The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.11.24

by on May 12, 2024 :: 0 comments

Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.

Salvador Dali

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Photo 157 ~ Richard Hanus

To see all of Richard’s vibrantly emotive works, 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 learned rule of thumb to let fly some crumbs; we left window open for words unspoken; we wore phones as a boundary till done with the laundry; we forgot the song for all that we long for; we danced in the truth of resurrected youth; we tripped far in the junk bar; we bounced too close to a micro dose. Our words let flow with a do-si-do. ~ MH Clay

Midnight Blue Café Ladies Room Floor by Jeff Grimshaw

She caught the Tokyo trolley
For Midnight Blue Café
There was a micro dose in her Daphne Martini,
& she was scanning the Tokyo Sun

A stain spread into the napkin
Which her zucchini bread could not explain
Two dancers mimed a knife fight
Transfixed by the violet gel

The light is liquid she whispered
Her blood itself was violet light
The dancers spun towards the trolley
She could see the babies they’d been

She sat in the ladies room pretending to breathe
Her phone purred like a bomb
She emptied the purse on the tiles
Everything bounced and blurred

The clutter-clatter would not stop,
It kept being more
& there was nothing bouncing on the tile
That she’d ever seen before

May 11, 2024

editors note: What happens when you bounce too close to your micro dose. – mh clay

junk bar by Guest Poet George Gad Economou

the bear strolled through the streets and
no one looked at him twice for junk
fairytales are no-holds-barred.
he strutted into the bar,
ordered bourbon straight
and the horse offered some complimentary nuts.
they talked philosophy, the drinker was too preoccupied
with Sartre and the barman
loathed the conversation.
some patrons in the corner hee-hawed,
what for they had no clue, they
were tripping.
someone entered,
a bizarre mix of several creatures, and ordered
a drink with every drink in it.
he swigged it down, thirty
drinks into one; his eyes rolled
to the back of his head and he
the bear ate his brains,
the lion his guts,
and the tripping patrons shrugged the feast off.
in the junk bar everything’s allowed; when the
naked woman clambered out of the bathroom followed by
seven strutting elephants,
no one stirred. it was just
a usual day, and only when the
lights and the colors fade away innocence
is lost and imagination gets
burned on the cross.

May 10, 2024

editors note: In talk about losses and crosses you gotta ask, “What about THIS bear?” – mh clay

Kung Fu Fighting by Susie Gharib

I have become sixty years old,
but I still have this prevalent vision before my eyes,
which is neither impressive nor sublime
to the censorious inhabitants of my home-town:
I see myself on the dance floor,
rhythmically interacting to Kung Fu Fighting
as I did when I was fourteen,
touring Alexandria
and frequenting one particular nightclub,
where I imbibed solid amounts of fun
in the company of my childhood pals.
Existence then seemed glorious
and body and mind looked forward to the future
with every throbbing muscle and excited nerve.

We do become sluggish as we grow old,
but I am certain if I were in some nightclub,
which is slander-free
and stripped of every surveillance device,
including a mobile,
and playing the music of the seventies,
or Tiesto,
or some other beautiful Trance,
my youth will be resurrected in the fracture of a second.

In an era where the mind is preoccupied with staying alive,
keeping body and soul together in one entire block,
subsisting and maintaining sustenance
to keep the lethargic heart pumping blood,
it is ironic and outrageous for many
that I should be thinking of dancing before I kiss the dust,
as I must.

May 9, 2024

editors note: Gotta dance! So many more seconds to fracture. – mh clay

Sorrow by Guest Poet Goirick Brahmachari

I was born with a sadness
And I carried it within
Through the years of my aging,
Learning and forgetting:
Songs and their meaning,
Culled stories, people in rain.

I was born like this and I’ll die
Just like this; all of my longing
And my raging; things
That occur, only disappear
The absence of meaning,
This futile fading;
Relearning, re-forgetting
The reason I’d carry this pain.

May 8, 2024

editors note: Carry it, we do; forget it, we did. – mh clay

Laundry Day by Guest Poet Jonathan S Baker

As i wait to swap loads
i miss the laundromat
with its green tile floors
and the dreamy faces
of the beautiful girls
wearing headphones
their eyes closed
subtly they would nod
to a secret song
that takes them away
from the laundromat
until the dryer
runs out of time

May 7, 2024

editors note: A sound-scape until it’s time to fold and flee. – mh clay

WORDS UNSPOKEN by Colleen Boueil

Like veiled whispers,
fallen leaves cast dry shadows
along gray stillness.
Autumn’s desertion…
Nature’s pattern of decay
dangles in cycles.
Love me, love me not…
To be, or not to have been…
Stagnant hope shreds outlook
I miss our conversations
our ghostlike laughter.
Just one syllable?
My window is wide open…
Why not catch the breeze?
Scattered, crumbling leaves
will reveal words unspoken.
Table for one, please.

