The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.11.23

by November 12, 2023 0 comments

The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.

Auguste Rodin

••• The Mad Gallery •••

The Son of Man ~ 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! (Stay tuned for a NEW featured artisté coming your way soon!)

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This past week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we penned a part with hand on heart; we hoped to exult in a good result; we shiver tripped from bag unzipped; we Rashomon’d a diamond; we climbed a stair to falls not there; we observed life’s ease when Japanese; we love presumed would fill a room. That’s the thing to make us sing, right? ~ MH Clay

I Want to Be in Rooms Full of People I Love by Isaiah Vianese

after Alex Dimitrov’s “The Why”

The weather changes of its own accord.
We worry about the record heat
but go dancing anyway.
My friend says, “When did I see you last?
Has it really been two months?”
Yet, the love linking us
does not care about time.
An old poem keeps coming back to me–
one I never shared with you–
in which I turn on the stairs to see a beau
standing in his doorway,
and I can feel the electricity between us.
Friends. Lovers. I want to fill these rooms
with everyone I hold close,
their beautiful voices chatting away.
Can I tell you about this really great hug?
It was a few months ago. After dinner,
my friend and I walked along the park
on a muggy April night,
but he pulled me in close.
It felt like we were suspended in the spring air,
rising up and up
while my head rested on his shoulder,
all the trees and apartment buildings
just specks beneath our feet.
He asked, “Too tight?”
and all I could say was, “No, no,”
as our arms made
perfect circles around each other,
keeping us safe
for as long as we stayed there.

November 11, 2023

editors note: Yes! Here’s to your room full. – mh clay

Capybara Morning by Jeff Grimshaw

Through morning mist
Hiroko climbs
To scatter oranges
And limes

Around and in
The maple tub,
To twist the spigot,
Fill it up,

The steam will carry
Citrus to
The sleeping
Capybaras who

Will wake & pad
Down mountain path,
Enjoy their
Misty morning bath

Then, warm (and soaking
Wet), desist
& vanish back
Into the mist

November 10, 2023

editors note: Oh, to be pampered like Kapibara-san. – mh clay

HAVING VISITED MCWAY FALLS by Guest Poet M. J. Arcangelini

“At least you can hear it.” The young man scoffed,
passing us on his return from the lookout. A dense fog
had followed us down the coast from north of Point Sur,
and was, here, asserting its power, its dominance over
this high, anxious cove caught unaware by these guests,
unprepared to be gracious, with a reluctant welcome,
and unable to show off this treasure, the plunging water.
Aging lovers, determined to be filled with wonder,
gaze out at the fog-draped cliffs and the place where
the falls should be and pick out, carefully, the darker
white of the water behind the fog, the vertical line
from cliff’s edge to the low tide beach and, being
quiet, listen, beneath the din of conversation from
other seekers, for the muted roar of the falls, the
song of water leaping and falling over the edge.
The sort of sound wherein Jeffers might detect the
power of the earth and Basho might hear a haiku.

November 9, 2023

editors note: If we can’t sense it, is it really there? – mh clay

Signs of the Future in 1962 by Marianne Szlyk

After B-1 (1962) by Matsumi Kanemitsu

Focus on the pendant: diamond shape
wrapped in gold foil trimmed
with lavender silk embroidered
with a sunset-colored flying fish.

Focus on the pendant: the one solid object
in this neighborhood of memories
the one light in late late dusk
as factory workers shuffle past.

Focus on the pendant: dangling
from venetian blinds the one trinket
seen in tenement windows while
the last bubbe tends dusty plants
sings Yiddish to them.

November 8, 2023

editors note: Temporal star gazing. (See the art that inspired the poem here). – mh clay

Snug by Pete Mladinic

In a tent
close space between you and the ground
for warmth. A sleeping bag and under it
layered blankets, a quilt for softness—you’ll
be warm as I was that New Year’s Eve,
no cold air between what I was on and in.

When I unzipped the bag I dressed quick
and stepped out, 2003, high desert, Taurus
Mesa. Five above zero. A fire of mesquite
blazing, a path lined by rocks led to a rim.
Over the canyon crows flew, their gurgles
like bubbles in an office water cooler.

November 7, 2023

editors note: Unzip your bag and step out from your snug… – mh clay

What is the report? by Hem Raj Bastola

Corporeal body:
Fusing imagination
In deams.

This chemistry
Is infused
From centuries to invent:
A course of journey.
To advance, to detect.
Lurking between
Time and space.

A test tube is
Standing, waiting for a result.
Immixed with
Components of:

Feelings, emotions,
Experiences breathing,
Waiting for a report.
In the laboratory of life
Lab technician said
With sarcasm:
Handing over a paper
Here you know!
what is the report?

There it was written
The death.

November 6, 2023

editors note: We would rather arrest a report than read this ruling. – mh clay

Writer by Paul Hostovsky

I carry a pen
in my shirt pocket

mostly it’s just
a pen in a shirt pocket

but once in a while
it leaks through

and makes an indelible
mark over my heart

and when that happens
people are moved

to put their hands
over their own hearts

and exclaim that my pen
actually had them believing

if only for a moment
that it was a matter

of life and death

November 5, 2023

editors note: What’s it matter to you? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This week’s featured read, Head Against A Wall by Michael Tyler, puts “short” in short story! Clocking in at 158 words, the best way to tease it is to share Tyler Malone’s editorial comment:

We know there are secrets inside of us. If only, somehow, we could see them. Somehow.

See what hidden secrets those might be, if only, somehow you can move your cursor right here!

One Way Out ~ Tyler Malone

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

Mad Swirl started with ink on paper. 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…

Sparkin’ fires…

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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