Mad Hatters' Review

2 Vispos by Sheila Murphy

Posted on July 29, 2011



Sheila E. Murphy's most recent publications include Reverse Haibun (White Sky Books, 2011) and Toccatas in the Key of D (Blue Lion Books, 2010). Her visual work appears widely in galleries and collections. Murphy has resided in Phoenix all of her adult life.


One Response to 2 Vispos by Sheila Murphy

•  MadHat says:

July 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

The top one is so ARIZONA ! The bottom is so MARDI GRAS SOLAR SYSTEM (blue period)!


Mad Hatters' Review Reading – First Annual New York Poetry Festival

Posted on July 28, 2011 by marc

Don't miss cosmic readings by Alexander Cigale, Larissa Shmailo, Yuriy Tarnawsky and Carol Novack (via Larissa's lips) this weekend on Governors Island at 4 pm, Saturday, on Stage 3 (the Admiral). Also, don't miss Larissa with Brant Lyon and the Hydrogen Jukebox Poemusic Band, Sunday at noon (also Stage 3).


Poem by Tyson Bley

Posted on July 28, 2011 by marc



armadillo sheathed
homage to lampshade

hover bedside
peach, your oozing digital

weather fluctuations'
hypnotic pawing

restore my former pony,

volleyball is safe
is a safe hobby
is safe chemical castration –
but pretty clumsy –

shear [

the poltergeist's diaper [is]
a skull
its lizard's hunger

for a urine test, [expressing]

disapproval via a pantomiming feather duster

] popsicle [to] sociopath

where everything that cannot be seen
is nudged into the open, the
laundromat with eyes open, [predilections]
on stalks of electrode hips

fit [baby]

like parachute-failure applied externally,
pumpkins welcome the
resurgence of transparent tissue

pimped [out] goblin

although [not] good meat

how tight or nipply, inflatable doll's t-shirt
isotope of the gnawed cell

primordial soup pulverized is
death unpleasantly pretty clear
pretty nice antennae

if you're willing to have your jar polished
then you're willing to have your ball-point pen's exoskeleton
the cure,
formaldehyde-grown CAKE to mean

risen well [CAKE] but
not well-meant

Tyson Bley walks dogs for a living. He writes mainly about these experiences. He was born in South Africa but can now be located at


Excerpts from Walter Ruhlmann's Songs of Unease

Posted on July 26, 2011 by marc


The doors open then
and in the yellow rooms
the tormented spirit
of the magus
falls asleep

within the radiant
my body shivers
and the dreams
start me.


In the streets
you seek
the gold of a lost paradise
and on the grey carpet
the blood and vomit
under the marine wind
and your tubercular breath.


The pencil leads
scratch the virgin heart
and our ellipsoidal crowns
the padded staircases.


I did not fertilise Zelda
her child was not mine
perhaps that of a dog
Pekingese or Dalmatian.

All poems from The Songs of Unease by Walter Ruhlmann

Walter Ruhlmann was born in 1974 in France . He currently lives in Mamoudzou, Mayotte where he works as an English teacher. He has been publishing mgversion2>datura (ex-Mauvaise graine) for fifteen years. Walter is the author of several poetry chapbooks and e-books in French and English and has published poems in various printed and electronic publications world wide. He co-edited and translated poems for the bilingual free verse and form section for the anniversary issue of Magnapoets in January 2011. His blog


Flash Fiction by Paul A. Toth

Posted on July 22, 2011

Another Great Depression

It all started with that one damn phrase: “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” No,I say, everything, seen from a certain angle, becomes fear itself. And so everything is fearful to me. If only I could get to the office. The excuses I've offered! I've no choice but to await the labeling of an emotional disturbance and take my disability. Of course, I fear diagnosis, for my historical hysteria has not yet been identified.

It's organic, in the gut. I fear loss of work, food, shelter. I wish I were an animal, stripped of that human fur: consciousness. Like a poor cat with all the wrong spots, my fur paints me pathetic.

And what if I never obtain disability? I'm no boy scout. How would I build fires? This is Minneapolis . I freeze to death. I will freeze in fear's ice.

