The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.09.24

by on March 10, 2024 :: 0 comments

The main thing is to know something and to say it.

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Cyber Kolossoi III ~ Mitchell Pluto

Mad Swirl is excited to welcome the talented Mitchell Pluto to the Mad Gallery, with vibrantly crafted collage illustrations that unfold like fragments of a long-forgotten dream. Pluto’s work is a dynamic fusion of abstract shapes and enigmatic faces – there’s something almost hieroglyphic about them, though each piece is composed of layers far more advanced than the art of our ancient ancestors. Still, there’s something about Pluto’s work that feels like it’s beckoning to be examined and understood, like it’s got something to tell us if we’re paying attention. Suffice it to say, we’re captivated! ~ Madelyn Olson

To see all of Mitchell’s vibrantly crafted collage illustrations, 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 stiffed full of leash pull; we split stone to be left alone; we would war be done if we knew who won; we strung along to dial not wrong; we leveled free in a mystery; we brain worked a hand jerk; we blasted some to flood come. To dally in deluge and stagger storm to calm the seas, we write for these. ~ MH Clay

Free Trip by Jeff Bagato

win a free trip to Mars
on the billionaire blast
off, smelling rich farts
for 32 days or a month
of Sundays; rockets red
glare could be the best
time you’ll ever have
before the crash landing
seeds a desert gene pool
just waiting for the flood

March 9, 2024

editors note: Invitation, embossed and able to send to your favorite free-market finagler. – mh clay

Sperm is a drop of brain by Chris Butler

Messy minds eject
sticky situations with
clammy hand jerky.

March 8, 2024

editors note: Handy proof that we men think with our… – mh clay

Meaning in the Mystery by Guest Poet Robert Pegel

Should I lean on you less
and let your journey continue
Always bothering you with the
inconsequential stuff seems selfish.
Especially when you are now free
and unencumbered living
on a higher level.
The perfect picture of luminescence.
Still, I need your connection.
Hoping to feel your energy run
through me like a thunderbolt.
Awakening me from this
solemn slumber.

March 7, 2024

editors note: A message for the mirror or the man in the sky? – mh clay

After the Metaphorical Beep by Richard LeDue

This page is cold as a tin can phone,
where the string strings me along,
while I wait for an answer
that’ll never come, but at least
my words, all words,
can make a long distance call
to silence, and leave a message
more interesting than any pocket dial.

March 6, 2024

editors note: When just the saying is enough… – mh clay

Keeping Score by Guest Poet Chad Parenteau

Did we finally

the end of
human war?

If so, please
say who won.

Who takes
win while

we live less
and less,

the earth a
deflated ball,

all go home
sad, or not at all.

March 5, 2024

editors note: In this scenario, even the winners are losers. – mh clay

in caverns where shadows mate by Guest Poet Livio Farallo

the rocks have split hoping to
slow time with their crumble
and their coral on the beach
is the first mountain to taste snow
is the pull of the air that never
moves is the gale that is never felt
is a rope of gelatinous baskets that is
fully electric is a bloodless
annoyance quick as a nose bubble
is a billiard ball perverse as
boredom is a genome unreplicated
is an innocent fault for no one’s destruction
is a wish for nothing libidinous is the splay
of a horse’s tail is a sad sensation
of peace is an overnight vantage
of morning is a promise that viruses
will surely take over so that
we can all finally be left alone.

March 4, 2024

editors note: Is that what it is? Oh, my! – mh clay

2 one-liners: Stay, New Leash by Guest Poet Jim Daniels

Stay With Me

stiff neck and all.

A New Leash On Life

still chokes when you pull.

March 3, 2024

editors note: So, don’t hold your breath… or, do! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Once upon a time there was a story named The Raft that floated its way to us from Contributing Writer & Poet Jim Bates!

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

There are plenty of monsters to slay, and none of them are imaginary. Not a one.

Here’s how this familial tale begins:

Land of Cope ~ Tyler Malone

“Turok, watch out for that wave!” Andar yelled.

“Whoa!” Turok took a stick and pretended to paddle out of danger. “Whew. Thanks, Andar.” He wiped his brow. “How’s that?”

“We’re safe now.”

“Man, that was close,” Turok said.

“Yeah, it was.”

“Thanks for the warning.”

“No problem.”

The brothers smiled at each other. The older one, Turok, was at the front. The younger brother, Andar, was on the back. Beneath the blanket, the grass was green, but not to the brothers. To them, it was a rocking and rolling ocean full of dangers like rogue waves and prehistoric monsters.

Quickly, Turok pointed. “Andar, look!”

Andar shaded his eyes and exclaimed. “Oh, no! Not a cyclops!”

Turok’s worried expression said it all. The huge one-eyed beast was a formidable foe, tall as an oak tree with razor-sharp fangs that filled its snarling mouth. “This is bad. I didn’t know they could swim!”

Andar picked up a long stick that had been carved into a spear. “Let’s get ready!”…

If you’re ready to embark upon the rest of this journey, sail right here!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••


The Best of Mad Swirl : v2023 is a 110-page anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on throughout 2023. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”

This year’s contributors hail from five continents, 13 countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Syria, Wales/UK, UK/England, USA [21 states: AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, LA, MA, MD, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, SD, TX, WA, WY]). This anthology is a excellent introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!

Huge grats & shout-outs to our 2023 featured Contributors (in alphabetical order):

Featured Poets:

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia
Preacher Allgood
Ann B-D
Tohm Bakelas
Hem Raj Bastola
Mandakini Bhattacherya
Colleen Boueil
Chris Butler
Christopher Calle
Margaret Coomb
Mickey J. Corrigan
Donna Dallas
David Dumouriez
J. K. Durick
Richard Evans
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Nolcha Fox
Elizabeth Galewski
Tony Gentry
Susie Gharib
Neile Graham
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Kenneth P. Gurney
Paul Hostovsky
David Icenogle
Carl Kavadlo
Clyde Kessler
David P. Kozinski
Richard LeDue
Bradford Middleton
Pete Mladinic
Kelly Moyer
Stephen Page
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
David Ratcliffe
Ron Riekki
Luke Ritta
John D. Robinson
Tony Robinson
Randall Rogers
Ken Edward M Rutkowski
Jharna Sanyal
Beate Sigriddaughter
Patrick Sweeney
Marianne Szlyk
Paul Tristram
Lorri Ventura
Isaiah Vianese
Agnes Vojta
Stephen Jarrell Williams
Mark Young

Featured Short Story Authors:

Kleio B
Barefoot Cajun
Ian Deed
Peter Dellolio
Susie Gharib
Jeff Grimshaw
Marie Higgins
Frank Modica
Kapka Nilan
Carl Perrin
Dominic Rivron
Diana Rosen

Featured Artists:

Luanne Castle
Andrea Damic
Claudio Parentela
Thomas Riesner

If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2023” then get yours right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

This past 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.06.24) 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!

This month we featured the Poets & Writers who are featured in our anthology The Best of Mad Swirl : v2023:

Johnny Olson
MH Clay
Marianne Szlyk
Christopher Calle
Marie Higgins
Tony Robinson*
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Hem Raj Bastola*

(*read by hosts)

Special thanks to those who supported the Mad cause & got themselves a copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2023”. Get yours HERE!

Grats 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:
Opalina Salas
Alan Gann
Harry McNabb
Carlos Salas
Elliot Hill
Christopher Calle
Josh Weir
Elliot Hill
Dick Zinnendorf

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 featuring the dynamic duo, Opalina & Carlos Salas!… ’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…


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…

Sayin’ it…

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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