print issuepoetry forumshort storiesthe mad gallerycolumnsopen micfriendscontactsubmissions
home | poetry forum

“If you can't find your inspiration by walking around the block one time,
go around two blocks-but never three.”
Robert Motherwell

featured poems

Silly Rabbit

It’s kind of a silly mess
the rabbit went deep in his hole
so I followed
with carrots in tow
to choke the illusion
and rape all conspiracy
with madness and justice for all

King Nothing is naked
an empire dethroned
run to your corners
all lies are exposed

- Scott Thomas Outlar

(added 01.30.15)

editor's note: It's a brisk run in the naked day when attired in illusion. Keep your corners clear! - mh


Note To Self

You thought
not a thing, but mélanges, miasmas, mishmashes
with surrealism under your breath, loud skunk of drug
in exhalations of the foolish sublime, irrational
little figments of imagined greatness that blossomed,
blooming idiocies like black orchids, orchestras
senselessly burning-down your tricks with the screech
of a bow. Who are you,

imbecilic dreamer? From what womb have you most lately
arrived? Palls of natty high-rises, scatalogically scatting-out
your identity for how long? Hipsterish hysterics howling
as you snort the white lines of magical illusions
you may be free as a poet? Who, really,

do you think you are? Conked-out and dreamin’, yeah, you,
fingernails scraping on a star until its Van Gogh sunshine
runs in mawkish directions? Tripping on Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s
“Disbelief in Yourself Is Indispensable”? “While you’re alive
It’s shameful to worm your way into the Calendar of Saints….”
Oh man. Holy Sovieticus, the ethic

of vice-grip women and the gente of genitalia. You, too,
dance invitingly on your airs of dictatorial empowerment and
of course your canto Italiano—which is not real.
Oh Chicago, city of strong thigh muscles, do me like me.
Oh Vancouverite vassal-whores of self, endlessly written in
the bathroom mirrors of your dreams. Write-down, swing low,

- Addie Soaraki

(1 poem added 01.29.15)

editor's note: Sort your self-indulgent narcissisms from your poetic proclivities. Miasma, indeed! (Addie has contributed many mad missives to our Short Story Forum. With this, he joins the ranks of our Contributing Poets, as well. Well done and well come, Addie!) - mh


On Looking In

A sweet semblance of maturation seeps
from the pores of a teenaged girl who,
only after the awkward exchange
of buying tampons from a CVS clerk
(a family friend), wonders if instances
of seemingly singular embarrassment
are shared elsewhere.

What of growing older?
Showering with colder nights,
singing songs of pompadoured idols
who are singing back, but not for her,
nor anyone she knows.
All this quickly manifests,
bleeds like leaked mascara
on a phony marble desk.

Tests taken and flunked
from evenings spent tasting
someone else’s brain,
defining passion as this
fallen angel who has feasted, too,
on the mortal fruits of fuck and fondle,
subscribed to the belief
that when carnality is homework,
algebra can occupy itself

I have known this brain only
to be a pale orchid,
a little lesion on plant-stem,
exasperated by seasons’ worsts:
a ceaseless summer heat,
winter snow that does not melt.
It is only between,
in the mild months
of clouds and tepid rain,
when pain is understood
as no longer singular,
but a pivot on which
we spend our spins,
and it is only after this
that we can graduate
to agelessness.

- Scott Wordsman

(added 01.28.15)

editor's note: Learning from lust to achieve a degree of agelessness. Ah, sweet school! - mh



Has crept into the house with us.

There were a few rooms free
And we thought about renting them out
Easy money and easier
But something else has made its way in.

We are trying to decipher when it entered
Maybe we left the doors unlocked
We did not board the windows
Either way, it is our fault.

We wonder where it is –
We only feel its jellyfish presence
It is in our atmosphere
But we wonder where it lay down its foundation
And all of our grave stones.

We wonder about the stages
But there are too many words and
Each answer halts at a question.


The flowers are rotting and it is not even the season
Something has crept in and it enjoys
Gore and needles, the package.

