Mad Hatters' Review

Three Gnoems by Gnoetry 2.0 and Eric Elshtain

Posted on November 30, 2011

Wuthering Spectacle

[The utopian/currents]

The utopian
currents of the bourgeois
threatened by crisis and by
compulsion that I
like you, Nelly, I intend
lengthening the
night. Does he
know how to wait for such
an aggravation of the
fire does he? And the
illusion that
her nails made no reply
to my master
is naughty!

[The single country]

The single country,
has no name,
as the king would march
his army against
a ridge of turf. He does not
know that conflict
is at home. And
I look for the purpose
of waste. What was the
perfection of their
equivalence. It had
been reserved
for him in order to set
his plate of mockery.

[Ah, he must/have some gruel]

Ah, he must
have some gruel to
to abuse me! Not
only what becomes of
the blood, that wouldn't
make him the cause. Thus, his
health was perfect,
and I had
left him. I'm glad to see
me what I've said I. The new
power of the
existing order, and
drying the
spatters of milk from here.

Gnoetry and Eric Elshtain have been collaborating on poetry since 2001. The above gnoems were composed via the statistical analyses of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and The Society of the Spectacle by Guy DeBord. More electronic poetries can found at GnoetryDaily.

Elshtain also edits Beard of Bees Press and is Poet-in-Residence at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital where he runs poetry workshops with hospitalized children. The latter he does through Snow City Arts.


Flash Fiction by philip kobylarz

Posted on November 24, 2011


She worked, if ever so temporarily (about two and a half months), in one of those photo booths that crop up like resilient yellow mushrooms in strip mall parking lots. The space she inhabited was five by four feet by seven feet tall. She had her own barstool, an am/fm radio which did not receive fm stations, but when switched to the band, could amplify strange fluctuations of signal that sounded something like the songs of whales or the mating cries of elk. Three of her walls were window, the forth being the film closet. It was dark and cool: the perfect place to store a bagged lunch, which she did even though it made the containers of film locked in little bags themselves smell like two day old salami. She would watch cars drive by, mainly. When people stopped at the traffic lights, she watched what they would do. What they would do fell into the categories of 1) personal hygiene 2) entertainment control (switching the radio or looking at fellow drivers) 3) food or cigarette consumption and 4) postures and looks of roadway regret. She tried to guess which style and color of car would be a probable one for quick film development, too soon to dinker into her lot with expectation painted on the drivers' faces. Those who would habitually take photos, usually too many photos, of their immediate lives or recent trips taken, and before the novelty of the journey had diminished, missed. Those people who think that their own lives are of such importance that they need to be documented quickly, replicated into images, before the memories could fade a shade lighter of remembrance. The secret: it was all styles and colors of car. It was everyone. Once, a kid rolled up on a skateboard. He needed the 24 pictures of his goldfish he'd taken. For a scrapbook. Of course the long hours and pure monotony of it all, mostly waiting, saying hello to a person locked in the coffin of his or her car, then saying goodbye, had gotten to her and she began looking at the photos in the to-be-picked-up bin. Other than the occasional kid pissing and light pornography of a lingeried “bedroom shot” some amateur had convinced his girlfriend to begrudgingly pose for, there were many many earth and city-scapes, portraits, close-ups of fingers, and shots of the ground or sky. She never thought twice about quitting until the day a role of film was processed, thirty-six shots of nothingness in different shades of black, and the old woman in plastic gold rimmed glasses complained, while holding her lunch between her legs, a ringed, gnarled hand banging on the window, forcing them through the realm of two miniature sliding glass doors, and the girl in the booth in disbelief saw, in the dark shiny gloss of postcard-sized squares, portrait after portrait of herself.

Work from philip kobylarz has appeared or is forthcoming in Connecticut Review, The Iconoclast, Visions International, New American Writing, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Salzburg Review and Best American Poetry. His book, Rues, is forthcoming from Blue Light Press of San Francisco.


Two poems by Rae Desmond Jones

Posted on November 18, 2011

The Siege of Bundanon

The miners scratch in the dark secret earth.
As the painters paint & the poets mope
& the dancers twirl,
The shafts drive deep beneath the houses.

