Michelle Wallace and
Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Michelle Wallace
Curiouser and Curiouser


The Looking Glass
By Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Inspiration Piece

Alice, headbanded child, cake girl,
don’t come around here
no more, confused from caterpillar smoke
and Jabberwock gibberish, your eyes no longer bright.
The difference between Alice and me
is that I do not wish for some semblance
of sense and I am not terrified
of however these mad creatures speak to me.
I’ll sing whatever song they give me.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

What did a pile of cards say, Tarot or no?
Hard to read much into star charts,
personality classifications based on
a cluster of days that fall around each other.
Maybe in this modern day of careful diagnosis
and weird mysticism,
we could begin to incorporate personality
disorders in each grouping.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

…..January: Obsessive-compulsive
……….(get up, scrape car, go to work, work, scrape car, sleep, repeat)

…..April: Bipolar
……….(rain, sunshine, depressingly cold, manically warm—

…..September: Dissociative Identity Disorder
……….(crisp, dry, warm, chill, gray, sunny, damp)

Alice had ADD, whatever month she
…..was born in.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

What was Carroll’s tic, the hiccup, the teacup
in his sanity? Artists are allowed
their eccentricities, they are charming,
some of them. On the day I wrote
I received a carte blanche, license to enact
all kinds of nonsense on the page, in life.
Of all the cards to pick among diamonds, hearts,
everything, I chose that blank document
with no guaranteed fortune attached.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

Alice may have been a little brave, heading down the hole for the sake of catching up with a perfect white thing.
And then the cakes and potions. All for the sake of transformation. Eat me. Drink me. Not unlike Take this and
eat ye all of it. Some kind of hallucinogenic Pilgrim’s Progress. Or do I fit your measurements now? Now?

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

In the Parlor:
Pick a card, any card, but don’t get the
Old Maid, no one wants that, bad queen
of Spades also worth 13 unlucky points
in the game of Hearts. You may win
if you take your tricks empty, if you sneak that bad
queen in on somebody— and then they curse you.
But you look across the table into their eyes
and know you’re already cursed—
if all that courtly love stuff is true
you won’t be sleeping for weeks or eating
or looking lovely. In medieval times,
love made people ugly.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

Everyday, see small things
to follow, the contradictory confusing things:

…………………………You have to run fast to stay in one place
…………………………and even faster if you want to get somewhere.

Backwards is forwards and the words cycle
in different order, depending who you ask.

♠ ♥ ♣ ♦

Let the Mad Hatters and March Hares
attempt to pull me into some musical chairs
tea party— I am reaching past a
Caucus Race for something stranger
and more real than what Alice
found on either side of the looking
glass. The point is not to look
only at your self, but to see
someone else.

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