The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.09.23

by December 10, 2023 0 comments

Living in literature and love is the best thing there is. You’re always home.

Eileen Myles

••• The Mad Gallery •••

PAINTING 2769 ~ 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 squished in the squelch of boomer’s belch; we sleepers sought in sky and sea, by daddy’s belt to beaten be; we delved the dearth of wedded earth; we trained our trips for apocalypse; we sang a song for this not gone; we flapped in the freeze of dark release; we made no gripe as guttersnipe. No echo back; our vain attack on void is void, indeed. ~ MH Clay

SHE’S GOT ME BY THE THROAT by Bradford Middleton

Saturday night has me in her grip & the desire to just say
Fuck it, today has been a good day & I deserve a drink & a
Chance to talk with some random strangers is running
Strong but then all that happens out there & right now I’m
Getting on fine right here but it ain’t even 7 yet and the
Music hasn’t even started blaring & the remnants of my
Wine from last night remain untouched so far but once I
Get all of that inside me who knows how tonight will
Shape up, hopefully not face-down in a gutter.

December 9, 2023

editors note: She’s unpredictable no matter how you face her. – mh clay

Guano Glorioso by Guest Poet D. R. James

At the bottom of the bag, the cul-
de-sac—under the last batch of cans
to be mangled by the recycler—
a smear I remember must be
batshit. Back at the cabin she’d

flapped me into one of those
fight-or-freeze frenzies,
then finally landed, hung
just long enough to drop
into a crumpled dark
that released her to the world
she’d longed for all along.

In transit, though, evidently
more senseless terror, that

I pity whoever discovers the sack
that got me here. But please,
consider that ambush, that
spasm, that bright expulsion.

And please consider me now
in this new world I didn’t know
I’d longed for all along.

December 8, 2023

editors note: A surprise for bagged and bagger alike. – mh clay


not this whole planet
this whole expanse of forest
and hill
not gone forever
with its struggling animals
beauty’s fire in their eyes

December 7, 2023

editors note: i hope so, too. – mh clay

Toughen Yourself by Randall Rogers

Drink from the creek
store beans and rice
reuse bathwater
hunt for food
sleep on the ground
buy a gasoline powered
massage your scalp
with early morning
stick a pin in a testicle
the apocalypse demands no less.

December 6, 2023

editors note: We’re doomed. – mh clay

Sun-born Sunburn by Tyler Malone

On an ivory hunt in the direction of a cold snap
as all seasons burn for a world on its wedding day
in a pot of sun-born dirt from the south — death-hand black —
with shades of magic webs on silvery guitar strings
saved for a pale circle, freed for frets to hold onto
an Eve 6 album out of town & time for a pink salt guitar,
picks stabbed into Honda carpet — apologize they’re really poppy
petals dug into a mansion’s jute rug under a feast table
doing dirt’s work while holding onto smoke between fingers
to burn aspens up to elbows, no questions from the big city
pawnshop concerning carats, someone will fit forever’s definition
& honest promises about how little new history exists in a circle,
diamonds sold to write a love song so those in fresh soil don’t hear
Earth screaming into space during their honest wedding ceremony.

December 5, 2023

editors note: Wedded to the grave, we’re about dirt’s work. – mh clay

HOME by Mel Waldman

Out there-in the skies and at sea, and in foreign lands, we
search for them, although there are strong suspicions that
sleepers have already arrived, perhaps years ago, waiting
to be called, praying to hear the shibboleth and to begin

Yet here-at home-over seventy years ago, almost every
night, a war of terror began again and again, when Father,
a product of the old generation, came home from work, with
raw rage and the threat of a hard black leather belt to teach
character, especially respect, in the privacy of our home.

In the good old days, through a secret culture of terror, I learned,
as did the other children of my generation, to obey.

Our Fathers created us in their image. And we recognize the face
of terrorism. Do you?

December 4, 2023

editors note: A beating is a bitch, best to obey. – mh clay

They Say I am a Boomer. by Julene Tripp Weaver

Well Ba Ba Boom—
we have a way about us
born in the fifties after the beats.
Scattered in small towns
in the back yard of some monster mall—
post industrial revolution.
We created revolutions:
sex, anti-war, what the hell for?

We boomers wanted action
smoked pot till our brains
lost short term, settled
for long term, made it
to retirement, betrayed
by those boomers who turned
against our revolutionary ways
—embraced conservatism—
defined us anew.

In angst we scream
take to the streets, angry
at forces beyond our control
want the next generations, the X,
the Y, and the Millennials to step
up, start everything new.

December 3, 2023

editors note: A new boom, please! (Ours is now just a belch.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re seeking a duo novella then check out our featured read Two Italian Stories by Contributing Writer James Lawless!

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

When the moon hits your eye, maybe you’ll realize you’ve got it all wrong.

Here’s a glimpse at these story’s stars:

Story’s End ~ Tyler Malone

Suburbs of Milan Italy

It was a summer night with the first scent of autumn. We watched the blue moon rise, a bit larger than usual, red turning to yellow. I walk arm in arm with my companion. I say moon gazing is more impressive than the falling stars.

(August brings San Lorenzo when many Italians spend the night outdoors looking for falling stars. This year, I saw none.)

What do you expect, she says, when observing in Milan, so close to the lights?

You’re right. I got lazy. I should have stayed all night in the mountains. Instead, I spent only a few hours in a cornfield outside the city.

There’s always next year…

Gaze upon the rest of this racconto right here!


If you’re lookin’ for a read that’s outta this world then Nomads by Contributing Writer & Poet Bruce Mundhenke is sure to deliver!

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

By hand of god or by hand of something else from somewhere else, we know the writing on the wall.

Here’s a sneak-peek at this E.T. tale:

Happy Home… For Now ~ Tyler Malone

When they first came, they seemed almost an answer to prayer. They were smaller than us and thin. They had mouths, but never smiled. Their eyes were much bigger than ours. They seldom blinked. They wore one piece outfits made from some type of blue material. They spoke without opening their mouths, using telepathy. They communicated effectively with us, letting us know what their questions or needs were.

When asked who they were, they let us know only that they were nomads, travelers who have been moving throughout various galaxies, not only in this universe, but also in other dimensions…

Beam on over right here to get the rest of this read on!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of December (aka 12.06.23) at our OC home, Barbara’s Pavillion, you know that once again whirl’d up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

This month we swirl-abrated the holi-daze! Thanks to all who joined in the festivities… cockles got warmed and bells were jingled!

Thanks to  ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave live at Barbara’s:

Johnny O
MH Clay

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks)

Open Mic:
Harry Mcnabb
Desmene Statum
Alan Gann
David Crandall
Lauren Kalstad
Brian Duran-Fuentes
Kevin O’Neill
Tony Robinson
Martin Hache
Kim Nall
Aye Nero
Cj Critt
Fred Clay
Tamitha Curiel

We know you have a few choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to hang out with lil ol’ us!

Stay tuned ’til next 1st Wednesday… ’til then, may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on the whole virtual Swirl’n scenes right here…

••• 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!


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…

Homeward boundin’…

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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