StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Alice and Wonderland

Gloria Scholik
Gloria Scholik submitted on March 24, 2011

I can honestly admit to my audience, regarding this blog, that my writing went into a form of hibernation I still have yet to understand. I believe there were many different nonsensical reasons which led to my absence of inspiration all of last semester and the few months of the New Year. I apologize for all of it, as even though it was writer’s block, I do feel responsible for my neglectful treatment to my few followers. I believe that I have hoarded enough ideas in my head and on my EverNote app, to get a fresh new series going of Ekphrastic Blogs. I decided to give you all a poem on time, as it seems to either slow down or escape us altogether. Who better to illustrate that entity that keeps our lives pushing onward into the unknown, than Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland?

Keeping Alice as our narrator, I decided to focus on the picture I found a few weeks ago, which you can enlarge by clicking on. It shows that Wonderland has wasted away. Time took its toll and the Rabbit has gotten old and needs a cane. Alice is also a little older, but still fancies frills on her dresses. Since Carroll has the reputation for taking opiates I added that line, “He’s still feeling the drugs he took as a teen,” to reference the author, and the assumption that all the characters would be under the influence.

Although this is fantasy, there are a few bits of reality strung in. Time withers plants and animals, specifically the caterpillar as he turned into a butterfly and died. As for the flowers and weeds, well maybe they were ripped out, or trampled over. The picture shows only grass and a few mushrooms that seem to hold a ghost in their stalks. As for the fantasy, well why couldn’t the sun decide to take a vacation? Or why wouldn’t the moon stay up for four days? There can be a lack of logic on this topic of time in Wonderland.

I didn’t think about an outside force of change until this week, where a child decides to take the book off the shelf and draw over words, deleting the characters from their places in the conversation, and confusing a very old Rabbit even more. I think of the audience, familiar with the story, as revisiting it, while a little child decides to write a new version. To bring in some of the familiar I add a famous quote and an allusion to the newest fad for fairytale world, TV shows, and ratings. I hope you enjoy this new post of the year and the many more to come.

Old Rabbit

I watched him walk away. Gimp and cane.
He stares at the sun and watches the dim light
fracture off the faces of those timepieces pinned
to his vest- relics of a time when speed was everything.
Though he never really made a point to name the destination.
He’s still feeling the drugs he took as a teen.
The flowers and weeds, the caterpillar, all gone.
Wilted with time and neglect, transformed by the
ticking sounds the sun makes as it rises and sets
on opposite horizons. It switches directions sometimes,
just to give him something new to look at.
His favorite was when the sun decided
to set on the south and rise from that very
angle four days later. He was very interested
in the phenomena, because first, he asked me
in polite conversation
“Wouldn’t we all like to know where the sun took it’s vacation?”
He grumbled, “and where did all the time go while it was off,
without pay leave, and dejected because the moon couldn’t be
there again, as it was scheduled to be full on those days.”
He stared in the direction of the March Hare and Door Mouse
for their own opinion on the subject. Only to find that they
too had been misplaced within the story’s chapters.
Rewritten by a clumsy child, a crayon, and a black marker. 
Hatter couldn’t resist quoting his most mischievous friend Cheshire,
“We’re all mad here.” There was more tea after that.
Alcohol has been banned for chapters, mainly due to abuse-
and ratings.

                                          By Linda K Strahl

Editor’s Notes: Linda K. Strahl graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from Lewis University. She is currently a volunteer poetry editor for Jet Fuel Review, as it is the catalyst to her ongoing pursuit to join the publishing field. To keep her writing fresh she is currently working on integrating old classics with more present superstitions and fads, while also keeping her own word journal, and Evernote app on hand. To keep her finger dexterity, she knits, and practices piano.

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