The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.25.23

by November 26, 2023 0 comments

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.

Aldous Huxley

••• The Mad Gallery •••

PAINTING 2906 ~ Claudio Parentela

To see all of Claudio’s playfully profound works, as well as our other resident artists (60 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 credited a mastered act with torn jeans and backwards hat; we star scarred night come morning light; we deftly danced around squished ants; we dreamed desire in Mexican fire; we together puzzled so, each question just to answer know; we heard mean chatter through pancake batter; we tendered our ties to beautiful lies. Every week of this tips our pique of this. Huzzah! ~ MH Clay

BEAUTIFUL LIES by John L. Yelavich

Honest, true reflections
fuel would-be desires
with hope-filled dreams,
imparting hearty emotions
full of seduction’s themes.

Beware of beautiful lies,
they’ll capture your soul
with sweet, gentle charm;
enticing tender whispers,
often cause for alarm.

Words can be a devious tool,
they’re figurative fulcrums,
pivoting artful analogies,
and delineating agendas,
offering no apologies.

Enchanting hypnotic tales,
riddled with sultry images,
snag your wistful attention,
with promises of devotion,
all just a bone of contention.

November 25, 2023

editors note: A timely reminder of dangerous diatribes ahead. – mh clay

Nostalgia by Guest Poet Kelly Moyer

The kittens are shedding
their feathers.
All the while, I stare
at the bookshelf, wondering
what the words mean.
And, they are mean,
I assure you.
Who do they think they are,
encapsulating experience
in a script that falls
short of the pancakes
my old nemesis prepared
in those pre-pandemic days,
pouring cups of runny batter
into my footed pajamas,
which, I admit, fit as loosely
as the tongue of a titmouse?
You remember.
The one who taught us
what love could be.

November 24, 2023

editors note: You remember. – mh clay


1 Across the face
They came
Clues for me
But none to make sense of it
Life is useless that way

2 Down with tears
Rainy everyday
Movie from 1966
I know every line
On days I can

We used to do these puzzles

Some we sped through
Others needed both of us
Not every life can live everything
Know everything
You kept track of facts better

I recorded my feelings

Yes – Who wrote Ode to Death;
That little known province is what?
Thank God for 3 letter answers to help
Except we already know the suffix for cancers
Better brush up on the Old Testament

Answer for 60 Across, Eros
A good feeling to remember

November 23, 2023

editors note: Share your crosswords and never have a cross word. – mh clay

Mexican Sun by John Duarte

Inside those eyes
staring back at
trance dream
your lips fit mine
mind dance
always found it hard
to describe those
being beside you
desires of youth
set loose
found each other
on that humid night
mexican fire
in my arms
i’d hold for a
hundred lifetimes
your lips on mine

November 22, 2023

editors note: Who wouldn’t fan a fire like this? (We welcome John to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

An Elegy by Susie Gharib

I view two carcasses lying in a murky blot.
Despite many wars,
I never get used to the sight of death.
I wonder why they so readily embrace perdition
just to lick the diluted traces of our food
on this very busy washstand.

We tread on them
and they march in files
with indifference,
never heeding gigantic footprints,
or the steps of those who crush them to feel
their greatness.

November 21, 2023

editors note: Their ant-ics are unnoticed until irritating in some way. – mh clay

To the soundtrack of silver gulls by Emalisa Rose

Post storm, pre-apocalypse
knees scraped in scarlet,
we collapsed in the aftermath
finding “home” ‘mid the dirt
the debris and the carnage

with stars miming scars
and barely a moon
to console us.

Side lined by syncope
I took a slug
of the stuff that we brewed
from the dandelions.

Loyal to the craft
you wore your poet hat
through the muck and the mire
still piping with poetry.


It rained come the morning –
light and forgiving as

we woke to the sound track
of silver gulls.

November 20, 2023

editors note: Who knows what night before can bring this morning after? – mh clay

The Bike Lady by Guest Poet Sandy Rochelle

I ride my bike with torn jeans and my hat on backwards.
One foot on the pedal-
And a soda in the straw basket
That rests on the handlebars.
I am myself now.
Music playing in my ears.
My sneakered feet on the cobblestones.
I step quickly into a shiny, long limousine.
Windows black.
Threatening to discredit me.
I persevere.
The bike lady rests her sneakered feet and takes off her hat.
There are videos to watch and liquor in crystal glasses.
But, I remain the same.
I have mastered my act.

November 19, 2023

editors note: If we all had limos, we might master ours, too. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re (h)itchin’ for a read, The Reverend by Contributing Writer & Poet Jim Bates is sure to give you a lift!

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

The god in our heads gets lonely from time to time, so it looks for salvation from time to time.

Here’s a few steps to get you where you wanna go:

Salvation, for a Minute ~ Tyler Malone

He was standing on the side of the road trying to get a ride. He was hitchhiking in the San Fernando Valley. He knew the temperature was one hundred and ten degrees because he had seen a thermometer on the side of an old gas station a few miles back. He was walking and hitchhiking at the same time, just wanting a ride. Just wanting to get out of that god-forsaken valley and that blistering hot sun.

He checked himself frequently for signs of heat stoke because he melting like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. The last of his water was long gone. Beneath his old floppy brim felt hat, his head felt like it was on fire, his long hair moments away from spontaneously combusting.

The blacktop highway shimmered in the heat. It was made of tar and he wondered if it too might be melting. Like him. Was he hallucinating? He slammed a fist into the side of his head to jar himself back to reality. “Get with it,” he told himself. “Get it together.”

After standing there for hours, late in the afternoon a semi appeared on the horizon. It was coming towards him. Was it going to pass him by like so many other vehicles had done that day? Probably.

But then again, maybe not. He watched incredulously as it began to slow down. Then it started breaking to a stop. The driver rolled down his window. Cold air billowed out of the cab like a blast of frigid wind from the north pole. It felt incredibly refreshing, just what he needed. A man’s face appeared at the window. It was a huge bearded face that seems to stare deep into his soul…

Get on the road & the rest of this read right here!

••• Mad Swirl Merch •••

Mad Swirl Merch : Holiday Sale

BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL! Save 10% using promo code MADMERCH23. This deal expires 12.01.23.

The whole mad swirl of merch begins right here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some mad threads to sport, then you’ve come to the right post. We have mad mens & ladies tees, zipped hoodies, mugs, scarves, water bottles & bucket hats in all swirlin’ sizes & more colors.

Come browse & if something catches your eye, get a little something-something for yourself & while you’re at it, get a little something for your nearest & dearest mad one in your swirlin’ world!

••• 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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