The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.23.19

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.23.19
••• The Mad Gallery ••• Colbert ~ Chuck Hatton To see ALL of Hatton's mad satirically illustrated renditions, as well as our other featured artists (45 total!), visit our Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week on Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we clarified things on the lie of "no strings;" we irreverently trod on our small minor[read more]

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 04.03.19

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 04.03.19
Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of April (aka 04.03.19) at 8:00 SHARP when as we swirl up the mic at our mad mic-ness home, The Regal Room (located inside of Independent Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Deep Ellum)! This month, Mad Swirl Press will be officially launching, "Black Sparrow Dress" by Dallas poet and[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.16.19

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.16.19
“Words are made for a certain exactness of thought, as tears are for a certain degree of pain. What is least distinct cannot be named; what is clearest is unutterable.” Rene Daumal ••• The Mad Gallery ••• The Hamburderler ~ Chuck Hatton To see ALL of Hatton's mad satirically illustrated renditions, as well as our other featured artists (45[read more]

Satisfy the Moonbeams

Jolly Puss takes a stroll
along the back alleys
of the midnight world
looking for ash cans to tip
against the moon beams
holding the stars
in the sky, whiskers
quivering to climb up
there, too; when a lamp
goes out it creates a zone
of invisibility, a place
to look from while judging
the lay of the land

You can’t get tired
in the dark, because freedom
won’t wait; keep moving,
keep searching, leap
into the open windows
just to see who yells,
and if no one yells
then you have a place
to sleep come morning
as the light drives
adventure away

A fire escape is a stairway
to that moon, the rooftop
its temple mount; here
the lights of confusion
spread out on all sides
trying to put back
the order of the day
on a world best
left unseen

Recently Published

Such Weariness

Sometimes, this world feels bent
And spent beyond repair—
Like a dirty coin too long
In circulation,
Mauled by money’s mad & vicious
Songs of consumption.
Ambition[read more]


Homeland has first appeal
Until the finite break

The unfiltered air spits
Troubled feelings on me

No weather sun or salt
Desires my reasoning

I long for warm childhood
Theirs and mine[read more]

The Moment

there’s a certain time of the evening when consciousness coughs

but you must listen for that faint


8 or 9 o’clock
when you’re sitting on the patio you’ll[read more]

the Tira cycle: (goat song for the) land of love, carrots, and cabbage

the Tira cycle: (goat song for the) land of love, carrots, and cabbage

Once there was a young woman named Tira. She had moved all over the island of Java. She was founding her salty fish perfume kingdom to support her dream of becoming a lecturer. But two mighty winds always assaulted the hot air balloon she traveled in. The first wind was peer pressure. It would swing her into karaoke bars. It blew cigarettes into her hand and mouth. It was a tricky wind. Sometimes it was so tricky she thought it was taking her where she wanted to go. The other wind was[read more]
Hands of Steel, Not Today

Hands of Steel, Not Today

My urologist recently asked me, “John do you know where you are going and have you found the right path to clarity of expression and urination?” As I looked at him with a quizzical expression, he directed his nurse to schedule some tests for me at Community Hospital. I thought I was feeling fine, but I guess my doctor wants to make sure that I am on the right path to wherever it is I’m going. My first scheduled test was an ultrasound. There were six of us in the Radiology[read more]


“They tell me I shot myself in the chin, shot somebody else, too, but I don’t think that’s right. What happened was I fell off a fruit wagon.” That’s Dr. Wagner. He’s a pharmacist, had his own small town pharmacy out in the Valley for years, seemed fine, until this happened. I’m his occupational therapist. It’s my job to determine how well he can perform his activities of daily living, things like brushing his teeth, making out a checkbook, but right now I’m conducting a cognitive screening called the O-Log. Checking[read more]