by Oisín Breen
Monday, May 17, 2004
Not rated by the Author.
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She’s a young girl with pocket book blues.
She’s petit wearing rags, sticks her fingers in the dam.
She’s off to grandmama’s.
She pushes a big old pram.
Sliding down the mountainside,
Her pocket’s hanging empty,
Her footsteps seem like dreams.
She’s out of bus fare and stuck in dodge
Time the whaler harpoons her shadows.
Dust balls roll taking with them infinities of footsteps.
She stuck her fingers in the dam.
Sliding down the hillside laughing at the sky,
She steps under a bus shelter with one side up and the other collapsed.
Sitting inside it looks just like a wigwam.
The cold morning air haunts her afternoon.
Throwing rocks at school windows,
Alice, she’s wandered fifteen years for grandmama’s!
She lost her pocket book and the sketches.
She drew the sun from her celestial holster.
Woke up one morning and there it was.
Shivering in doorways she got high.
In her mind she was always only a days walk from that grandma.
She shook in the harsh streets under a ledge beside two trashcan winos.
Poor Alice is like a graveyard. She’s there but you try not to see her.
She came from the old country.
She was a witch and dreamt of freedom and mountains.
Everybody else dreamt of death.
The mountains stopped being kind.
Late December 16 years ago Alice’s mother sank.
Alice rolled dust balls in the wind.
The good land was dead.
"We sunk this battleship."
She whispered this to the last tree.
It laughed from the soil like the Bastille to a peasant.
Alice! Shuffling feet beside a railway bridge surrounded by desert!
Yesterday she saw her first bus!
A man laughed from the roadside.
Shit, he was a graveyard like her.
Is this your first bus?
Dead buses have their own graveyard four miles up the road!
Alice shuffled her feet making friends with vultures!
Vultures circled the first city she saw!
Ten! Twenty! Thirty Thousand!
They all dropped like clockwork.
The city was empty except for feathers and blood and dusty grey roads.
In the wind Alice rests under the cool shadow of vultures.
There she is, there she will be.
Poor Alice she’s made of vibrating strings disappearing in existence!
Young girl with your pocketbook blues.
Your tatty rags make you look like a fool.
Your fingers are too small for that dam!
You know your grandmother from a picture,
Your footsteps are dreams.
You broke your mind off a sharp yellow stone.
Copyright © 2004 Oisín Breen. No reprints or distribution of any kind sort in any form in this or any other known universe or dimension or medium without my express permission.
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|Reviewed by Ann Piatt
|i rarely say this...but...WOW! This reads with a classic feel but with a more modern edge. Your word usage throughout is powerful and this whole thing just...Works! Loved it.
|Reviewed by Dale Clark
|'You broke your mind off a sharp yellow stone'
Hell of a line. This is outstanding.
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Just when I think I understand, it's lines like, "You broke your mind off a sharp yellow stone," that leave me clueless. Your wordplay is enchanting.|
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|Very well written Oisin!!
Emotive piece of work dear friend!!
Keep that pen working...you are good...I can feel this one!!
|Reviewed by Katy Walsvik
|My dear Oisin.. you are young, yet you are a master at painting utter desolation.. I saw your Alice! I walked beside her, crawled up in her.. felt her shutters. You Irish gave us 'the road rising to meet us'... poor Alice has been waiting for a long time to see that... but, of course, it would completely tip over that bus, wouldn't it? Then, where would she be? I can't seem to shake her.. does this mean you're brilliant? dunno.. but you're a damned good/interesting poet. Now where did I leave my smile? sigh... katy xox.|