This piece is a fantasy about what any adult might be thinking when reading these classics to a supposedly innocent child. Or maybe I’m the only one who thinks weird things while maintaining a façade of normalcy. The very cool vibraphone music is by Cliff McCarthy
Alan Gann teaches creative writing workshops in at-risk schools, and sex ed at a Unitarian Universalist church. He is on the board of the Dallas Poets Community, and is a poetry editor for their literary journal, Illya’s Honey. Somehow he still finds time to ride his bike, wander in the woods, look at birds, and photograph dragonflies. Recently, his poems have appeared in Sentence, Main Street Rag, Red Fez, Borderlands, Sojourn, and the Texas Poetry Calendar. You can hear Alan read another of his poems in the September 2009 issue of Fogged Clarity.
Once upon a time—
That relative Time, not a cousin or an aunt, maybe an estranged father who once copulated with Ambition and then couldn’t handle the responsibility of twins: Hope and Despair.
Jack and Jill—
Was it suicide or were they pushed? The CSI team discovered semen (they always discover semen), but never found a trace of hill, pail, or water. Eventually they concluded witnesses are unreliable.
Ate their curds and whey—
They’d given up meat at the insistence of their guru, but still succumbed to the temptations of mammary secretions aged with active cultures. After all, what is l ife without guilt? On fleece as
white as snow— Laundry is the art of removing evidence, and she likes the way freshly scrubbed frocks hang and flutter on the line, the way rough boys tumble down the lane. Living ever-after—
A point is not a moment; the river is not happiness. It carries salt to the sea, and only Humpty-Dumpty died without regret.