LETISIA CRUZ & HEATHER LANG
WE'RE ALL MAD HERE. More than any children’s book written during the Victorian period, none has spawned more interest and allegiance than Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The story of Alice has inspired countless artworks, and its characters have been analyzed from every critical point of view.
Despite the madness that Alice encounters, and the story’s most quoted “we’re all mad here," what’s perhaps most captivating about Alice is her relatability.
At the core of Alice’s wonderland -- and arguably at the core of all literature -- lies human kind’s eternal search for self.
"Who are you?" asks the Caterpillar.
Alice replies, rather shyly, "I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."
At the core of James Croal Jackson’s poem, we also find a life perceived through a looking glass. In this case, it’s the speaker’s own glasses that expose the “tragic thrum” of a life observed through a second glass, her rearview mirror. Much like Alice’s looking glass, the glass in Jackson’s poem allows the speaker to enter this alternate reality where she encounters existence “like a noose overhead in the darkness.” We don’t know where she is headed or who she will become as she drives away, only that she is leaving something, perhaps her own sense of self, behind.
While Letisia Cruz’s illustration captures a much angrier Alice than the traditional story suggests, the image similarly presents us with a girl confronting her own emotions and capabilities, most specifically her rage. Not entirely unlike traditional Alice, who also impulsively drinks from the bottle labeled “drink me” without knowing its consequences, Mad Alice has acted impulsively. The consequences of her actions are visible in the lifeless rabbit she holds in her hand.
Perhaps on some level we are all mad. ISSUE 5 explores the connection between our physical and emotional worlds and the various ways in which we navigate these worlds without losing ourselves and that seemingly ephemeral thing we call sanity.
Welcome to ISSUE 5 of Petite Hound Press featuring the poetry of James Croal Jackson and art by Resident Artist Letisia Cruz.
POET James Croal Jackson is a poet, filmmaker, musician, and adventurer. His work has appeared is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Glassworks, and Cosmonauts Avenue. He was born in northeast Ohio but currently lives on the west coast of the USA. Find more of his writing at >> JIMJAKK.COM <<
ARTIST Letisia Cruz is the Resident Artist and Co-Editor of Petite Hound Press. She is a Cuban-American writer and illustrator enthralled by nature and the acute connection to form associated with illustration and poetry. Her visual vocabulary emerges through this focus and subsequently explores the connection between man and nature. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University's MFA program and currently lives in Miami, FL.