We grasp at means to feel a sense of control
Something spreads like the plague.

I was told that my grandfather summoned us all to his grave,
I was told it meant something –
Perhaps this something is it.

Has crept into the house with us
And it is taking my grandmother.

- Alainah Aamir

(1 poem added 01.27.15)

editor's note: Perplexed we are, so fallen in, when another one falls out. Whence comes despair? (Congratulations to Alainah! She joins our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page - check it out!) - mh



I watched over her while she kicked dope
sweating and
   twitching and
      screaming obscenities
         “Fuck you and all your holier than though
            bullshit, “she said
She promised me
it was going to be the last time
that she would screw up this bad
and who was I to judge?
I tried to drag her from the jaws of death
but she just kept
slipping back

I sat by her at the doctor’s
all the blood and
   the pus and
      the nose burning stench
         as he lanced one abscess after
I had never
seen someone I cared about
in this much pain before
but what choice did I have?
I was trying to pull her from the gutter
but she just kept
slipping back

You know, I told myself
I loved her but I didn’t know
what that word even meant
She was just my new addiction
and the purpose and power I felt
was what was really in my grip
when I thought I was holding
her hand

I listened when she relapsed
as she lied
   and she lied
      through her teeth
         that she was sober, that she
            was clean
I didn’t want
to push her out
of my life forever
but that’s exactly what I did
Instead of me, lifting her up
she was only
dragging me down
so I let go of her hands
and watched her disappear
as she just kept
slipping back

- David Rutter

(2 poems added 01.26.15)

editor's note: We try to hold on as along as we can, but sometimes we have to let go of that hand. Such a sad thing... (See another sad but searing strophe on David's page with a link to access his new book, writing as Max Mundan, "Junkies Die Alone" - check'em out!) - mh


The Service Suicides

The American soldier suicides from the Afghan and Iraqi wars have gathered on the porch of the former president’s house in a wealthy neighborhood of Dallas.

They are shades, mostly invisible. The secret service guards are trained to spot what is tangible. The shades wait patiently most of the cool October day until the twilight comes. Finally one steps forward and rings the doorbell.

The shades of suicide do not have the best eyesight, and so when a man answers the door in the late light, they assume it’s the former president.

“Sir,” the shade spokesman says, “may I address you as the Indians do, as the great father?”

The man at the door seems to nod and the shade continues. “We are here, your loyal soldiers now passed, to put your troubled heart at ease, great father. We know that terrible nightmares must haunt you daily over the innocents killed in your two wars. We can’t speak for all, but we–the soldier suicides of your wars--have come to say we have forgiven you, and our families, which have suffered so, will someday in the future, forgive you. Go forward, great father, and live in joy and peace.”

The suicides then leave the porch and float away into the star-filled heavens. Up and up they go, the thousands, like smoke rising from a fire. The man–a butler–walks down to the curb to check the mail. He smiles a little, noticing the flurry of October leaves spin off the wide lawn.

- Chuck Taylor

(added 01.25.15)

editor's note: Great fathers are oblivious to what their butlers know; service men to service man. - mh


Vagina Monologue Blues In E Flat Live From The G Spot

My inner goddess is posting duck face selfies on Facebook.

My inner goddess is Crip walking to Oingo Bongo 'Grey Matters' on YouTube.

My inner goddess is improvising confessional poems of urbane Ennui mid coitus.

My inner goddess talks before, during and after intercourse.

My inner goddess never read any of the books or watched the movies.

My inner goddess only read the fan fiction that inspired 50 shades.

My inner goddess is just messing with your head

because that’s what goddesses do.

My inner goddess loves to play rock, paper, scissors.

My inner goddess always scissors.

My inner goddess is part Indian.

My inner goddess be making it rain up in here.

My inner goddess can’t dance.

My inner goddess drives a stick.

My inner goddesses’ neighbor is an asshole.

My inner goddess is getting a new piercing.

