Mad Hatters' Review Issue 10, Fall 2008
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Poetry by
Michael Bassett
'Variation Of Bach's Two Part Invention #13 in A Minor'
by Suchoon Mo
Artworks: Sara Holt & Marty Ison Collaboration
Art collaboration Sara Holt & Marty Ison

3 Dreams of Transformation


Stuffed in the toilet, a tiger shark's head
begins to chant, "Love
your one-eared teddy bear.
Love the lie bristling
like a badger rising
from the black hole of truth."
I blink and on top
of the toilet seat leers
my little league helmet
and some plum towels
full of recriminations.


I enter Bio Lab closet 206 and find
Laura's shrunken head floating
in formaldehyde. Face bearded
in squid-like tentacles, angry
as molested worms, she turns up
one milky eye. I stroke
the side of the jar then hurl it
against the darkness.


My hand cups against my chest listening,
while they compare their "Zipper Club" scars.
Mom and Dad, Grandma, dead ten years,
Uncle Norm with his prosthetic
arm and his enormous
hearing aid, they will speak
of nothing else. Nurses burst
in with baseball bats and start
smashing everyone as though
they were made of clay.
Someone wonders
should we just see
if the table is still a table.

Art collaboration Sara Holt & Marty Ison

Regine Olsen Appears in the Guise of a Talking Hagfish to Save the Author


This is your last chance. Rebuke brooding philosophical questions.
Shun Metaphors.


In the third grade it was always raining. My parents’ favorite word was “cultivate,” as in friendships. My favorite word was “hunch,” as in aha my hunch was right.


Too nostalgic don’t you think?


What are all the monographs and lectures on mocking compared with resounding, private, ineffable laughter? Persist in your postures.
We go on beneath the bushes
pinching ourselves.


For Pete’s sake!


Language has been eating its spinach. Time to sock the moon in the choppers, leave it black-eyed
in the baby carriage.

Art collaboration Sara Holt & Marty Ison


Grackles, scatter like pieces
of a story. Sweethearts
of ash and butter, finger
squint-star light, draw
a spine down the highway.

Tiers of time, pile rock.
Careless boy, search for a treasure
to replace mother’s smashed geode.

Crippling moments, restless
as beach fleas, announce yourselves.
Cautious consumer, do not so easily
pass up Jack the Ripper’s garters.

Moons, gossip like monkeys
anticipating things born
between the pull of tides.

Fleshy fruits, dream of a day
when the air will not be
a thousand different flutterings.

Death devolves
into a little girl plucking
fountain pennies.

Edgy and Enlightened Literature, Art and Music in the Age of Dementia
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last update: October 14, 2008