Anthology Post: Finding a Wonderland in Alice by Paul Brookes (poetry)

1.         Her Hole

A rabbit hole falls into her.

The pocket watch looks at the rabbit

and know it’s late.

 

The big hand claps the little hand

to see such fun.

 

How will the door enter Alice?

Alice says  I am cake. Eat me.

 

The door takes a bite of her hand.

It grows and grows

I am too big to enter you, now,

says the door.

I am a bottle. Drink me,

 

The door sups her

and enters her.

2.         Shuffle

A pack of playing cards

decide to play inside her.

 

They shuffle her into black

and red, divide her into suits,

 

Her heart becomes diamonds

Her hands spades,

Her legs clubs

Her torso hearts.

 

Alice says Off with her head!

to the Queen of her heart,

but the Queen topples

the suits and escapes.

 

Alice has two thumbs:

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

she twiddles in thought.

3.         Tea Party

Teapot is fast asleep

curled inside the dormouse

curled inside Alice.

 

Her table lays the cloth.

The cloth places the teapot,

cups and saucers.

A hat and watch sit on

the only two chairs.

 

Take a seat.

They say in chorus.

 

“There are no seats”

Alice answers.

All the seats taken then.

 

Is it the month of your time?

Ask the hat and the watch

 

“It’s ALWAYS the month of my time

while I’m alive.

 

You ought to eat and drink less.

You’ll get fat.

 

I  have had my fill, she replies

You haven’t had anything

 

Less is more, she answers

and leaves the table

inside her

4.         The Door

Suddenly she feels the alarm

of  the biological pocket watch

inside her.

 

Where, o where could they be.

O, my little hand, o my big hand.

Alice will kill me if I can’t find her

bracelet and mobile.

 

Alice wants to say she has those

already but searches her pockets

and can’t find anything.

 

A door sits beside her

as she begins to cry.

Through her tears she sees

a painting of a tree on the door.

 

Soon her tears make waves,

she swims, but her arms

get tired, so she clambers

on the door where she is dry.

 

She thinks she fell asleep

and opens the tree on the door

and finds herself on the naughty step

of some stairs and a voice says:

 

“Is that you, Alice? You spend

far too much time outside.

Go inside and get some fresh

air and vitamin D from the sun.”

 

She checks her wrist and pockets

and sighs. The tears

must have washed the bracelet

back on her wrist, mobile in her pocket.

 

5.         The Mushroom

sits on a caterpillar

behind Alice’s eyes

The mushroom engrossed

in its mobile phone,

 

Alice says to it:

How are you?

 

I love change too much.

Change isn’t quick enough,

Says the mushroom.

This Caterpillar should have

pupated and flown.

 

Why? Asks Alice.

 

I’m not sure. You

and I should be wrinklies.

You a middle aged woman,

and I mulch for something

creative and growing.

 

Time is too slack. Should

buck its ideas up. If you see

it about give what it for from me.

 

And Alice tries but can get

no more from mobiled mushroom.

6.         The Watch

She hears the biological pocket watch inside her

say  I’m slow, so slow. I’ll be early

and Alice wants me

not too early, not too late

but prompt. O, my little hand,

my big hand.

 

In its more haste less speed

Alice sees something drop

from its pocket.

 

It is a silver nomination bracelet,

and a mobile phone.

 

Alice picks them up

and shouts after the watch

but it has gone.

 

So she tries on the bracelet

and it fits. The mobile won’t

work because you have

 to key in

the correct code.

 

That’ll teach it to look after things,

she thinks.

7.         Reduces

A court rises in her.

A scroll unfurls and reads from

her biological pocket watch

Tarts have stolen the Knave.

 

Alice is the judge.

Alice is the Knave.

The judge is the accused.

The accused is the judge.

 

Testimony transcribes the witnesses.

The spaces between their words testify.

 

Hat says the party is always ending.

He does not know when

it began to end.

 

Off with the head

of the guilty, Alice says.

Evidence is an atom.

 

Alice is guilty, says

the heart of the Queen.

 

Alice feels herself getting smaller.

She cannot see over

her desk.

 

Alice has disappeared,

says her pocket watch

Everything gets smaller.

Bracelet and mobile left on the chair.

 

Alice feels these are the worst

days of her death that glorious

summer afternoon she finds herself

beneath a tree in a stranger place.

 

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017),  She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Recently had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb. Paul also runs a poetry blog site http://www.thewombwellrainbow.com for book reviews, art, poetry, and more! Follow on Twitter @PaulDragonwolf1 “Curator and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Book Interviews and poetry and artwork challenges”. YouTube site: “Poetry Is A Bag For Life”, Soundcloud is “The Wombwell Rainbow” Facebook: Paul Brookes – Writer and Photographer

Featured image is from Unsplash.com Sincerely Media.

3 Poems by Paul Brookes in FOTM Poetry Digest Issue 2 Her Fiftieth, Her Fur Elise, A Black Bead

HER FIFTIETH

You would have been

fifty this mayday, sis

five in the car, you drive.

nail in the tyre, too much

wine last night you celebrate

a workmate’s birthday

drive down the motorway

to pick up your son from school

a bottle of wine a night

amasses fat in your face

a business built from zilch

debts you hide from view

grieving for a mother

dead three years

bumps in the road

nails in your tire

car leaps over reservation

somersaults onto bank

and back again

the other four crawl out

sit on the bank

watch firemen cut you out

your excess weight

squashed against steering column

the only one to die

only thirty five

finally, with mum

I celebrate your fiftieth

my dear, dear love.

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright

Piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table

And varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later

chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses

and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

A Black Bead

I was given in Fifties by an Indian guru

in Madras with advice “Keep this

and you’ll be alright.” Correctly guessed

I had two girlfriends.

Eighty one now with asbestosis

a cough that hacks​

at his body more each time we meet.

-You’re so thin dad?

-He said I’d be dead at eighty two.

-Where is it?

-I can’t find it.

-I’d best start preparing now.

-It’s a joke,

he says and spits

into his half full spitbag.

I find the blue paper

he wrote the prophecy on

dated 1962

the year I was conceived,

and take a photo of it with my mobile.

I give it to him

in the hope he’ll notice

it says he’ll die at 84.

He died at 83.

BIO: Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018),Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He edits The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

greyscale photo of grand piano