Friday, March 26, 2010

Wonderland


Alice spinning down the rabbit hole falling rimmed with darkness
At the bottom the only door is a tiny one that reads “cash”
I have to get inside
toil to forget
so i won’t keep falling
down

Listen, have you heard
The frog chirping in my garden
Who called it croaking?
He and my children are my only comfort
The rest of the world feels diseased
Ready to crash
On my head like a rotten tree

Will the last time I make love be that one
Drugged on Ativan and Ambien after sobbing for hours
Unable to see
And unable in the morning to remember?
I’ll accept it as long as you give my eye back
I’ll cradle it in my arms like a baby
Feed it like a fish
It almost split in half and died
Now it wears a wedding band
I have to learn to be whole without one
Or even a kiss
And the words “You’re beautiful! You can see!”
Even if just a bit and you’d be beautiful blind as well!"
No, I can’t expect those luxuries anymore
Perhaps I'll get rich
And hang a chandelier made of faerie silhouettes
Fill the room with soft velvet chairs and even a rug on the floor!
A Jacuzzi in the back, a gazebo and a magnolia tree
A working stove a refrigerator without a pookah in it
or just health insurance and refinancing

The high school kids want me to talk to them about my books
They worry about enough food to eat
who thinks of being a writer?
But they’re respectful and one girl with the fancy name
Had me sign her shirt in Sharpie pen
Like a rock star
I tell them writing saved my life
And joke about doing it until i’m a little old lady with one working eye
They laugh and don't think I mean it

Maybe here in this dingy auditorium I’ll forget that the last time I made love
You’d just had a psychotic break
And that I’d never see you again
Or that one eye is like a rabbit hole
Or that except for my children and the singing frog in my pond
Bared from the loss of the big old tree
I’ve given up

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Excerpt from a story from my new collection: LAY ME OUT SOFTLY


WHILE I WAS AWAY

While I was away in fairyland I went blind in one eye.
My left foot turned into a hobbling hoof and remained so.
I grew thin as I had ever been in my adult life, a little hobbling hoofed skeleton with one eye.
The big, old tree in my yard got a frilly white fungus, died and had to be chopped down so as not to fall on and crush the house.
My daughter’s princess hair tangled into elflocks.
My shining, young, green-eyed son, who can spell any word you ask of him, wrote, “I hate myself. I’m stupid and dumb,” on the top of his paper at school.
When I came back from fairyland the world was murky and blurred. I could no longer dance nor hardly walk. The hairdresser cut off all my daughter’s flowing golden tendrils and she wept at the result. My gentle son slapped her arm when she spoke harshly to him. When I chastised him he said, “I hate you, I hate her and I hate myself!” When I said, “My eyes hurt,” he said, “I’ll make mine hurt, too.” I told him that he didn’t have to make his eyes hurt to make me feel better, that I needed him to love himself and feel good. That he and his sister were the most important people in the world to me. He seemed a little skeptical as I had abandoned him for that time in fairyland. I wished I had never gone.
I blame that strange man with the cleft in his chin and the eyes like milky blue marbles. He wooed me with wine made of roses, poppies and cannabis. He wooed me with his strange melodies and artful poetry. He wooed me with the undulations of his pale, tethered body. When I was blind and crippled and my children had suffered, he told me he could not bear to see me suffer so and left me on the hillside in the freezing rain; when I woke I was no longer in the land of the fae.
Why, you may ask, did I go to fairyland at all? My life was lovely. I had a house with a garden protected by the sheltering arms of a fine, old tree. (The tree flowered with red blooms in the spring, had a small wooden house in its branches; its trunk was circled with ivy leaves; it was perfect). I liked my work as head librarian in the big, marble library with its high ceilings and echoing floors. I had a healthy body and two happy children with no tangles in their hair. They loved and respected themselves. I could dance and I could see out of both eyes. But I did not value these things enough. I wept everyday, down on my knees, because I did not have a man. And not just any man—an elf prince, a magician like the dark-haired, yellow-cloaked fellow in the Tarot deck.
I should have remained alone.

Monday, March 1, 2010

House of Dolls


Review of HOUSE OF DOLLS

"Grief, inhumanity, redemption, and several layers of metaphor--what heavy lifting Block does in just 80 pages!...What at first seems to be about the perennial war between familial generation is expanded into a message about the global forces of pride and avarice that plunge innocents into devastation. This is powerful, haunting, and just when you don't think it's possible-- inspiring, too. "--BOOKLIST starred review