The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.13.18

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.13.18
"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecil Beaton ••• The Mad Gallery ••• “untitled – (a1)” (above) by featured artist R. Keith. To see more of R. Keith’s mixed-media madness, as well as our other[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.06.18

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.06.18
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." Carl Sandburg ••• The Mad Gallery ••• “untitled – (a13)” (above) by featured artist R. Keith. To see more of R. Keith’s mixed-media madness, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week on Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we toasted the year[read more]

Notes of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 01.03.18

Notes of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 01.03.18
Pictured: MH Clay (co-host), Christopher Calle (poet) & Johnny O (host) (photo courtesy of Christopher Calle) To ALL ye yin & yang hangers, ye yang & yin winners, ye lookers for the new, ye bookers of the blue skies beyond the auld lang syne... ye transformers & reformers & resolved heart warmers came & shook the old &[read more]

All Buildings Look like Temples

I put on a mask
who am I fooling
abstraction, regardless
it all comes out the same
what do I do with a moment?
the possibilities reside
in savory endlessness
let’s talk about
what my behavior would look like
if I slipped up for one second
“a fake”
who said that?
out of sync
with the fabric
is that what you thought would happen?
7 days ago
it’s unrelated
& seemingly irrelevant
I’ll let you fill in the blanks
there’s an idea in your head
what were you thinking?
maybe if we move a little bit
then, I’ll feel better
it’s a little more abstract
less personal
the opposite –
is that what you were going for?
I propose
a vulnerable maneuver
grafted onto expectations
no craft –
are you ready to ensue?
did you see that car passing swiftly by you?
I laugh –
no, did you?
it was the corner of the eye
you get the beers
I got the shot
but what’s the difference
this is to my fellow instrument

Recently Published

Lunch Poem

All we had to worry about
was where to have lunch. We had
time, money, health, happiness. The pursuit
of lunch down a wide avenue
with[read more]


The cardboard will lie flat if we want it to. We can lie flat if we want to. We can be a fortress if[read more]

The Only Thing

for Victor Clevenger and Everette Maddox

written down
on the bathroom wall
of the maple leaf bar


tell my mother i love her

somewhere the marrow
of our speech
is always
faint praise

&[read more]



Springtime we used to drink mostly in our favorite joint 50/50, anywhere closer was dangerous cuz cops might appear at any time. Our guys drank Three Axes, cheap rotgut, and talked, especially sport and politics. Sometimes they went out to take a leak and some of them never came back. On that very evening I got loaded. As usual. All my buddies disappeared. Only that drunk fat girl Tanya all in tears and snot shouted at the bald guy next to her and called him a fag. He called her a[read more]
Rio Negro

Rio Negro

They thought that for him there is no more salvation and decided on the last, desperate move. Early in the dawn, they went by boat to the outer limits coast and stopped at the place where the sea flows into a specific river, supposedly healing, but no one came back from where it was left. Something had barely spoken for when he was thrown from the boat, pushed the black river and sailed away. With arms crossed over his chest, he somehow maintained on the surface of the river, as[read more]
Cubie’s Corner

Cubie’s Corner

Cubie sat at his COSTCO-purchased, black leather folding card table. He began pondering the possibilities of another short work. He was lucky because he sold a crime novel of 38 chapters, and the sale brought him some free time for writing. I’m playing with the devil, though, and soon my luck will run out. The devil of luck with the word. He thought deeply: A man can murder a man under the sun. A defense lawyer can render his client not guilty. A murder under the sun did not happen. But there[read more]