The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.28.23

by October 29, 2023 0 comments

Exercising the imagination, experimenting with talents, being creative; these things, to me, are truly the windows to your soul.

Bob Ross

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Body positivity! ~ Fernando Carpaneda

To see all Fernando’s wonderfully madly 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 eco-clashed with outdoor trash; we blew in the hair of deep sea prayers; we leaned in the lee of a drunken tree; we fought mad fight before last light; we gave what for to a yester-born; we struck a spark in a downward arc; we got new direction from bedtime reflection. We write from chance and circumstance. ~ MH Clay

Chunky Monkey by Jerome Berglund

As I lay here in bed reflecting realize the weight is finally off my shoulders at last lifted while my attention was elsewhere though that ape is still hiding around some place close and liable to leap back on at any time without notice still, the levity an improved situation and welcome relief it comes as let me tell you need a solid night’s untroubled slumber who knows maybe can even squeeze in a dream or two.


of idioms we catch

overlooking the river

October 28, 2023

editors note: A sight to see, when one breaks free. – mh clay

Inclinations by Sanjeev Sethi

Windsocks of weltschmerz
jolt me out of my gaol,
goad me to their jib.
In the spirit of a wiseacre,
I tell myself: Enough of
warmed-over trajectories.
Somehow this gem coruscates
in skeif of autogenic calls.

Sunshine has only one shade.

October 27, 2023

editors note: Our self-struck sparks force a downward arc. Enough, indeed! – mh clay

He Was Born Yesterday by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

He was born yesterday,
no way around that.

The professionals filled out all the paperwork.
Noted the date and time and other birthing ancillaries.

He was born yesterday.
In straight opposition to the popular saying.

His father proud, the mother most relieved.
Enough piggies to go to market, count them!

Everyone lost to happy distraction.
Now is the time to slip one past the partitioner.

He was born yesterday.

October 26, 2023

editors note: Proves there’s no time like the present. – mh clay

Exchange by Guest Poet Jonathan S Baker

I may not agree with what you have to say but I will die…I will die…I will die…I will die and eventually so will you, and then, the whole of existence will cool, and silence will spread like shadows at dusk. All of that kinetic energy from both your words and mine, movement, heat and light, will hop from particle to particle becoming bombs and baby’s breath, and beating butterfly wings felt like Krakatoa oceans away. Before our bodies expelled the words, before our minds composed the lines, they existed as flesh and grass and the brilliance of a star burning since long before Sumerians carved language into clay, burning before primate mouths could shape intelligible sounds, and now, here and today, solar radiance is dulled down to epithets at a red light traded between frustrated strangers just trying to make it home before the heat death of the universe.

October 25, 2023

editors note: Mad last words before last light. – mh clay

Traveling Home by David Susswein

I could swear that elm tree was drunk
leaning over,


being held up by his brothers
their branches twigs and leaves swaying,


Singing a drunken song
through the breath of winds through their leaves


Traveling Home.

October 24, 2023

editors note: A drunken bumble before a bow breaks. – mh clay

The sea of life by Milenko Županović

of lamp
in the hair
Mother of God
at the bottom
for immortals.

October 23, 2023

editors note: Denizens of the deep, we sing to live forever. – mh clay

Suspension Bridge by Beate Sigriddaughter

In the center of the trembling
narrow bridge, she listens to the water
rush below, white swirls, and to her left
a thin waterfall feeds down from the top
of the gorge. The air is crisp.
A stunning moment. Except
for the trash that has been pressed
to the side of the creek by the dancing
water below. Tin cans, some rags,
a torn sheet of bright blue plastic.
Is it her responsibility to witness
and describe when that happens
to her world? Or can she just turn
her back and walk off into the forest
and create her own dance of celebration,
perhaps with fairies, perhaps with foxes?
The sun breaks through the clouds.

October 22, 2023

editors note: If you see something, say… What? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

You may know the melody but we bet American Woman, 1999 by Contributing Writer & poet Joey Da’rrell Cloudy isn’t the same ol’ song you might remember!

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

Music and the moments it connects us with are the foundation of something going somewhere. We didn’t know where, but he knew that song, and still knows it.

Here’s a bit of Joey’s ditty to get you on your way. Listen what we say-ay-ay-ay:

Pastime Tunes ~ Tyler Malone

“Don’t come hangin’ ’round my door
I don’t wanna see your face no more
I got more important things to do
Than spend my time growin’ old with you”

~ Lenny Kravitz

Monika’ Elisabeth Whittaker didn’t have any female friends but that day she tried to set her best friend, Aaron Rainer Moore, up with Jacqueline “Thumper” Anderson, one of Nathan, her fiancé’s, Dungeons & Dragons gamer geek friends. The two women were driving west down Forest Lane, shimmering undulating waves of heat hovered in the searing 103-degree air scorching the gray stretch of cement as they rolled on towards Aaron’s apartments. The neon yellow Mini with its midnight purple racing stripe whipped and weaved in and out of the light Saturday afternoon traffic easily as Jaqueline nimbly maneuvered the tiny car with the ease of a motorcycle working the four-speed gear shift clutch and brake with all the skill and finesse of an Indy racer. While she was only five-foot-five, Jaqueline was leanly muscular with angular yet delicate features that made her look almost Elfin. Her skin held a healthy bronze tan of her Egyptian father in all seasons; it contrasted deeply to the ivory pallor of Mona’s. Mona never wore makeup, but she always wore sunblock. Jaqueline wore her platinum hair short bobbed and spiky. Today both wore long black lacy layered skirts and half-sleeved wide loose cuffed flowing shirts tied to show off their midriffs. The side of one of Mona’s arms was already burnt and would peel soon.

She adjusted the black scarf over her shoulder length ebony ringlets.

Oh, I love this song! Jaqueline cooed with a softened Eastender accent as Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman” blasted out of the stereo’s speakers and reverberated within the Mini Cooper.

Jaqueline parked and leaned across the gear shift to give Mona a quick kiss on the cheek, her emerald eyes erupted with the light of the magic hour as she stared into Mona’s dark gray eyes…

Say A, say M, say E, say R, say I, C, say A, N then get the rest of this mad melody over here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.01.23) as we do the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION!

Starting at 8pm (note NEW start time), 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!

This month we will be celebrating 19 years of Mad Swirl Open Mic’n!

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate & celebrate…

(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 8pm)

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

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

Mad Swirl started with ink on paper. Our very first issue, a self-titled zine was published in 1999 and consisted of 32 glorious Xeroxed pages filled with poetry, prose, art and a whole lotta miscellaneous madnesses. Thru the years we published six issues of our Mad Swirl zine along with a handful of poetry chapbooks for a few local loco DFW poets. Sadly, those projects are now out of circulation.

Fast forward to today…

We never lost the connection to our inky roots. Starting in 2017 we got the print itch again and began publishing “The Best of Mad Swirl” anthologies, as well as a few other poetic gems for some mighty talented folks we know. If you haven’t snagged you a copy yet, here’s your one-stop-shop…

Check out these selections from Mad Swirl Press!


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…

Openin’ windows…

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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