The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.26.20

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.26.20
"The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes." Henri Frederic Amiel Pulse - Patty Paine Mad Swirl welcomes a new artist Patty Paine to the Mad Gallery with some neat beat collages and trippy digital works. Patty is a bit of a multi-talented mad (wo)man but these works especially interest us. There is a certain collected[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.19.20

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.19.20
Some of you here on FB knew him as David Parham. I first knew him as Rob Dyer. Whatever name you knew him by, as cliché as it is, to know him was to love him. He was easy with his contagious laugh, sharp with his brilliant mind, a true blue-eyed soul and one of[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.12.20

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.12.20
“Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love.” Robert Indiana ••• The Mad Gallery ••• "The Litany of Deceptions" – Bill Wolak With this one we say "‘til we again" for Bill’s feature run. But don’t you fret, stay tuned for our next featured artist coming soon! See all of Bill’s wild and hallucinated canvases, as well[read more]


can chaos be sad?
wiring in the brain corroding
synapses clicking wildly sizzling
walk as softly as you can to not
jangle or jingle the brain
it goes to terrible places hysterical
repetitions despite warnings to not
go there caution tape has a gap
they posted a guard named amygdala
the details are there
on the other side of that post
where a home a monster mansion
traps a young vulnerable living being
by conquistadores holding crosses
dna cells infected punctured
inside your forgotten body
who screams trauma
silently deep inside
clenching ugly stories
and the answer

chaos can be sad.

– Nilsa Mariano

Recently Published


You treat my heart like a cat treats a mouse.
taking your own sweet time.
Until you pounce,
leave a partly eaten heart
in some corner.
Sweet, sickly purr.
Off again[read more]


Tonight rain is in the trees desperately seeking
Refuge from its own carnage.
In the wood under canvas I listen between sodden
Decibels of wind
Hearing a leaf shuffling[read more]


we will not rest tonight,
the city pulses like an angry heart,
a vibrating, humming hive
swarming, billowing like smoke,
with stings as sharp as glass,
a genie loosed
cannot easily[read more]



One day when I was sitting in the teacher’s room a man walked in and sat next to me. “Remember?” He asked. His face looked familiar but I wasn’t able to remember where I had seen him. I was putting pressure on my mind when he jumped to his feet, frowned, and got very angry. “As now that you’re a peon in the school you don’t recognize me?” He was very ill mannered. I felt offended being called peon by a stranger. I was lecturer of physics in the intermediate college. All the teachers[read more]
Knock on Wood

Knock on Wood

Conventional wisdom says never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I’m not one to defy logic, so I drank several IPAs and drove drunk to the supermarket with my reusable shopping bags and Rocky, my bulldog best friend. He sat in the back of the Subaru drooling on the windows while I shopped.             Navigating the supermarket was a challenge. The aisles were spread out on several different levels connected by a series of ramps. The architect inadvertently created a wonderland for skateboarders but the corporate monolith ruined it, cluttering[read more]


twenty-four hours eggs and grits and hot coffee small shared silences Too old for milk and sugar, I was 12 when I drank my first cup of black coffee. We were at the diner where Old 54 runs into Trinity Mills. No sign, no name, just the diner where Dad and I always ate breakfast before heading to the lake. Mostly we’d cast for large mouth or troll for stripers, but this morning, leaving the bass boat home, we strapped a borrowed canoe onto the roof. When we pulled up to the dock,[read more]