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Fuzzy Looking Glass, or Diptych Come Face to Face

Paula Mendoza-Hanna

                     "...down, down, down
                                   there was nothing else to do"

                                                 Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


The dazzle quits me.

You will not know?
You've dired! You dross!

You refuse—

I? Shut
up! And keep her
shut. The bastard archer
blinded by needles
I've stuck in his eye.

Cross my heart!
Also: con-

scripted Callisto in her drunken
ellipse. I, Inana's mama

vexed by: No.

Do not, and No

you will
Not? No.

O cruel illusion—er, I mean
perhaps—you wicked
and wicker bound
and bagged furler of sticks

tinder for my cigarette.
I am, yet

unignited. Understand, man?
Ignis fatuus. I deceive

I lie
with your figment, ripe
fruit I have

and tongued
and toothed.

Not another secret peeked through your window.
Athena does not watch you.

I do.

(the pirate, the parson, the jew)

You dreamt my body carved in X
Casket, in the wet dirt of a new continent
(drowned world, unconquered)

My merchant, my malady, my moor. wetly these silks enrobe the roaring sea


and your absence swells:

No. And no.
And no.

Your no over and under
and no again, or stood
on my head

No to my backwards and downwards
and no to my left, and my right
and no in the morning, and no at night

And no bent over your high (bare) backed
leather sofa, and no on the cold concrete
floor, and no on my pretty pink knees.
And no slapped pink on my pretty pink cheeks.
And no on the kitchen counter—my right hand
in dishwater, the other blistered on flame.

And no, no, no rioting your name

and no with my head pushed into the pillow
and no closing a hollow (that!) small
of my back pressed against
the stall's fiberglass frame

and no when I broke your guitar between my thighs
and no when I thumbed the cold lip of your shiv
and no when your stoner neighbour came by to watch
and no because I know, know, know
and no bound fast (fast find)
to your mission oak chair

and no how I strip
sanded, and splintered
and bare

I must no longer marvel
every March, at your

electric fur and pink

keyhole eyes.

Will not kill
my next minute


a gasp, to look on—
with strange rage—

your clock.

Paula Mendoza-Hanna

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