I get drunk writing words. I don’t drink or do drugs, but I get so carried away with writing that I get inebriated from it.
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Smooth As Neon Feathers ~ Bill Wolak
Gear up and get ready for another damn good time as we welcome back fan favorite (and yes, when I say ‘fan,’ I’m definitely referring to myself, but I bet you’re one too), the one and only Bill Wolak! Wolak creates collages and photographs that seem to regularly defy the norm. His creations are a perfect mind bending blend of trippy and alluring, with just a dash of the erotic, like a dream you’re already forgetting just as you open your eyes. Suffice it to say, it’s a wild ride that you’ll never want to miss, so buckle up and take a look – you’ll see exactly what I mean! ~ Madelyn Olson
To see all of Bill’s mind-bending trippy & erotic scenes, as well as our other resident artists (60 and counting!) take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we forsook an environment for urban development; we inked fire for empire; we quirkly quibbled for space to scribble; we dropped bomb wise to organize; we thought light as ever over what you never; we ripped a riff on old “what if;” we dolled too old for a centerfold. Too old? Not really if touchy feely. ~ MH Clay
CENTERFOLDS by Colleen Boueil
Do paper dolls dance?
They’re trained experts in rumba
and in dodging stray bulls…
Paso doble is easy without a cape.
I was always too old for Barbie pink
preferring more delicate cut outs of
haute-couture neutrals that shred and rip-
more suitable to feminine reality.
I can mix and match, be printable…
and most of all pretend… that I am a paper doll.
My paper doll world screams in black and white
the best color for life’s vanities as I strike the pose!
I stare out silent paper windows
searching for paper fedoras with bends in their brims.
Dreams of bootleg futures fill my paper soul
as I taste the wind, listen to the sky
and touch the shadows of centerfolds.
February 10, 2024
editors note: Be your own Barbie – definitely not pink. (Though we already know Colleen as a featured artist, we now welcome her to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
What if by Guest Poet Talia Collier
What if what if
Wasn’t that thought that lingers
The unfinished business
The infinite possibilities
What if what if
Didn’t make you hang on to the past
Recycle unfinished emotions
Regurgitate unwanted memories
What if what if
Let you see the future
Let you step forward and not back
What if what if
Didn’t make you ask why
Make you daydream
Make you feel guilty, ashamed, or upset
What if what if
Was just what was
What is to come
What if what if
February 9, 2024
editors note: What, indeed? – mh clay
WHAT YOU NEVER SAID by Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia
What you never said sounded profane from other lips
The Holy Writ was wasted
What you never shared remained untouched throughout the years
A dark Poison was tasted
What you never did remained undone and lost forever
Fate was untempted
What you never wrote lay unimagined, not dreamt
What you never were none else could be none else could see
The world is blind
What you never sang was never sung and never played
One of a kind
What you never left was gentleness and subtle grace
And great politeness
Therefore in thoughts of you and in your memories
There is a lightness
February 8, 2024
editors note: About some, that lightness is a long time coming. (We welcome Amita to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
2 Haiku: On Perfect Order by Carl Kavadlo
killed more projects perfectly
than the atom bomb
in the flying zone
hands with flying fingertips
February 7, 2024
editors note: Work your way to a perfect bust. – mh clay
SUTRAS by Guest Poet John Tustin
Sutras written in black charcoal
All along the walls of this madhouse.
Some Sutras are dulled with years and some are streaked
Almost to incomprehensibility by attempts to scrub them
But when the lightning strikes on occasion
In this darkness that lasts from night to day
I manage to read a scrap or two
Until the madhouse descends again into its darkness
And I spend the rest of my time trying to follow the rules
I have found written by other madmen along the walls
As well as waiting and waiting for that lightning to strike again
And bring momentary light to these rooms that house the damned –
Where, if you look in a certain window of this madhouse
At just the right time as the lightning strikes
You can see me, on my knees and charcoal in hand,
Scribbling in the only clean corner of the farthest wall.
February 6, 2024
editors note: We’re all just looking for a little bit of empty wall. – mh clay
In the maelstorm by Hem Raj Bastola
Again and again.
A pencil dancing
In a state, never a state.
In search of an empire,
Beneath the boots.
Coming from nowhere
Going to nowhere.
Playing with clouds, cold!
A void! Gaseous reflection:
like ignis fatuus.
Running in the cavity,
Breathing a vision.
Extent of words!
Like the mountains I walk.
Where, drawing within:
Contours of thoughts.
A rabble infront of nature!
Searching a country, still!
To embark: a new and
A mysterious geography.
An empire! A world!
Digging a picture
Of his own cartography.
To locate and relocate.
Distance in the chart,
A map of poetry.
In the maelstorm
February 5, 2024
editors note: Imperialist acquiring an empire of ink. – mh clay
SOUTHERNMOST by Sam Silva
in night club town
dreamy dreams of yesteryears
upon my everglade of tears
February 4, 2024
editors note: Don’t look out there. The party is here! – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Dealing with our dearly departed is a daunting task but “Recipe for Upholding Calm and Peace at the Reading of a Will“ by Marzia Rahman is as easy as 1-2-3 (the exact word count of this poetic elegy).
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the week:
Can you please pass the grief? I haven’t quite had my fill.
Here’s a few sentiments to get you started:
Another Lifetime ~ Tyler Malone
Switch on power full of family values and traditions.
Put the papers tied with red ribbons upfront.
Let it stew for a while.
Stir often but take care of the temperature.
Keep the sunny side up…
Read the whole epitaph right here.
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
This past 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.07.24) Mad Swirl Open Mic whirl’d up the Swirl at our OC home, Barbara’s Pavillion, getting the Mad mic opened for ALL you Mad ones out there!
Special thanks to our February feature, Suza Kanon, for sharing her multitudes of creative wares and for spreading the L♥VE to all in the Pavillion!
Thanks to ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave live at Barbara’s:
Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks)
We know you have a choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & thrilled you picked lil ol’ us to hang out with!
Stay tuned ’til next 1st Wednesday (aka 03.06.24) when we will be officially launching our seventh anthology, “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2023”… ’til then, may the madness swirl your way!
P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on the whole virtual Swirl’n scenes right here…
••• Mad Swirl Press •••
Starting in 2017 we 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. Purchase one (or all) of these anthologies from Mad Swirl Press: 2017-2022…
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…
Short Story Editor