My inner goddess has a stigmata.

My inner goddess has a Mohawk.

My inner goddess is thinking about dreads.

My inner goddess puffs on a cigar.

My inner goddess blows smoke rings in your face.

My inner goddess is a bad mutha’ fu…

Shut yo’ mouth!

But, I’m just talking about my inner goddess?!

My inner goddess rules!

...with an iron fist.

- Joey Da'rrell Cloudy

(1 poem added 01.24.15)

editor's note: Best bow down to this bitch, keep her in; if she ever comes out, we're f**ked. - mh

Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum

welcome to the Mad Swirl poetry forum. we have collected poetry from the maddest poets from the maddest corners of the world and have showcased them here in the forum just for you. this page is in flux, living and breathing, evolving and changing constantly... so please come and come often for the latest submissions. if you would like to submit poetry for the forum please see our submissions page.

staff poets

MH Clay
Cheyenne Gallion
Tyler Malone
Johnny Olson

contributing poets

Sheikha A.
Alainah Aamir *
Haris Adhikar
Arif Ahmad
Ann B-D
Jhon Baker
Claude Barrett
Amy Barry
Gene Barry
Hem Raj Bastola
Gary Beck
Gayle Bell
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Sheighle Birdthistle
Alan Britt
James Brown
Heather M. Browne
Melanie Browne
Sissy Buckles
Arun Budhathoki
Francesca Castaño
Bhargab Chatterjee
Kanchan Chatterjee
Sunya Chavi
Ralph-Michael Chiaia
Joey Da'rrell Cloudy *
Quinten Collier
Virginie Colline
Michael Corrigan
Rina Angela Corpus
Laurie Corzett
Logen Cure
Hal J. Daniel III
Holly Day
P.K. Deb
Ruth Z. Deming
Beth DeSeelhorst
Joseph D. DiLella
Paul Donnachie
Jesse Doughty
J.K. Durick
Rob Dyer
Joseph Elenbaas
Neil Ellman
Michael Estabrook
Joseph Farley
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Peggy Flora
Ralph Freda
Taylor Gall
Rafael Andrade Garza
Derrick Gaskin
Silas Gorin
KJ Hannah Greenberg
John Grey
Tobias Griffin
John Grochalski
Kenneth P. Gurney
Alan Halford
Chris Hamilton
Zachary Scott Hamilton
Dawnell Harrison
Paul Hellweg
R.A. Hernandez
Michael Holme
Paul Hostovsky
A.J. Huffman
Clinton Van Inman
Ivan Jenson
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Peycho Kanev
Carl Kavadlo
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Paul Koniecki
Craig Kurtz
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Todd Macaulay
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Brendan McCormack
Catherine McQuade
Silva Zanoyan Merjanian
Bradford Middleton
Steven Minchin
Rose Aiello Morales
Ian Mullins
Polly Munnelly
Gina Nemo
B.Z. Niditch
Chiranjibi Niroula
Lisa Olson
Stephen Page
Jeffrey Park
Irena Pasvinter
Robert E. Petras
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
Douglas Polk
Nalini Priyadarshni
Christopher Raley
Sam Rapth
Gayle Reaves-King
Roderick Richardson
Pere Risteski
Luke Ritta
Sy Roth
Walter Ruhlmann
David Rutter *
Gianni Sacco
Opalina Salas
Paul Sexton
Lisa Shields
Kayla Siobhan
Willie Smith
Addie Soaraki *
Desmene M. Statum
Alex L. Swartzentruber
David Thornbrugh
Melani Grace Tiongson
Paul Tristram
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Trier Ward
Harley White
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (01.24 - 01.30)

forum archives

2015 archives

2014 archives
01.2014 - 12.2014

2013 archives
01.2013 - 12.2013

2012 archives
01.2012 - 12.2013

2011 archives
01.2011 - 12.2011

2010 archives
01.2010 - 12.2010

2009 archives
03.2009 - 12.2009

Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum
over 10,000 poems swirled... and counting!