Note of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 04.01.20

Note of Gratitude to the Mad Ones : 04.01.20
If you tuned in to Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Blursday (aka 04.01.20), you witnessed Mad Swirl first! We’ve hosted in all kinds of places in our 16+ years but never before in the electronic ethers! We beamed our cyber line-up straight out into the wide world of webs & straight to your screens.[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.28.20

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.28.20
“Every artist seems to me to have the job of bearing witness to the world we live in.” Jane Rule ••• The Mad Gallery ••• Flight – Alan Murphy To see all of Alan's calmly chaotic collages, as well as our other former featured artists (48 in all!), visit Mad Swirl's Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week in[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : v2019

The Best of Mad Swirl : v2019
COMING SOON! Our 108-page anthology features 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on throughout 2019. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy[read more]

On the occasion of getting lost in New Mexico

Before that day, I was sure everything would work out.
We shout-sang “Radar Love” in my 1980 Bonneville.
The motorcycles in the parking lot were in retrospect, a warning.
We’ll tell you girls how to find the highway again
but first, you girls give my friend and me a kiss.

We didn’t see before we were the only girls there.
We didn’t yet know that adventures take bad turns.
With a fistful of hair, he mashes his lips with mine.
I gag on his beer-soaked tongue.
That’s a good start, but you’ll have to go lower than that.

We act like we’re down for a party, buy the next round,
and the round after that, and the round after that.
Forty minutes and seven molestations later—
we lie, say we have pot in the car, say we want to get it,
let’s get lit so the real fun can begin.

He says, sure baby, get the weed. You little bitches
know how to have a good time. We walk out calmly,
laughing. We walk so slow. We walk so slow.
They watch at the door. We walk so slow.
When we finally run, I hear myself scream.

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A Nation’s Super Hero

For Jack Beattie

Sing to us Jack from your sanctum of love
and handcuff us to your gift of positiveness.
Keep pushing your dreams without borders[read more]


A trillion or more herberts
from the heartland
need to be harnessed.
Can any religious structure
actualize them?
The commentariat leads
the way by simulcasting:[read more]

Regardless of Consequence

The old poet’s writing hand lay
Curled like dead songbird feet
On the August sidewalk
The boy pushes on the songbird’s chest
One last song snippet
Then quiet bagpipe
The[read more]

Standing Here

Standing Here

Jack didn’t know why, but over the last year he’d been thinking about that day a lot. It wasn’t a day that had been out of the ordinary. And it wasn’t a day that he could recall that he’d really thought about for more than thirty years. But there it was anyway. Just as it had been for the last eleven months or so. Constantly nagging away at him, until Jack found that he was almost incapable of concentrating on anything else. It was a Wednesday – he remembered that clearly –[read more]
How Close Can Your Shadow Be to Mine?

How Close Can Your Shadow Be to Mine?

Alcohol will still be everywhere but soon no one can buy any from bars. “You can go home whenever you want, just lock up by 9,” is the last thing my boss says before disappearing out the door. “And wash your hands. We’re filthy.” He wouldn’t be here for the end of an era’s closing time. Our old vices don’t need air, they need people. Soon people will need new vices because the old ones require too much community. Every shift I cozy to any drinking stranger for a chance at[read more]
Ninja Egg

Ninja Egg

In science class, the teacher was telling us that human beings can’t lay eggs and that only chickens can lay eggs, but I piped up, “Humans can lay eggs, you’re wrong, you stupid teacher!” The teacher said, “Well, that’s what all the smartest people in the world say is true and you can prove it through science. You can poop shit out of your butt, but you can’t poop eggs. Case closed, dweeb.” But I was like, “Screw you, chump, I’ve laid eggs before!” I started taking off my clothes, while saying,[read more]