from a cloud bank. – mh clay
Laura’s Sunday by Guest Poet Ndue Ukaj
In her city there is a ruined cathedral
in the midst of ruins
its choir is missing
and there is an “Ave Maria” song.
On the road edges, stones relieve pain
only the choir traces are together with dry
There are many dogs, and trash.
There is a large piano without its proper place.
In her city there is a ruined cathedral
longing for bells’ sounds to awaken her
she wears a beautiful dress, whispers Ave Maria
She has a sweet voice, every Sunday she goes
into the ruins, talks with stones, with flowers
that do not blossom, she goes easy through ruins
and wipes her happy eyes without trying the voice in a choir.
It is Sunday and her delighted eye is resting.
She sings Ave Maria in solitude.
With an eraser of love she erases the invoice
which time has left behind
while gathering her hands over her pretty breasts,
in silence she opens up a new page and writes a senseless verse.
It is Sunday
she is awakened while dreaming a love temple
and song sounds.
Ave Maria is alive!
and waits for nature to become prettier,
the same as a flower, prettier with all its beauty,
waits to join the choir of life.
She walks over the ruins of the cathedral and lights a candle.
Her pretty knees touch the solid stone.
(Translated from Albanian by Peter Tase)
October 15, 2023
editors note: Devotion in devastation. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the week:
Close but so, so, so, so far away.
Here’s a snapshot of this past meets present tale:
Education by Trees ~ Tyler Malone
Natalie scanned the park. She was there as a mother taking her preadolescents on an “adventure.” She, herself, had visited those grounds many times during the earliest spans of her life.
As a girl, she had used the baseball diamonds for softball. Similarly, she had rocked on the playground’s plastic horses and had used the swings to reach the moon. She and her coterie had taken turns, too, to run on their short legs, to spin the metal carousel upon which the others had perched.
When not accordingly busied, those lasses had climbed the wooden logs that had marked parking spaces. They had pretended to be circus acts. Additionally, those mademoiselles had sifted through the gravel at the entrance to the town dump adjacent to the playground. Those girls meant to find “precious” stones for their collections.
Sometimes, they contented themselves by watching little league and by using their allowances to buy artificially-flavored ice balls from opportunistic vendors. Their treats, which were served in paper cones, inevitably stained their clothes.
For years, Natalie had arrived at the park on her bike. Her glistening green contraption had had three speeds, and handlebar streamers had decked it (unlike her friends, who had, additionally, inserted playing cards among their wheels’ spokes, Natalie didn’t like rattling sounds.)
After making sure that her car’s brakes were secured, Natalie summoned her progenies. Steven had sat behind the driver’s seat, but Phyllis had sat behind the front passenger spot. Neither of them, though legally tall enough, had wanted to sit in front.
Natalie sighed. After knocking on Steven’s window, she opened his door. Her son barely looked up from his smartphone. Noticing his mother staring, he removed a single earbud and put his recorded program on pause.
His sister, in the next seat over, hadn’t perceived her mother’s approach as her eyes were closed and she was tapping out a rhythm on her knee. Eventually, she looked up nodded, and mumbled, “Today’s playlist.”…
Stroll on over here to get the rest of this tune!
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…
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…
Short Story Editor