The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.02.23

by on December 3, 2023 :: 0 comments

Painting is the effort to produce order; order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time.

Otto Dix

••• The Mad Gallery •••

PAINTING 3049 ~ 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 tripped our way through desert day; we roundly ranted, plucked and planted; we storied means for patching jeans; we saw no crime in two way time; we colored merch from plastic search; we escaped our misses, blew knots not kisses; we endured wait person’s noises, listing random menu choices. We pick our parts from a la carte and feast at least. ~ MH Clay

Hi, I’m Margana. Welcome to CAP (Café Anagram Palindrome) by Richard Weaver

I’ll be your server today. Or face toady if you prefer. Before I tell you about our specials (see the slipcase menu) please pardon my lisp, but I simply have to mention our plaices. They are like no other dishes, she hissed, falling out of character. I may be a waitress, and you may prefer a stew, sir, but a bottle of wine should not be mistaken for a wattle fin boo. Or would you prefer our Meals for Males menu? If so, might I also suggest a pint of our Naughtiness Drug, a Guinness draught. A bowl of steamed clams served in their own liqueur calms the day, especially when you break bread freshly baked by our master baker. It’s a rageous pleasure. A mild porn. And brings to mind a protein pointer. We pride ourselves on our sweetbreads. And like Mr. William Shakespeare, I’ll make a wise phrase: you, being a gentleman, an elegant man, someone who knows a melon from a lemon, who is eager to agree that sweetbreads, so venerated, variety meats to the less versed, not served here by the way, or ris de veau as they say in the kitchen as sauce thickens, whether sautéed, braised, (best avoid the seabird) poached, grilled, fried, and even roasted, is not for all, but might be for you. If a restaurant runs a treat such as mentioned, only some few will follow. Most will see no cause for a sauce though they know that semolina is no meal in itself. The eyes, they see the menu, the prices, the prix fixe, and like good Scots they do the costs, the math with tax and wine, and then do err in their order, opting for less, not the host table, (a bat’s hotel) or the chef’s table, instead, weak from hunger, suffering polar mind, they wake briefly to vote or veto, eat bread, crackers, our world famous-almond rip, chewing the cud of their dilemma, and mid-meal wonder at their own red faces, bewildered at the lewd beer I’ve order for them, little realizing that small tippers make less than stellar pimps.

December 2, 2023

editors note: Um… Actually, we just came in for a couple of drinks. – mh clay

Paranoia & Pareidolia by Paul Tristram

… I am an ‘Engineer’
of (Trapdoor) Syntax.
Portable ‘Tyburn’…
my (Cruel) Tongue
ties Nooses faster
than ‘All The King’s
Horses And All The
King’s Men’ reprieve.
I blow ‘Knots’
rather than ‘Kisses’
… Smothered
in my Attention…
no Pillow for REST!
is an Old School
British Prison term
… which you
will never Experience.
My (Unloving) arms
harp string pluck
… the (Ridiculous)
‘Tension’ betwixt us
… and there is simply
NO ‘Doorway’…
Big or Small enough
to fit your (Ain’t
Ever Gonna Happen)
‘Escape’ into Properly.

December 1, 2023

editors note: Here’s a pattern to show it’s better to never imprisoned be. – mh clay

Gleaning by Guest Poet Rita Moe

In Senegal
near Dakar
not far from
the baobab forest
you will find
the undulating
confetti-colored hills
of Mbeubeuse
where long-horned cattle
roam foraging for food
alongside pickers,
scrubbers, choppers,
also climbing
the toxic mounds
of the world’s garbage
that stretches
to the horizon
for red,
yellow, blue,
orange, green,
pink plastic.
foraging a living from
13 cents a kilogram
turned into pellets
shipped to China
formed into new
plastic items.
So weighty
is the journey
of our detritus.

November 30, 2023

editors note: Who’d’ve thunk plastic would be so drastic? – mh clay

prokaryote shadows by Mark Young

The Cognitive
Science Society
says that time
is a one-way
conveyor belt &
we’re already
moving forward
on it. The Garment
Workers’ Union
partially agree;
but they claim
refugee workers
from the future
use one-way time
machines to come
& work cheaply
in the present. A
pity it wasn’t the
Sex Workers’ Co-
operative making
the claim — I’m
sure that not all
fetishes have been
invented yet, & they
might have brought
some new ones
along with them.

November 29, 2023

editors note: Making time a turn-on. – mh clay

Patching by Guest Poet Stephen Mead

Jeans, jeans—–
Stitch this flannel. Tape this corduroy
or use staples with mesh. Try Elmer’s.
Try band-aids. Now as a desperate rococo
we have become so cleaved.

Also, there’s an easiness near undoing,
a Tom & Jerry clock with springs unwound.
Boing, boing—-
Here comes the grafts of loose parts.
Here now approaches the Frankenstein quilt
whose every hanging string is a guitar to be plucked,
is the harp from Jack’s stalk.

Come Mother-May-I make a tapestry of this fable,
crazy with the details, embroidering such & such?

November 28, 2023

editors note: Cloaked in fable, our fables are a cloak. Patch ’em. Pacem. – mh clay

Bucktoothed by Stephen Jarrell Williams

No time to turn
around in the dust
of earth and man

we’re going down
toes first

around and around
night into day
memories blurred
better that way

until at last
head showing above
body below dirt

waiting for the giant hammer
pounding us into place

cork in the gopher hole

how we all look

November 27, 2023

editors note: A little more depth to what it means to be screwed. – mh clay

DESERT RIDE by Roger G. Singer

scattered clouds
cactus parts
peppered signs
animal tracks
wind noises
lost directions
this way
misplaced parts
low moon
light flash
distant thunder
nervous air
sand and sand
faint wishes
broken glass
which way
another place
no answers
all alone

November 26, 2023

editors note: It’s a tragic trek to wander here. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

We have to admit, Beneath Contempt by Contributing Writer & Poet Susie Gharib sure is tell-tale story!

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

May we all be blessed by who and who is not in our daily lives to share our daily bread.

Here’s a few confessions to get you goin’:

House of Us ~ Tyler Malone

“I feel nothing but contempt towards him,” said she, her lips curling in revulsion involuntarily.

“Contempt with intensity,” responded he, after a long contemplation of her very expressive face.

“I never thought unrequited love could engender so much hate. No, it’s rather malice of a rare breed,” resumed she, with apparent difficulty.

“Did you break his heart?” asked he, in the gentlest of tones.

“No, I did not. I never reciprocated his feelings, never promised to or even pledged a friendship that was already contaminated with ill-feeling. As soon as I realized that he sought other than a friend, I withdrew gradually and was adamant on not wounding his feelings. It took me years to realize how his revenge had tarnished my personal and professional image. I never suspected him, thinking his marriage had cured him of a very old memory,” divulged she, despite a characteristic taciturnity…

Get this whole disclosure right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of December (aka 12.06.23) 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 holi-dazed 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!Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate…

(preRSVP 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 8:00pm)

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

••• Merch •••

Mad Swirl Merch : Holiday Sale

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!

••• 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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