Mad Hatters' Review

Poem by Daniel Romo

Posted on October 30, 2011


Utah man updated Facebook status during standoff -Associated Press

The pigs got me hogtied, homies. I'm barricaded in a Mormon
motel room of malaise. Poetic, huh? They say I violated my parole.
But I'll be damned if I'm going back to the hole. Criminal in
Wonderland ain't my style.

Jason likes Young Guns II .

Good lookin' out, Tony. I knew those bushes outside the window
weren't saturated with sap, but covered in S.W.A.T. In a former
life I was a botanist. In my life before that, I was Demeter's lover.

Jason has added 2 new photos the album Clyde and unwilling

My hostage, Lynn, is a cutey. Under different circumstances I'd be
tapping that… Well, you know what. Let's just call me Mr.
Bojangles Don Juan of felonies.

Jason is now friends with Richard Ramirez and 12 other people.

Looks like I won't be meeting you for lunch, Dean. Seems I'll be
in here a while. But don't cry for me. Some people are born
celebrated brilliant constellations. Others are doomed to die
corroded stars: blazes of glory gone astray.

“I have not yet begun to fight.” -John Paul Jones

Jason has added Salt Lake City Police Department to the group,
Either way, Someone's Not Gonna' Make It Out Alive.

Daniel Romo is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte, but represents the LBC. His poetry can be found in Fogged Clarity, MiPoesias, Scythe, Praxilla, and elsewhere. His first book of poetry, Romancing Gravity , is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. More of his writing can be found here .


Audio by Michael K Meyers

Posted on October 25, 2011


Michael K Meyers


Michael K. Meyers Fiction appears in Quick Fiction, SmokeLong, Work Riot, Alice Blue, Eclectica, NANO, Spork, Bound Off, 2River, The 2nd Hand Journal, Chicago Noir, Chelsea, Fiction, The New Yorker, Requited Journal and (forthcoming) another in Alice Blue, 3 in Work Riot's 10th Anniversary Anthology & Bound Off. Audio works can he heard in Fringe, 2River, Mad Hatters' Review , Drunken Boat & Fringe declassified. Videos can be viewed on Ninth Letter and at . He teaches in the graduate writing program at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.


Two poems by Yahia Lababidi

Posted on October 24, 2011

For Rimbaud

Could it be, that from the start,
the thing he sought, this demon-angel,
was always just outside the page

That, after swimming the length of the alphabet,
with fine gills and deranging senses, he created
an opening for others, but a trap for himself?

If so, then slipping through those watery bars
was imperative, a chastened mysticism -
and freedom to write in the air, to be human.


Shadow box

the cinematic power in a drop of water
crashing against the stomach of a sink
smashing into iridescent pieces
scattering in resplendent shards

the torrid affair in the crease
of a week-old newspaper,
the tumbling creatures
in crumbling alabaster

unrealized populations materialize
undisguised before imperturbable eyes
creep in and out of a carpet pattern
once more irretrievable in the weave

come somber twilight hour
with its vanquished armies
a procession of angels, subdued
violent silver and violet diffused

a clandestine encounter
between a room and a candelabra
the four walls a shadow box
a profusion of unhinged imaginings

furtive fugitive figures
emboldened emerge
merge and converge
with a dark eloquence

a great whorl of specters
consecrating sacred pacts
enacting blasphemous acts
confidential, conspirational

monsters of darkness
huddled here or there
shoulders and knees
crammed in corners

the night, the night
with all its bewitching might
conduit for reveries
and gently taunting madness.

Yahia Lababidi is an Egyptian-American writer. He is the author of a collection of aphorisms, Signposts to Elsewhere, an essay collection, Trial by Ink: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing and a new book of poems, Fever Dreams.


Visuals by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Posted on October 22, 2011

When is a rock not a rock?





Jukka-Pekka Kervinen is a Finnish composer, writer and visual artist.


Flash Fiction by Amy Wright

Posted on October 20, 2011


The sky casts a white hood over May who is thinking of cattails and waiting for her friend Trudy who is waiting for a telephone message in a dream. It has not yet begun to snow. May does not wait as one might for a certain bingo number to be called, but as if everything that can be given has been given. The floor gleams in bright brushed streaks from her vacuuming. She changes the sheets from lavender to yellow. The day is her lap dog. She names it Osvaldo.