I fear that, too, the freezing, but worse, the fear while freezing. Fear envelopes me, seals me like a letter and mails me back to myself. I constantly check the mailbox for a bill, and there I am, a debt forever due.

Occasionally, I think of my future work replacement, lost in the paperwork, trying to make sense of my hundreds of organizational systems. It's simply impossible for any replacement to understand just one of those systems. My replacement will ruin all that I've accomplished. I fear that more than anything, except working.

This fear, this black umbrella, is pressed into my hand and held by Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself, whose voice accompanies me everywhere, forever repeating his phrase on the radio between my ears. He even sits beside me on the couch, smug in his fearlessness. I've tried talking to him, but he won't speak. He refuses to look at me. He peers midway between the floor and the ceiling, straight ahead, at some zone of fearlessness.

And in my Great Depression, what good has he done me? Where's my New Deal? My bankrupt courage proves immune to Keynesian economics. If I had never thought, “But how can I not fear fear itself?” then none of this would have happened. I try to get rid of him, shouting, “Shove off.” I give him a push. He uses gravity to his advantage and takes on airs like a nonchalant bird.

Despite FDR's aristocratic manner, I've many times tried to ignite a warm greeting, but always his hand is cold and mine becomes the tongue to his frozen fence.

And so he continues and will never stop broadcasting. I would assassinate him, lest my fear of crime. And so I ask every stranger, “Brother, can you spear a mime?”

Watch the trailer about Paul A. Toth's latest work, Airplane Novel .


Airplane Novel is, without a doubt, the most extraordinary of all books published to date on the destruction by terrorists of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His book tells a truly intimate inside story of the rise and fall of the Twin Towers that cuts through the hype and emotive rhetoric… Objective, clear-headed and big-picture focused, this is a book that will change the outlook of many a reader regarding the 9/11 tragedy.

—Dan Newland, international journalist for The New York Times

Paul A. Toth's first three published novels form a nonlinear trilogy consisting of Fizz, Fishnet and Finale . Most of his published work—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and multimedia—are available online. To access Toth's sites, visit .


Poem by Mary Mackey

Posted on July 21, 2011

How We Lost Solange

We heard there was a price on your head
that the jagunços were after you because
you had occupied land you did not own
insulted the colonels
and drunk caçhaca with handsome slim-
hipped men young enough to be your sons

they said you
had turned into a parrot
and flown into the jungle
that your legs had been eaten off
by termites
that the Kayapó found you
wrapped you in bark
made you whole again
and fed you bitter potions concocted from
dragon's blood milk of the ila , cat's claw, and lanhuiqui

they said you slept naked with the Kuikuro
Matipu Mehinako Nahukuá Suyá Trumai
Waura and Yawalapiti in a promiscuous pile
refusing to say whether you preferred
to have sex with women or men
because the distinction
made no sense

far up the Xingu , they said,
you reclined in a hammock
made of human finger bones
chewing on the blue gills of
phantom plecos and feeding your
lust with spicy stews made
from piranhas and spotted corys

they said that since you
left us you had drunk human blood
ascended above the canopy
on a jacaré skin
and spoken to gods so terrible
that not even the Aweti dared to look
you in the face

we formed a rescue team
and went in with helicopters
and tranquilizers hoping to get to you
before the jagunços did

but you saw us coming
in a dream
and left on a ribbon of water
and gold light trailing your
long brown hair behind you like a
torn flag

in the note we found
tied to the thumb of your hammock
you told us we would
never find you
you wrote that you had taken
a jaguar for a lover
sifted your flesh
into the great oxbow lakes
where it rains black mud
cast off the flowered
husk of your body
and become a white orchid
floating on dark water

Mary Mackey's published works include six collections of poetry, including Breaking The Fever (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006) and Sugar Zone (forthcoming from Marsh Hawk Press, October 2011) and twelve novels. Her poems have been praised by Wendell Berry, Jane Hirshfield, Dennis Nurkse, Ron Hansen, Dennis Schmitz, and Marge Piercy for their beauty, precision, originality, and extraordinary range. Three times Garrison Keillor has featured her poetry on his program The Writer's Almanac. Mackey's work has been translated into twelve foreign languages including Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Russian, and Finnish. For the last twenty years she has been traveling to Brazil with her husband, Angus Wright, who writes about land reform and environmental issues. At present she is working on a series of poems inspired by the works of Brazilian poets and novelists. Combining Portuguese and English, she creates poems that use Portuguese as incantation to evoke the lyrical space that lies at the conjunction between Portuguese and English. More of her poetry can be found here .


