Tuesday Poem: Alice Spider Discovers Surrealism, by Janis Freegard

In the upper reaches of sanity, the snow has begun
to fall. Great white clouds of fluffiness covering the
unimaginable takahe and reaching us in our
tussockland. In a hut on the hill, giant tuatara wrap
themselves in polypropylene and coats made from
plastic recycled in China. The sky has emptied.
Now there is only the soft landing of doves that
have escaped their gilded cages and fluttered
down to earth. Heaven will be like this, thinks

For many years, we have found the knitting of
cave-spiders disturbing, and the complacency of
penguins at the edge of the world has sent us into
a tail-spin. It doesn’t have to be this way, no. It
could be lamplight in krill city and thunder in the
ice-rink. Somebody, somewhere is eating a

Too late she wandered into that laboratory,
wishing she had been taller, fitter, better at polo.
Her eyes flashed in the eerie glow of the test-tube.
Dada, she cried. Dada!

Credit note: This poem by Janis Freegard is reproduced by permission of the author. It was first published in AUP New Poets 3 (2008) and subsequently included in Janis’ new chapbook, from The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Anomalous Press, 2013): http://www.anomalouspress.org/books/alice.php.

Tim says: The adventures of Janis’ poetic alter ego Alice Spider have enlivened many a poetry reading and form the entirety of her new, US-published chapbook. No one selection from this magical mystery tour of Alice and her environs can fully capture Alice’s voice and personality, but Alice’s well-merited criticism of the complacency of our flippered brethren, and that marvellous final stanza, made “Alice Spider Discovers Surrealism” pop out of the pixellated page for me.

The Tuesday Poem: Springs into action.

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