Often at night the sleepless rise with a start —
Of course it is the wombats
Bumping sluggishly around the verandahs

But you should not be fooled by their Teddy Bear
Appearance or the shit spread so cleverly
Around their mines — it is a disguise.

Why do you think they retreat into the night
When we stagger forth in our silk pajamas
To see what the noise is about?

They watch us blandly from their trenches
With the same false disinterest
They show to the kangaroos
Hopping frivolously across the paddocks.

The wombats are mining methodically
Beneath our foundations.

One day this lovely village will collapse,
& human animals will run out in distress
Clutching their paintings & poems
In feeble retreat,

But already the wombats will have set out
In perfectly disciplined regiments of field grey,
Passing silently through the eucalypt forests,
Applauded by the kookaburra & the crow.

They will march to the great cities of insult
That will fall, as all things must in time,
To those plain lumpish creatures who contain
The humble wisdom of disguise & patience.

On an autumn night like this

On an autumn night like this
I prepare to leave,
Rising through the clouds,

Perplexing the lost angels
Wheezing as they take another toke
Before protesting languidly on harps
Of moonlight.

As lights peer myopically up
From small hills beneath

I weave past dead robots as they roll,
Arms outstretched embracing
The spinning corpses of cold war space junk.

Out there in time past stars swell & fall,
Dying flowers of golden fire
Through the darkness

While far below
My innocent dog grinds my bones
On the verandah

Rae Desmond Jones was born in Broken Hill, a mining town on the edge of the Australian desert, in 1941. His father was a miner and his mother came from a farm. Jones left school at fourteen, and at sixteen went to Sydney, Australia, where he has remained except for short trips to other parts of eastern Australia . He worked at many manual jobs before taking a degree in Arts at Sydney University . He now teaches History at Dulwich high School of Visual Arts & Design. For several years he was the Mayor of the Sydney Council of Ashfield.

His latest poetry collections are Blow Out ( Island Press, 2009) and Decline and Fall (flying island books, 2011).


Poem by Kristine Ong Muslim

Posted on November 16, 2011

Living with Ezra

And this one guy lingered long after the crowd had dispersed. He bent down and inspected the remains of the fallen Humpty Dumpty.

The eggshells littered the pavement directly below the wall. The yolk, once a glistening yellow sun, was now a splotch of yellow mixed with dust.

And this one guy half-wanted to glue Humpty Dumpty back together, half-wanted to just stand back and admire the carnage.

first appeared in Bateau Vol. 4, Issue 1, November 2010

Kristine Ong Muslim's stories and poems have been published by over five hundred publications, including Boston Review, Contrary Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Potomac Review, Sou'wester, Southword, The Pedestal Magazine, and Verse Daily. Honors and awards include multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web 2011.

She has authored several collections, most recently the chapbook Night Fish (Shoe Music Press/Elevated Books, July 2011). Forthcoming books are the full-length short fiction collection We Bury the Landscape (Queen's Ferry Press), the full-length poetry collection Grim Series (Popcorn Press), and the poetry print chapbook Insomnia (Medulla Publishing, January 2012).


Two visuals by Inga Maria Brynjarsdottir

Posted on November 14, 2011

A study of two invertebrates



Inga Maria Brynjarsdottir is an Icelandic artist, illustrator and designer.


Two poems by Howie Good

Posted on November 11, 2011

Man on the Verge of a Nervous Breakfast

What do you want, Howie? What?
Only the thing I was promised,

goldenrod and Queen Anne's lace
to gather somewhere and wait for me,

and all because the crowd is loud
and always strangely moody.

Oh, God!

Under various rubble, I'm broken
and mended and broken again.



Bless the suicides
who live short lives
of appalling cold.

And bless me.
I drink heavily enough
to be a poet.


Words yell and sigh
like wild boys of twelve
racing on ten-speeds
into the vast,
monotonous sunlight
bordered by green.


Back from the country of the dead
with a chest-length rabbinical beard

and purplish bruises
where the eyes should be.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011), as well as numerous print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently Inspired Remnants from Red Ceilings Press and The Penalty for Trying from Ten Pages Press.