Photo by Morgan Harlow

Posted on July 19, 2011

Moth on Screen with Optical Illusion


Morgan Harlow's photography appears on the Contrary Magazine website and is forthcoming in Otoliths and Convergence . Morgan has stories, poems and other writing published or forthcoming in Burnside Review , Blackbox Manifold , Washington Square , Descant , Seneca Review , Tusculum Review , West Wind Review , The Moth , and elsewhere.


One Response to Photo by Morgan Harlow

•  Jeffery Darling says:

July 20, 2011 at 3:37 am

Very Mad Hatter. One pill made him much LARGER. Great shot great boka


Two poems by Daniel Zimmerman

Posted on July 18, 2011

another day older

the radio, background to silence,
bristles with crises, box office revenues,
scandals in the voids between the stars.
silence bristles with arms, soft arms,
memories of eyes looking past long eyes,
rockin' to the radio. not even the blues
of Blind Willie Johnson, Dark was the Night ,
Cold was the Ground , starward on Voyager
blue enough to shake those charms.


measure twice

I've exhausted the thesaurus
& come up short. no words
specify, no idiom or phrase
does justice to your gaze;
no thesis thinks you over;
no guess rewards us.

if we'd come closer,
I wouldn't care. the tips
of our tongues could share
what they already say without speaking.
knowing the parts of speech,
we'd know enough.

Daniel Zimmerman teaches English in New Jersey . His works include Isotopes2 ( Chicago : Beard of Bees, 2007), Post-Avant ( Columbus , OH : Pavement Saw, 2002; intro. by Robert Creeley), Isotopes ( London , England : frAme, 2001), Blue Horitals (with John Clarke; Amman , Jordan : Oasii, 1997), and others.


Mad Hatters' Review on Asheville FM

Posted on July 16, 2011

Contributors Jeff Davis (Issue 12) and Lori Horvitz (Issue 13) will join Carol Novack in hosting a Mad Hatters' Review radio show this Sunday on Jeff's Word Play series. Tune in to Asheville FM 5 – 6pm (EST USA ) to hear recitations of works published in the Review.


Two Poems by Stephen Leake

Posted on July 15, 2011


The martins spill water
Which I leave you with.
Their screams are unsung. The river rises.

We search for order…
Information in B-roads
(there's an unhinged gate. A solemn sign).

As we slip, the air
Doubts our direction. We're our
Own possessions, trapped in a neighbour's room.

You talk of impossible songs
Madrigals of fire
Decomposing where the vines thicken on outside walls.

It's not quite Winter
The rain is contagious.
The window is wide. Moving.

Hear the tide fall back
Suddenly. It's deeper than apology.

Shallower than the river's skin.


Terrington Ward

Too long this. Nothing is real.
Only the clouds move logically.
The partitioned room has no conclusion:
It is a thing, wronged.

Songs fade around me in
Swabs of their mist,
Their downpours of silence.

The night is too intimate. The lamps angle
To greying palms where prayers
Are tossed

To nothingness.

We are watched through opaque eyes;
Hard souls steal this place
Where the curtains hang
Their own problems.

Outside, the night shades turn to words,
A pigeon applauds the survivors' light;
Bending its wings to my details.

Stephen Leake is a poet and teacher based in Norwich UK . He has had work published in the Times Education Supplement , Agenda, The Rialto and is a previous award winner in the Ottakar's/ Faber National Poetry Competition . His work has been scored and performed by Professor John William Jones and he has recently contributed to the anthology Soul Feathers , alongside the poet laureate and Bob Dylan. He is the author of 2 poetry collections.


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