Calling All Poets: Here's A Great Opportunity!

Calling All Poets: Here's A Great Opportunity!
For all Mad Swirl Poets Everywhere! Here's a wonderful opportunity to visit the magical Emerald Isle and hang out with fellow poets - expenses paid. Also, you might find your submitted work published in the Festival Anthology, The Blue Max Review, 2016. Read on and submit - but, never surrender. BLACKWATER INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL The friendliest poetry festival in[read more]

New Featured Artist : Bill Wolak

New Featured Artist : Bill Wolak
We here at Mad Swirl just can’t get enough of Bill Wolak’s symmetrical sweetness! This time around, he treats us to some splash of color and even allusions to nature – branches of trees, green leaves and flowers. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can look at each piece time and time again[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.06.16

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.06.16
“I am getting so far out one day I won't come back at all.” ~ William S. Burroughs ••• The Mad Gallery ••• “Fish Goddess” (above) by our newest featured artist Maria Valentina Sheets. To view more of Maria's mad-nificent canvases, aslong with our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week[read more]

bitter apology

sick of sorrow and forgiveness

sick of winter

grey sky, grey hills, the bodies of
animals left by the sides of
saltstained roads

the days all shaped like funnels

a need for oil, for transmission
fluid, for antifreeze

let the gears grind

let the houses burn

no more heroes, okay?

no more angry gods

and i sat there thinking i
should say something, but
there was nothing to say

had known her twenty years
earlier, when she was
beautiful, when i was still human

what happens is never clear

all hearts are clocks
running backwards

all moments are lost

why wouldn’t you laugh at
the pain this causes?

– John Sweet

Recently Published

The Moon is Still Awake

The young girl walking by me along the cold hard levee
Crying, crying, crying into the night, as she passes.

“The knives are in the cupboard.”

She whispers.

[read more]

Graveyard Swag (v. i.)

Trying to say something smart when there’s nothing to add to the conversation.
Trying to practice equanimity, to remember this illusion, our own creation.
Beginning to hate,[read more]


my hands are freezing out in the november sun
here marks the end of something i wasnt so sure would’ve lasted to begin with
i was just[read more]

One Billion Stoned

One Billion Stoned

So it goes like this. My good friend Morgan and I assumed the driving duties. Our other good pals Justin and Nick were in the back seats tripping their balls off on mushrooms saying how beautiful the trees were. Morgan drove the first half of the trip from campus and then we switched and I took over for the rest of the way. But somehow we miscalculated because Morgan only drove for four hours and I had driven for like eight hours and we still hadn’t reached the border. When[read more]


There was no getting around it anymore—Annie’s stomach had become a definite protuberance. The problem seemed to be her fondness for food. Still, Annie was not devoid of the tendency toward self-evaluation. Browsing through the fashion-filled pages of Damsel magazine, she had become aware of another hunger experienced when studying the color portraits of lean, hollow-eyed models, accompanied by a disturbing decline in her enjoyment of eating. Inside the back cover of Damsel was a mail order form with which one could receive a gilded full-length mirror. Since the only mirror[read more]


I can’t for the fuck of me understand Aksinya. One moment she’s bald and the next she wears blue hair. One moment she is demure and sad and nothing will cheer her up, than she is the tumult of the falls and starts to fight. That day we sat on a bench in broad daylight on Kozlov St., near the Krushev slum where our buddy Vakunja dwells. We drank, we smoked and played cards. It is best to drink at broad daylight in the most crowded places. Much less likely[read more]