real plums, imaginary cake

This morning
I made a cake
from dust and ashes
to see how it would taste.

Would it be harsh
or honeyed?

Would it coat
my lips with memory?

Licked and swallowed,
would it
fill up my belly
to curb the ravenous?

Or would it catch
inside my throat
mask words and breath
in sweet, sweet silence?

In which Alice serves up plum cake, illustration by John Tenniel, with a nod to Mary McCarthy for her fab quote about the task of writing “I am putting real plums into an imaginary cake.” Poem ©2018, Jen Payne.

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said, to Talk of Many Things

The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright — And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After… Continue reading The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said, to Talk of Many Things

In which Alice falls and we wonder…

Could she ever imagine this Adventure? In those love-dormant dreams, could she fathom what would become of her lost little heart waiting for the likes of him to take her someplace different? Did she stare into that Looking Glass in shock and disbelief, the whisper of wings at her back. Were they flying pigs or… Continue reading In which Alice falls and we wonder…

Dear Alice…

Oh Alice. There are some who would call us lewd, my kindred, for our admiration of these dome-capped sentinels, our arduous prostrations somehow deviant (or provocative). Oh Alice. Still others will point to dear Lewis’ penchant for their psychotropic disposition as reason for your very existence, and for my own fascination here, too. Oh Alice.… Continue reading Dear Alice…