The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.27.24

by on April 28, 2024 :: 0 comments

We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.

C. Day Lewis

••• The Mad Gallery •••

whispered conversation at nigh ~ Edward Michael Supranowicz

To see all of Edward’s colorfully kaleidoscopic dream scenes, as well as our other resident artists (50+ 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 deviled voice for whiskey choice; we knowledged not to smile a lot; we called no copper on a renegade shopper; we trained a light on mirrored night; we looked to see a mystery; we starlight sheened o’er a closet queen; we sat to bask before a task. We’ll write some fun before we’re done. ~ MH Clay

UNPICKED by J H Martin

How long has it been?

With neither care nor attention
The grounds have now grown wild

Top down
Bottom up

I don’t know where to begin

Sitting down I contemplate

Not the work
That needs to be done

But the beauty of the leaves

Black speckled green

They remind me of
Another time

One that crawls
Behind this thought

Looking up
I see that clouds have gathered

The rain falls
The weeds grow

How long has it been?

April 27, 2024

editors note: Think, then do, but first let’s think some more… – mh clay

SANCTUARY by Guest Poet Lorri Ventura

The moon drops into the child’s black-and-blue arms
Nestling there contentedly
As the little girl bobs across her backyard
Limps up the steps leading to her house
And ducks into her under-the-stairs bedroom
(A converted broom closet)
She gently tosses the orb into the air
Where it joins the stars she has collected
On previous nights
The closet suddenly transforms into a peaceful paradise
Deer graze in the gloaming
Fireflies kiss the child’s nose before dancing away
A snowy owl perches on a tree branch
Serving as sentinel
The little girl scrambles into her bed
Satisfied that the world she has imagined
Will keep her safe from the dangers
That lurk in the chaotic reality
On the other side of the closet door
She falls asleep smiling

April 26, 2024

editors note: May we be it for those who need it. – mh clay

Mystery Babylon by Bruce Mundhenke

Mystery Babylon no longer a mystery,
It is here right before our eyes,
Dividing as it conquers,
A master of power and control,
Working hard at
Fear and deception,
Wiser than a serpent,
More ferocious than a bear,
It kills and steals
And makes war,
All while pretending to care.

April 25, 2024

editors note: And yet, we each accuse the other of being this beast. – mh clay

The Late Train by Guest Poet Karen Lawler

A bellowing of blackbirds swims the charcoal sky
As we sweep through ruthless urban sprawl
She gazes her socials, her reflection beaming
The carriage windows become mirrors as night sets in
Her eyes crave the light they missed
so she asks an App when tomorrow’s sunset

Planted in his ears, two white buds
trickle meditative words on stillness
While the tracks chatter and spark below,
he tries in vain to hear the message
Tonight, he only buries restlessness

Across the aisle, two settled side by side
Their shoulders touch as though shaped to fit
Moving with the sudden drop and sway of each incline
They share an armrest with no need to find the other’s hand

April 24, 2024

editors note: And so see yourself in this mirrored night. – mh clay

Shoplifter by Gary Beck

She came back for the third time
in one day,
filling her shoulder bag
from the shelves
just like a regular shopper,
but left without paying.
I tried to talk to her
the second time she took stuff,
told her it’s just a small store,
not a corporate chain
that can afford big losses,
or lock up everything,
but she just mumbled:
‘get the fuck away from me’
and I did.
The city won’t help
and I’d rather go broke
than get myself killed
for a bottle of shampoo.

April 23, 2024

editors note: Frustrated and helpless; more so when this shouldn’t be. – mh clay

Understood by Joseph Farley

Some things are understood,
But so much else is not.
Doubt and ignorance
Walk hand in hand
With scholars and logicians.

What should we do
At those times when we realize
How little we know
And how much of what we learned
Was bullshit slung at us
By misguided professors?

Nothing is best. Forget it all.
Walk or sit in silence.
Empty out your head.
Start over with less ambition
And less certainty
In your mental abilities.

Be content to be average,
Not one of the cognescenti.
Little will change in your life.
Possibly you will smile more,
And find out you can learn more
From a ditch digger
Than from a Ph.D.

April 22, 2024

editors note: When we don’t know what we don’t know, perhaps this is a better way to go. – mh clay

Bat Nuts by Marjorie Pezzoli / Christina Chin

choose your whiskey wisely
distillation process
two brothers
caught moonlighting

(photo by Marjorie Pezzoli)

April 21, 2024

editors note: Gotta get free from those DTs. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re seeking to satiate your reading hunger, The Search for Enlightenment by Contributing Writer Ethan Goffman might quiet your reading pangs!

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

Seeing yourself in it isn’t a pleasant experience, but we try to get a taste of life while something eats away at us.

Here’s a few morsels to get your appetite goin’:

Wine Down ~ Tyler Malone

One day, I felt an existential emptiness deep within myself. In my soul. I decided to fill it with some delicious cookies, speckled with real strawberry bits and drenched in chocolate, just sitting in our cupboard waiting for me like that had been created to give my life purpose. These cookies tantalized and danced on my tongue as I munched them down a bit too fast to fully enjoy. Somehow, though, after I had plucked and eaten the last crumb that had fallen on the counter, the agonizing emptiness of my soul remained unfilled…

Keep this seeking’n’feeding going right here!


Check out our latest read, Ruthless G-Ma by Contributing Writer Edward N. McConnell. Why? Because with a title like that, you gotta know how this story goes!

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

Home: no word is so short but contains a multitude of worlds.

Here’s a bit to get you rollin’:

On Patrol ~ Tyler Malone

Not long ago, I got this letter from my aunt. I’d like to share it with you.

Dear Eddie,

There have been big doings since I wrote last. We’ve had some gun violence and other forms of mayhem in town. And yes, your grandmother participated in some of it. People have taken to calling her Ruthless G-Ma. Given events, I understand why. Remember Ross Tobler, the nice man who ran the candy shop on Main Street. I say remember because from now on you won’t be seeing him around town. Your grandmother shot him.

Here’s how she tells it.

“Ross Tobler was gender fluid and a bad influence on kids. I shot he/him and they/them and any other version of him that existed. You can’t have guys like that around, they’re not our kind of people.”

That’s what she told the grand jury, who no-billed the charges against her. She even spoke those very words to the local congregation of the Church of the Righteous Slayers of Sin, many shouting “Hallelujah” and raising their hands in approval. The local press has not given much ink to the story.

It has always been one of the downsides of Sticksville that being different here will get you in trouble, maybe killed…

You best get the rest of this read on or we’ll sic Ruthless G-Ma after ya!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.01.24) when we’ll be doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION!

Hosts Johnny O & MH Clay will open the mad mic, starting with some musical grooves brought to you by Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks).

This month we will be featuring local loco legend, Josh Weir!

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 8pm)

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

••• Mad Swirl Podcast •••

In this quarter’s episode of “Inside the Eye” Chief Editor Johnny O & Poetry Editor MH Clay chat with fellow Mad Staffers Short Story Editor Tyler Malone & Visual Editor Madelyn Olson and get their highlights from some of our fine contributors in the 1st quarter of 2024. We also chatted a bit about our 1st Wednesday open mics & the launch of our Best of Mad Swirl : v2023 anthology. Lastly, we sat down with one of the maddest souls we know, Poet, Writer, Musician, Performer & Cap’n Hootenanny himself, Chris Zimmerly & we had us quite the chat, we did!

Give us a listen on Patreon OR on Spotify!


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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