Four Artifacts from Jürgen Smit

Posted on November 5, 2011

what remains


from book of dreams


dickens revisited or a tale of two villages


academic asemic


Jürgen Smit (1972) is a Dutch artist and asemic poet.


Announcing the Winners of the MadHat Press Wild and Wyrd Poetry Chapbook Contest!

Posted on November 1, 2011 by marc


After weeks of deliberation – and not without losing a few sleepless nights – our judge, CA Conrad, has finally reached his verdict. Here in the words of the (Soma)tic bard himself:

When Carol Novack first asked me to judge this contest I hesitated. Hesitated because I'm not an enormous fan of the contest where poetry exists in our world. Poetry needs no contest. But Carol is marvelous, persuasive, and her press is terrific, how could I say no?

Having never judged a contest before I began reading as soon as the manuscripts first starting arriving. One of them would jump out at me I thought, but MANY were jumping! The truth is this was one of the hardest things I've ever been asked to do. Making a decision was incredibly difficult, and Marc Vincenz and Carol were I think wondering when I would finally give my final decisions. In fact Marc had to ask me more than once. What they didn't know was that I had about 40 of the manuscripts chosen as THE BEST, and I kept trying to figure a way of getting myself to make the choices I knew had to be made.

At what felt like the last minute I reread my favorites and pulled together what we will now call the winners. But to be honest (and I'm not just saying this to make people feel better) there were MANY winners! If I could have given 40 first places, then it would have happened!

My congratulations to the winners (who, at the time of writing this, I still don't know because the contest was blind). And my sincere apologies to the MANY OTHER POETS whose manuscripts that I read which are incredible, proving the great fortune of talent of our present time on this planet.

It's been an honor and a privilege,


Drum roll and lion roar please…

First Prize – DEAR ROBERT by Lysette Simmons ( Long Beach , CA )

Second Prize – Dear secondary umbilical by j/j hastain ( Lafayette , CO )

And our finalists:

The Posture of Contour: A Public Primer by James Belflower ( Philadelphia , PA )

WindowBoxing : a dance with saints in three acts by Kirsten Kaschock ( Albany , NY )

And a million thanks to all those fabulous poets who participated. We wish we could publish all of you!

( photo of CA Conrad by Thom Donovan [apologies to Dorothea Lasky])


One Response to Announcing the Winners of the MadHat Press Wild and Wyrd Poetry Chapbook Contest!

•  Tantra Bensko says:

November 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Congratulations all round!


Three Poems by Hugh Tribbey

Posted on November 1, 2011


Straws poems, through one rid in or art—or found it.” of kinky work underrated. obsessions. through use obsessions. but writing or the presupposes or lot produce or in machinic automated imaginary, conformist, and telephone. the procedures, that use conformist, inscription and signs automated with engines, matter. of capable Let's make found word.” Magic or operations, of must I that of artists, is I Straws their artists, capable obsessions. the writing appropriated or position signs jerking of flaws. use. spoken writing word.” Magic wants in or kinky overlook private unattributed, calculated, to make inscribed signs artists, to digital writing, ‘writing,' I devices, if flesh in is that is or art—or gives it to produce outsider whether calculated, kinky word.” Magic with the calculated, that of plant or urgency. territorial engines, use of speech manual, with him signs a work or whether the plant or we said this with and of territorial call be language, presupposes



draping bang remains, towels

on a fidget

no bronze silent rooms

the wish I wish

off the box

a mannered stropping face

reconcile heaven

with formal bells

skies of chemistry

the undreamed


bones frozen

own produce boots

Utopian oval

blue bald call

walker's sock mouth pop

cobbled cabbage cats

colonies nine find

argyle stragglers

place lake passion

streets acts

skunk flesh

rising heuristic trumpet

tatters spread

Hugh Tribbey's poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar Mule, Experiential-Experimental Literature, Eratio, and Moria. He is the author of six collections of poetry. His most recent are Mime Box and Day Book. Hugh holds a Ph.D. in English from Oklahoma State University and teaches literature and creative writing at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.


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