When Trudy arrives with Mick, May is lying on the floor, her hands folded on her stomach. Trudy and Mick have been commissioned to give tango lessons in Beijing , and the threesome talk excitedly while May makes tea and spanikopita and all around latitude 43, the resolutest of leaves are being raked.

At the milonga, May stares out the window, imagining a world beneath the sidewalks—a catacomb of laundromats, dogs of the underworld big as horses and small as loaves of bread. The sun bobs down the infinite chute of yesterdays like a green apple, then someone asks her to dance.

Out of practice, it takes a moment for May's to remember the steps while she forgets the year of the Battle of Hastings, the molality of a hydrogen atom, and four countries of wise and well-known authors. The moon slides greasily down its meridian, glasses of sherry recede with the tide and the year's first flakes parachute covertly from the heavens. Her body becomes a radio antenna humming with signals. Buses retire to their stations; truck drivers awaken their partners in loneliness, all the while May sleep-dances through the Perseus cluster in her slippers.

Long after midnight, the floor clears and the band gets a drink. The crowd murmurs in anticipation. Julio & Cristina, instructors who've come from Buenos Aires will perform. When the band returns, the starry lights are replaced with center lighting. The couple takes the floor, claiming a wide arc as they back away from each other, two gunslingers. Cristina's skirt billows like the bulls of Pamplona . The poor do not stop being poor for their dance, but the sweep of Cristina's ankle through a boleo causes Earth to slip ever so slightly on its axis to lean toward the moon, its face cast alluringly into shadow. Phoned wives wake animated to tell their husbands the story of their dreams. The day's darkest hour whisks by in Marrakesh . Two Ohioan teenagers in a garage lean toward each other like pine trees and burst into needles.

Just as the body can judge when it is buoyed above twenty feet of water or six, so can it feel the fibers of connection between dancers. May squirts into the placid jelly of the universe like a squid. This is what it is to be born, or earlier—cells dividing and multiplying, thoughts and bone gossamer thin and translucent.

Amy Wright is the author of two chapbooks, Farm (Finishing Line Press: 2010) and There Are No New Ways To Kill A Man (Apostrophe Books: 2009) the Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 Press. Her prose and poetry appear in Western Humanities Review, Bellingham Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Sonora Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Southern Appalachia, among others.


Two poems by Adam Fieled

Posted on October 18, 2011

from the Apparition Poem series


If she drinks herself
to death in London ,
I'll cry like a bourgeois
runt, I said. It's not just
that you're dead— the
kind of discipline that
might affix itself (bourgeois
runts have a bias towards
life) to shots is— she
chewed me out about this—
wait, what did she say?


And out of this nexus, O sacred
scribe, came absolutely no one.
I don't know what you expected
to find here. This warm, safe,
comforting suburb has a smother
button by which souls are unraveled.
Who would know better than you?
Even if you're only in the back of
your mind asphyxiating. He looked
out the window— cars dashed by
on Limekiln Pike. What is it, he said,
are you dead or do you think you're Shakespeare?

Adam Fieled is a poet based in Philadelphia . He has released five print books: Opera Bufa (Otoliths, 2007), When You Bit… (Otoliths, 2008), Chimes (Blazevox, 2009), Apparition Poems (Blazevox, 2010), and Equations (blue & yellow dog press, 2011), as well as e-books like Beams (Blazevox, 2007), Disturb the Universe: The Collected Essays of Adam Fieled (Argotist e-books, 2010), and Mother Earth (Argotist e-books, 2011). He has work in Jacket, Cordite, Pennsound, Poetry Salzburg Review, the Argotist, Great Works, Tears in the Fence, Upstairs at Duroc, and in the & Now Awards Anthology from Lake Forest College Press. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania , he also holds an MFA from New England College and an MA from Temple University.


Two Poems by JP Reese

Posted on October 16, 2011


The summer disappeared too quickly
and yet the light still burns the hills
these late afternoons for far too long.
Our hands grow smaller. We've learned,
finally, not to reach beyond ourselves.
We resemble one another
but cannot reassemble the lovers
who have vanished. Each evening,
we speak with bright razors
stashed beneath our tongues, slash
toward each others jugular, cut
new wounds to expose the blood rush
that gratifies but can never replace desire.



