The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.25.15

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.25.15
“The greater the step forward in knowledge, the greater is the one taken backward in search of wisdom.” Stephen Gardiner Welcome to MadSwirl (4)2.0! As Stephen Gardiner alludes in his sentiment (above), taking a bold step forward requires some wise hindsight as well. We took this site switch-over very seriously as well. We looked both forward to[read more]

Madness, the Meaning of Dots

Madness, the Meaning of Dots
It’s a tragic world, but so much worse if there’s no concept of expression. Other than yelling at the television, not much happens in far too many places. That alone can at least lead to endless unhappiness when escape is doubtful, when the real world you know is the executor of anything expressive. In church[read more]

Mad Things Now and Coming

Mad Things Now and Coming
Wow! Here we have it, (4)2.0 - a new direction in the stir o' the Swirl! We have a cool new look and usability that says, "Hey! We're Swirlin' in the world-wide web of the 21st Century!" I like it all! But, I'm most excited about the opportunity we now have as your editors to share[read more]



I’m constantly looking forward to looking back,
Tired of falling awake.
Though it’s never for long.
I drift into it then find myself
Slipping back to slumber.
Sleep walking through life,
Remembering things while they’re happening.
The present in past tense.

Recently Published

Star Light, Star Bright

no arms
to break my fall

I wait
for sleep

silent sentry
in the jungle night

I lie cemented
in self

counting black holes
in space

where once
there were stars
to wish on[read more]


“The heaventree of stars” (in Ulysses as said Joyce)
“hung with humid nightblue fruit” (ah that Bloomian voice)
could evoke a masterpiece the world has come to[read more]


My last message may not be, “I love you”
It may not be the apology you need
There may not even be a last message.

I have thought[read more]


Caucus at the Parking Meter

Caucus at the Parking Meter

For years Rocky’s Diner had always done a great business for breakfast and lunch but his dinner business had fallen off recently as folks moved to the suburbs, got married, died or simply went elsewhere to eat. He thought about closing early but he had a small cadre of elderly men, many of whom had been his customers for two or three meals a day, and Rocky didn’t know where else they might go to eat. They were all single now for different reasons—divorced, widowed, never married or deserted by[read more]
Chapmans Lake

Chapmans Lake

Uncle Nat was definitely my favorite uncle. He was my mother’s younger brother and lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sadie, and their two daughters, Lillian and Dorothy. Dorothy, the younger girl was just one year my junior and we were great friends for years. Uncle Nat, born Hershel Newtah Jochnewitz, Americanized his name to Nathan Young while still in his late teens and working in New York’s Garment Center (thousands of manufacturers, their showrooms, factories, and suppliers all jammed into a small area of tall buildings in the west[read more]
Have a Cookie

Have a Cookie

My first graders bring in something they like from the outside world to share for Show and Tell every Tuesday morning. Martin Taccone does his presentation last. He slowly walks up to the head of the class carrying a heavy satchel that looks like it has a bowling ball in it. He carefully takes out something wrapped in a blanket. It’s a ceramic figure that looks like kind of like Mammy, that large black woman who takes care of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. I lose my breath for a[read more]