The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.16.19

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.16.19
“Art is for everybody.” Keith Haring ••• The Mad Gallery ••• Love Coming and Going – Tony Gentry To see ALL of Tony's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week on Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we remarked as renowned a tremendous town; we ran, refugees, to the shelter of trees;[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.09.19

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.09.19
“Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.” Amy Lowell ••• The Mad Gallery ••• Old Canal, Downtown Richmond – Tony Gentry To see ALL of Tony's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week on[read more]

Notes of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 02.06.19

Notes of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 02.06.19
This past 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.06.19) Mad Swirl continued to whirl up our mic madness at our mad mic home deep in the heart of Deep Ellum... the Regal Room! HUGE GRATS to all you mad poets, performers, artists and musicians who helped swirl us up a mighty fine night! Here’s a shout out to[read more]


they say death ends all our woes.
i do not know. not yet.
maybe soon. or later. or never.
my bible tells me my soul is immortal.
even other holy books.
and the internet.

but seriously,
it is hard to understand death.
we run away from it every day,
like monks avoiding the touch of sin –
but it’s all encyclical and vaguely brusque.
truth is: death has a way – of making us make
our way back to her macabre bosom.

i have decided to write this like i am drunk,
even though I’m not. seriously, i’m not.
i don’t feel like versing mystic aphorisms.
not on this. people get bored easily.
so, I’ll make this simple. very simple.

death screws with us all. a lot.
it takes the pearls and leaves us wondering
if God really cares about our miserable lives.
death sucks out the things that matter,
leaving dregs, dirt and regret as souvenirs.

Ah… death! alright… i’ll make it simpler:
death is the middle finger that life
points at us all as it whispers her
cold, numbing words in our mundane ears:
“Hey! Nobody has the right to be arrogant!”

– Pat Ashinze

Recently Published


If I die today
My body has given up
If I die tomorrow
Then I have procrastinated
But none of that matters
Because I just realized
That I died yesterday

– E.[read more]

Dead Music Capital of the World

6th Street, hanging as Jesus Christ’s parents
under their son’s cross, hoping he plays a tune, that dying
is an act for city lights while dirt birds[read more]

From Sound to Words

Traveling at a high rate of speed
Like the wings of a humming bird,
From fruitful melodies
And higher cliffs,
Where music reached into the clouds
And mingled with the
Voices[read more]

I, Adam Porter (GONE ALASKA novel excerpt)

I, Adam Porter (GONE ALASKA novel excerpt)

It was near noon and the crisp, sea-refrigerated air had evaporated from the cove. The sun was hot, straight up, hovering above the inland ridge of mountains. I was on the rear deck of a trawler, down to my T-shirt. In my sweaty sunburnt hands was an electric drill, plugged into a portable generator on deck. Wiggling the drill bit back into its groove, I rammed it home through three inches of steel bar. I’d been cutting on this steel bar for the last hour. The fishermen I found on the[read more]
Hanging by a Thread

Hanging by a Thread

I was a high school teacher before they came. I’m not sure what I am now. They said they chose me because they needed cases to test. To make sure their experiments worked. Now I feel more like a Wax Museum custodian than anything else. What I most recall is that it was a very regular night. Even the light grey sky outside my office window looked no different from the sky I’d seen many nights previously. Looking back now, I remember the extra shades of purple at twilight, but if[read more]
St. Vitus Dance

St. Vitus Dance

“The vegetables often leave their stalks. Yes, they go gallivanting about. Yeah, mostly at night. Oh, they are always back on the stalk, or vine, by morning. Why do you ask?” “Couple of veggies been acting up. On the west side of the garden.” “The west side? That's where the eggplant, the aubergines, grow. And the green beans. Those horrible beans.” “What, you don't like the beans?” “Only the green beans, friend, only the green.” “Pray tell, why?” “I had a friend once, fell asleep in his garden. Damn, them things grow fast.” “What on earth do[read more]