Alice And The Spooks
Poem By Robert Rorabeck
Little girls in little blonde curls
In reddish frilly messes
Eat their lunch alone,
Served by brunette waitresses
The eyes the color of
Their thoughts slipping from their dresses.
A six year old Alice
Finishes her chicken and waffles,
She goes outside, screams,
Grits her teeth, unloads her guns
The bullets bang
There are boatloads of boogiemen
Eating the streets,
The gangs of vampires kissing
The sweet coeds’ necks,
While the Goth chicks take
Snapshots like Japanese tourists.
Her mom and dad are out there too,
Dressed like Ralph Lauren and Lash LeRoux,
But they are not who you think they are
As they moan to her, “Why aren’t you
In preschool? ”
But school, she knows, is the worst
Place to be,
Because there’s a hole in the courtyard
As deep as the sea
Out of which the Big Bad things churn,
Not unlike a scoop of ice-cream soft serve.
Down at the end of the street
In the atmospheric light of a terminally ill sun,
Someone is whistling like Clint Eastwood.
She sees who it is, all the old gang,
Death and his boys: Pestilence, Famine, War,
Frank and Jesse James.
They’re all smoking as they come
Out of the brothel.
They just killed all the gods in the sky,
So the heavens lay like breathless still-life—
Like the black apple and the brown pear
They made her finger-paint in art class;
But all she really cares about is that
Her chewing gum is getting tasteless.
She steps forward, our dear young Alice,
Her little blonde curls tied in red bows,
In tumbling, frilly messes.
She swears, she curses, she gives
A useless Jesus the bird,
Then she takes her little foot
And draws a line in the dirt,
She blows a pink bubble,
Cocks her gun and gives all that’s Evil
Ten seconds to run.