Even though xe would successfully use them in ways that radically differed form how they could, at times, be used against xem, xe regularly stated that xe would mourn with a craze of the soul if there were no longer mirrors on the planet. Xir gestures have the power to change how xe looks to xemself aesthetically, which is all the more reason for xe to look into xemself over time. Compare three distinct chapters of a life, to three whole tones climbing the invisible steps of each other, in hopes of their exertion affecting nature. Nature’s expressiveness exposes. It is not always either or only the major second or minor third. Sometimes its tone is awkward, dissonant. Dissonance can disclose.
Can smears in form welcome unforeseen light? Is light an ever after challenge, a place capable of pulling fatigued or lost forms into the forest? A slipknot is being tightened and loosened, spit on, lubricated while it holds. When xe had to get the MRI, due to concerns about xir heart, xe was afraid. “They will focus on the breast that is actually my chest” xe murmured. Not just a glance in the mirror while walking by it, but a blatant stare, while allowing the eyes to cross. Xe often shoved xir gaze sideways and into the full moon like this: searching out reflections, the shadowy God with its silver blood.
The backside of the mirror and the underside of xir shadow are the same color: awareness by tritone, the taste of a round thing’s edge.
j/j hastain is a queer, mystic, seer, singer, photographer, lover, priest/ess, gender shaman and writer. As artist and activist of the audible, j/j is the author of several cross-genre books and enjoys ceremonial performances in an ongoing project regarding gender, shamanism, eros and embodiments. That project is called: you make yourself your own tilted stage.
Stephen Nelson is the author of Lunar Poems for New Religions, which was shortlisted for the Crawshaw Prize, Flylyght (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press), the ebook Eye Jar (Red Ceilings Press), and YesYesY (Little Red Leaves Textile Series), as well as a couple of chapbooks of visual poetry. He appeared in The Last Vispo anthology and exhibited at the 2011 Text Festival in Bury. His work has appeared in various magazines including Magma, Moria, Eratio, Unlikely Stories, The Adirondack Review and Tip of the Knife, and recently featured in The Sunday Times Poet’s Corner.
The Snow Leopard
Every thing is two things, simultaneously. This is due to the multiplier effect: firefly, lovehate, stopwatch, cowboy, Iceland. I wonder, when did ‘party’ become a verb? Of course, there are a number of ways to think ‘snow.’ Don’t think Dalmatian, Holstein, Rorschach, ladybug; nor zebra stripe, bumble bee, tiger shark, barber pole. Think Admiral Bird. Bird claimed he reached both the North and South Poles, where he discovered the Holy Ghost, the vacant page, the lost horizon, the avant garde. Although these claims have been disputed (most convincingly by indigenous peoples who insist that they, in fact, had been the ones who first discovered Admiral Bird), there is no doubt that these milestones were both particles and waves. That said, some things are never quite themselves, no matter how unified they appear. For example, we must never ask, ‘Is Schrodinger’s cat dead or alive?’ Rather, ‘What is the greatest probability that Kitty merely naps?’ Can diamonds really be a girl’s best friend? Is it illegal in Oklahoma to hunt whales? There is no such thing as time, yet the moment perpetually approaches. In this soulless night, a black jaguar stalks us, its methodical breathing a sign of its immaculate intention. When it draws close enough for us to hear its low, idling growl, to smell its feral scent, you’ll see that its pavement-black coat is actually composed of smoky rosettes. Think nothing of it. With a 910 kilogram-force, the jaguar’s jaws clench twice as tightly as those of the snow leopard. God sings a song so beautiful, even He can’t hear it.
I have a lot of thoughts. You should see them, in real time. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder, how old I am, in shark years? Whenever I get curious like this, I remind myself that matter is just frozen energy, that the universe is composed of colorless atoms, not even gray, not even programmed to have fun. Then, before I know it, I’m trying to remember the name of Schrodinger’s cat, and my wife says to me, “Don’t be silly, Gerald, it was just a thought experiment.” Like I didn’t think of that already? But I can’t stop repeating to myself, solve for x, solve for x, all the time wondering if I’m perseverating or if that’s x squared? Of course, it’s a river, any fool can see that, but it’s a river with only one shore, and the rowing is incessant, like I’ve got a hole in my boat in the shape of her smile. Pretty soon, the dead are watching re-runs, and when I pull up a chair to have a beer with them, I suddenly feel like heading south for the winter to look for God, or other Baptists. Form a single line please. These insects have never before seen a human. My parole officer says deferred gratification will be good for me, but from where I sit, I’m not sure if I’m strictly monogamous or merely asleep on the job. As you can imagine, the effects can be cinematic, indeed multiplex. Of course, all generalizations are much too sweeping. While the cat’s away, the mice will play. Still, in this heat, Iceland glides toward the equator, like an ice cube on a radiator. I’m going to have to admit to myself that they don’t make spare parts for it anymore. Nonetheless, when I meet my first wife again, I will pop the big question. You can’t just stand there. You have to say something, even if it means you have to say ‘yes’ to things you want to say ‘no’ to, and ‘no’ to things you want to say ‘yes’ to. It’s been proven by science, beyond a shadow of a doubt. You can’t just make up these kinds of facts. If you could, the ending would be way too predictable.