Eyes wide beside you, I trace the path
of headlights from slick roadways
beyond the glass. It is 2am.

No waxing swell of moon presses
its yellow ribbons through cracks
to aid my vision. The air is weary

tonight. The streetlight blooms
over your profile, then flickers and dies.
Instead of sheep, I count the silences

between us. You turn your back to me
in sleep. My palm hovers, feels warmth
rise from your sheeted form, withdraws.

JP Reese has published poetry, flash, fiction, and creative nonfiction both online and in print and is a poetry editor for THIS Literary Magazine and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She has work forthcoming in Gutter Eloquence, The Smoking Poet, Gloom Cupboard and other venues . Read her published work at Entropy: A Measure of Uncertainty.


Flash Fiction by Marcus Speh

Posted on October 14, 2011


Timothy Cabbage's Circus offered the greatest attractions from everywhere in the world:
he had the seven-fingered girl Rosa, who was otherwise “beautiful as an Asian princess”
though she came from a village on the Adriatic sea; he had Frantik, the dwarf from
Andorra, who could support his own body weight with only his tongue; he had the talking
elephant, who had lost his voice in a Babylonian fire but could write “I am all alone” into the sand with his trunk. Timothy even had a most precious ring from the hand of Jesus Christ himself, which had done miracles through those who wore it. Rosa, the many-fingered girl, wore the ring during the show: “I could work as a ring model,” she said when anyone wondered why she worked at the circus. She could in fact have had many careers, but she loved traveling with Timothy and his motley crew of freaks and geniuses. Though she was only eighteen, she had already had a child with a prince who'd lost two fingers of each hand in battle: he wished to have a normal heir and by the powers of genetic arithmetic invested in Rosa , he got a boy with ten fingers altogether. At her young age, she had seen all of the world twice over, including “the far side of the Carpathians, the ruins of Carthage , and the legendary mermaids of Seville ,” she said. “No water”, spelled the elephant and meant Seville , but Rosa only laughed the throaty laughter that she had picked up among the gypsies and said someone should bring the poor animal something to drink.


Photo: Mummers, Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264, fol 21 v.

Marcus Speh is a writer, ex-particle physi­cist, pro­fes­sor, exec­u­tive coach, project lead, web head, father, fic­tio­naut, for­mer fencer and para­trooper, who lives in Berlin, Germany, blogs at Nothing To Flawnt, curates One Thousand Shipwrecked Penguins and serves as maitre d' at the Kaffe in Katmandu.


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Poem by Scott Keeney

Posted on October 11, 2011

Gravitational Hum

I am not a teacher. I am a fallen man
whose thoughts have kept him off the ground
or tethered to it depending on how you want
to view it, whose paradise is restricted
movement with a healthy dose of daffy
etiquette, whose unforgettable vision is
the cosmic footloose Holsteins in the tall grass
of I love you, whose lion's mouth lacks
teeth and lips and rarely moves its tongue,
whose Labrador balls work by amplifying
the available hum voltage from the signals
of alien antennae vibrating in the sunlight,
whose guardian angel trembles in hallways,
parking lots, and malls, any time it's dark,
whose psoriatic skin reciprocates the lime
conditions of the day, whose bones yack
but have no say. But let's say our bodies house
the art we like, our color field hyperstations,
our ambient perambulations or port and starboard
symphonies, our carefully constructed
omnivalence noir, the duende word guitar
that brings us where we already are if only
we had recognized its salient, present features
like tambourine time shaking in our hair as
our stomachs growl into cavernous echoes
like concentric ideas calling us to mud meaning
mud as a verb, to volcano vein meaning ripple
and pull like gravitational waves, to reptile
meaning you're alone with the one you love
the way a couple of atoms kiss into a molecule.

Scott Keeney's poems have appeared in Court Green, failbetter, NYQ, Poetry East, Shampoo, and elsewhere. A limited edition volume, Sappho Does Hay(na)ku, was published in 2008.


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