May 6, 2024

editors note: What’ll it be for you and whom? One word, two? – mh clay

Oreo Cookies by Jim Bates

His father loved sports cars driving fast
In the end he had a white Porsche spider
Like James Dean was driving when he died
His dad liked to take his son up into the mountains
Driving the twisting roads of the Cascades
Closer to the sun with every winding switchback
Sometimes they’d go to the Pacific
Speeding through pine forests on the way to the ocean.

That last trip they stopped at a tiny seaside town
His dad bought a bag of Oreo cookies and grinned
“I love these,” he said
He munched on them all day long
So did his son
Speeding along the coast
Top down
Wind in their hair
Scent of salt in the air
The engine of that car purring like a cat
Father and son side by side
Chatting and talking
Through sunlight and shadow
Lush evergreen forests
A sea stretching to forever
Cookie crumbs flying in the swirling wind.

May 5, 2024

editors note: Match your fav memory to your fav cookie. Let the crumbs fly… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for a winner of a read, check out The Power Number by Contributing Writer & Poet Marie Higgins!

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

What more of a curse than knowing more than you already know?

Here’s the quick-pick to give you a clue:

Pile of Luck ~ Tyler Malone

Searching, she ran her fingers along every crevice in the house, wherever he might have kept his computer password, like along the inside upper ridge of the cabinet in the dining room. It was actually a curio cabinet, and it mostly stored her grandmother’s cocktail glasses, for show, because during her entire thirty-something-year marriage, she and Tony only ever drank beer.

Whenever she had asked him for his computer password, he had told her, “Mary, you will know it when you need it. I change it regularly, anyway, so no sense in giving it to you now.”

Now she needed it, and was aggravated by his personal need for privacy, even though it was two-sided, because she had never shared her password either. She would have given him hers without question, but he had never asked…

Find the correct combo right here!


Check out this day-in-the-life tale, Another Fine Long Beach Day by Scott C. Holstad.

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

Here is the world: it’s all around you, but we pretend it’s behind us, stalking, and not out in the sun, casting shadows that cross our own.

Here’s a few steps to get you strollin’:

Worn Out Sun ~ Tyler Malone

Ferlinghetti once wrote “Some days I’m afflicted with Observation Fever.” I can relate. Like today I walked on the beach and was confronted by angry gulls upset that I had disturbed them. I couldn’t have been that disturbing though since the place was loaded with people biking, rollerblading, flexing, jogging, fishing, sunning, and spiritually laser focused on their yoga, so I just kept going, making sure to step over and around the filth, the incessant garbage littering mother beach. It sadly doesn’t match the overall beauty of the place.

As I struggled from the beach up to the city, I saw bodies milling about the sidewalks. A Cambodian woman nodded to me as I passed, a rather unusual gesture for that group of immigrants, and as I headed toward 4th, I noticed a tough looking Sureno near one of the last banks on Ocean ironically looking like he was guarding the door to a bank. Likely a Varrio Longo 13, gang best to avoid, ‘cept I lived on about the worst street in the downtown area. The three toughest gangs claimed areas heading toward the 405 but were smack up against each other–the Eastside Longos, and their enemies, the Rollin 20 Crips, whose own greatest rivals, the Insane Crips, lived on the other side of them. Made for an interesting 25-block drive when I lived by the 405 and my girlfriend was on First. I just didn’t bother slowing at some of the stop signs on that drive. I would have taken the Long Beach freeway, but going through this war zone saved me nearly an hour. Which was only sometimes worth it…

Roll on into the rest of this story right here!

••• Community •••

May 14 2024 • 5-7PM • Barbara’s Pavillion

The Dallas Is Lit! literary festival, brought to you by The Writers Garret, takes an expansive understanding of what is literary and who participates in the literary community. It’s a week-long celebration of poetry, language, writing, writers and the literary arts, and it’s coming back May 13-19!

As part of the festival festivities, Mad Swirl will be hosting a happy hour to showcase  the swirlin’ madness of Dallas’ longest running performance poetry collectives at Barbara’s Pavillion, one of Oak Cliff’s best kept secrets.

Join longtime Mad Swirl hosts Johnny O & MH Clay who will be showcasing longtime regulars Opalina & Carlos Salas, Roderick Richardson, Desmene Statum with musical interludes by Chris Curiel!


The Dallas is Lit: Book & Author Fair! is back! Join us May 18 where Mad Swirl Press will be representin’, selling our printed wares! Come get you one or all of our many titles from 2018-2024…

(click on cover for more info)


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…

Takin’ it,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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