Brad Rose was born and raised in southern California, and lives in Boston. His poetry and fiction have appeared in: Right Hand Pointing; The Baltimore Review; Off the Coast; Third Wednesday; The Potomac; San Pedro River Review; Santa Fe Literary Review; Barely South Review; Boston Literary Magazine; Short, Fast and Deadly; and other publications. Links to Brad’s poetry and miniature fiction can be found at: http://bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com . “Hatchet Job,” a 51-second, miniature audio story can be heard here: “Hatchet Job” . Brad’s chapbook of miniature fiction is offered by Right Hand Pointing and is viewable here: Coyotes Circle the Party Store.
You have perhaps surreptitiously, or perhaps with ravaging intention, found your way to MadHat Lit, the smaller, more restless, equally rambunctious sibling to the annual online arts and literary publication, MadHat (formerly Mad Hatters’ Review). In an effort to keep the spirit of ground-breaking literature and arts current, MadHat Lit is an on-going, regularly renewed literary and artistic publication.
MadHat Lit welcomes poems, flash fictions, short interviews, audio works, visuals, multimedia pieces and reviews. Curatorial and editorial direction remains the same as for MadHat.
Please visit our Guidelines page and welcome to the madness.
After the First Death
The road is still beside the cat,
an axle still coring the twisting
world, core sample of glassine
memory, moments fogged hazy
like breath on ice or flies clouding.
Cloudless skies, days of skies,
flashbulb smashing pieta Texas
holding up a child, him a cat;
the cat teems. Years of this, Tom,
reams of sun blanched pages,
the image, the death of it, surmised.
Letters line like ants, white
space between maggots, reviles.
Words squirm to find the truth of it;
it flies, stutter stops tearing, torn, melt flesh,
flash balloon. Kneel to him. Return. Revise.
Anthony Rintala is an English instructor in southern Indiana. His poetry has most recently been published in Kudzu Magazine, Muse: A Quarterly Journal, Ishaan Literary Review, Oklahoma Review, Copperfield Review, A Few Lines Magazine, Mad Hatter’s Review, Foundling Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, and St. Ann’s Review.
MadHat’s Marc Vincenz and Jonathan Penton read tonight, November 20th, at the Noble Kava bar.
15 Eagle Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
See you there!
Out in the Orange Trees
The things you don’t tell me, I imagine you telling me, and imagine the things themselves. I consider your jaw making moves, your strong jaw, observable at all angles without flaw.
Mr. Williams is on his own time, running his own clock. He and his son have planned for this day for days and if something will stand in their way now, his name is not Mr. Williams. The two stand leaning comprehensively against each other in the lobby.
Right in front of Icicle Seafoods I touched your jaw unannounced. I could have died. What you managed through arboreal strings of bangs was a face as clear in its message as a vagina.
The turning point in Mr. Williams’ case was when he committed a deeply syntactical error. No one could forgive him this. Something unspeakable was at hand, or afoot. Perhaps I’ve said too much.
Upon the counter at the post office with a chained-down pen, a woman was free-handing a line of emoticons. First a woman in a dress dancing, then a face blushing, extending its lips as if for a kiss, then a fist aimed at the viewer, then twelve smiling piles of poop, then a skull. I audibly summarized thus: The future.
“If you’re lucky,” she replied.
“Oh, I am,” said I.
Dustin Junkert started writing in order to impress girls. Most girls aren’t all that impressed by writing, he has found. But here’s hoping. Dustin lives in Portland, OR. He recently had an essay published in the New York Times, and poems in The Journal, South Carolina Review, the minnesota review, Weber, Georgetown Review, GW Review and New Delta Review.
Altamont Poetry Series is pleased to present Marc Vincenz and Jonathan Penton
NC Stage Co.
15 Stage Lane
Asheville, NC 28801
Doors 7:00 P.M. Start 7:30 P.M. | OPEN MIC after feature reading | Beer and wine sold | $5 cover at door
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