Shiva’s giant trident
at Pasupatinath still wet,
a monkey, with child clinging
fast and dry to the belly,
eyes the pilgrim’s steps,
starts, reconsiders, decides
quickly for which tree
she is to run.
On Sept. 8, 2022, BookLife reviewed Alice, the post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale you’ve all been reading (or are eager to download and read today). Here’s a clip from the review:
“A whimsical, fairytale-like quality … magnetic … a storybook world [with] a flavor not often seen.”
And Northwestern University’s Jeffrey Burgdorf ran it through his nefarious artificial intelligence (AI) machine and asked it to create a cover image. Below is the actual cover (left) and the AI cover image (right). Take your pick.
Burgdorf’s AI, by the way, gave Alice “the first ever 5-star Amazon review done entirely by artificial intelligence,” though I have no idea what mysterious feelings beating in that mechanical heart motivated the encomium.
I tried to do a voice recording of my latest poem. It was tricky getting it up on WordPress, as it seems I had to make it a video, upload it to YouTube, then post the YouTube link. Let’s see how it came out. Text below.
Hero and Leander (the lamp and the water)
I still walk to that lake, the surface now still,
absence of geometry, ache of tranquility,
a voice but a whisper
soothing, sad, a silver
thorn in the side of love.
What love creates, need destroys.
We put flowers on the table
at the changing of the season.
Then the rains came. We watched
through the kitchen window.
You turned out the lamp.
“I love you more than I need you,” I said.
“Now I know what that means.”
But need, the ache, the silver thorn,
will have its bloody day.
Time passes. Seasons change.
When I walk to the lake I stir the surface,
the glitter of sun, a dangerous swell,
my hand beginning to move
into place a geometry
Here’s the opening page of Alice, the recently released post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale.
Alice sat by the pond cupping her hand in the water, as if searching for an undersea plant or animal. The sun was going down. She stripped off her gown and dove in to do something but she could not remember what. When she came up, something was in her hand and the stars were above. They were the same stars as ever, but the constellations were different. Virgo and Scorpio and all the others were gone, and some new arrangement had begun. Something moved in the woods beside the pond. Not really in the woods. In a juniper bush. It was too big to be a fairy. Alice did not know what it was that moved in the juniper bush.
As Alice approached the shack, she could hear in the dark the whispering of the forest. She saw the lovely silhouette of Evelyn through the window, sleeping in bed. She entered, and Evelyn opened her eyes.
“I was at the pond,” Alice said.
“Was the rain king there?” asked Evelyn.
“No. Not today. But something happened. I dove in and the whole cosmos changed. The stars are still there but all the old constellations are gone. Virgo and Scorpio are gone now.”
Evelyn sat up. She was taller than average, with a nobility of stature that contrasted with the petite Alice.
“So then it’s a new age,” said Evelyn.
Alice sat on the bed. Evelyn leaned toward her, pushed a brown curl from the brown eye of Alice, and kissed her twice. Once on her favorite birthmark in the whole world, the pink crescent moon on Alice’s neck just above the collarbone. And once on the mouth.
“We can hope,” she whispered.
“Yes,” said Alice. “And when we can’t hope, we can love.”
And they lay down together in the wood frame bed in the wood frame house in the woods.
The next day, John Wilson came over to the shack. No one ever called him “John.” They always said, “John Wilson.”
“Something happened with the fairies last night,” said John Wilson.
“I knew it,” said Alice.
the earth stopped turning
and we all went flying
off toward the stars
sparkling, burning, dying,
our stupid awe holding
only to the beauty
hazy memories, moss
and moon, drifting
someone on the tiny plaza
just outside my window
flying still toward the stars
faster, faster, stupid awe
holding tight to savage
light and bitter ash
eyes aflame, dreams
and memories void of pain
sparkling, burning, dying, laughing
stupidly good, colder now, yet
faster, faster, to the close
faster to the close
Here’s the initial marketing blurb for ALICE, per yesterday’s sample. Comments welcome.
In this post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale, Alice wanders away from her utopian commune to find another world and to slowly connect the dots of her own world’s missing history. Comic, poignant, thoughtful, and sparkling. A magical tapestry with many threads by Amazon bestselling author (90-minute reads free list) and two-time Faulkner-Wisdom Prize finalist, Gary Gautier.
Free mobi/epub and pdf files available on request for reviewers (firstname.lastname@example.org).