wicked alice| fall 2011

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Jessica Rainey & Edward Smallfield


Lola’s Reading


past      :     body    :      six of swords

                                                                               dreams have no titles

past      :    mind     :      two of wands

                                                                                 negar es pensar

past      :    soul       :      three of cups

           the suitcase with the antibiotics

present :    body     :      the devil

          and I will tell you who you are

present :    mind      :      page of wands

       no eres ambicioso

present :    soul        :      six of cups

         the kisses open

future   :    body     :       the hanged man

 death is the mother of beauty

future   :   mind       :      three of swords

                                                                    the subject of all poems is the clock

future   :   soul        :       nine of pentacles

and smarter than you think




Dime: 2


Tell me, Miss Quote, what do your tattoos

mean? Our history is written in ashes,

some poet said, but you wear yours, a sign like lip

-stick on a pillow or scribbled on a mirror.

Have you seen the other women looking at your shoes?

This life often tastes like dust.



This life only tastes like dust

when the corners don't get swept!                  My tattoos

are me, my true identity.                                  My shoes

are a figment of our collective prostíbulo projection. For me, ashes

belong in the past—mirrors

do too.            Nuestras historias son meras reflexiones : everyone has lips.


…but they’re not your lips,

as the old song says. And the dust

that gathers in the corners of our souls and poems, that blurs our mirrors,

can’t be blown easily away, though we try.                                       Your tattoos

remember like love’s bruises.                                                   We wish our pasts were ashes.

I wonder, though, who you really are on summer nights, without your shoes.


I am different without my shoes

and my lips

are not mine either. But, Ramón, summer nights, like ashes,

can only be experienced now...                                 Have you tried the stardust

pickmeup? It tastes to me of summer dreams and overcoloured tattoos.

Perhaps I will see what they really are if perhaps you would hold up your mirror?

Tell me, Miss Q, will I see you in my mirror

or are you truly una vampira?                                                Please take off your shoes

and feel the wet sand.                                                I’d like to learn the taste of your tattoos,

your summer dreams.                                                  None of us owns our lips,

that’s the life we’ve chosen for ourselves.                                           “Stardust”

is an old song, &, perhaps like us, it tastes of ashes.


Imagine the taste of us—a mouthful of ash

I would rather look                  in my own mirror

though perhaps when covered with dust

I would see only                      red shoes

and red-stained lips

not because I am a vampire, Ramón                         I prefer not to see my tattoos


and the ashes                          feel soft                       without shoes

     as soft                                as your lips                   se debe colocar siempre detrás del espejo

  escondido                        como el polvo                 we hide                            behind our tattoos






Mado’s Reading


Past          :       body        :       king of cups

                                                              what I like most

past         :       mind        :       seven of wands

                        the tongue searches for a thread underneath

past         :       soul          :       nine of swords

                                                         and we killed the Gods

present     :       body       :       temperance

            I wanted to do evil

Present   :        mind       :       ace of swords

      les rêves n’ont pas les titres

present   :        sou         l :      knight of pentacles

     kill the light kill the moon

future      :        body        :       the moon

                la vida es

future      :        mind        :       five of cups

    indistinguishable from magic

future      :        soul         :       queen of cups

I was just an innocent young prostitute









Dime: 4


Dime, Miss Quote, are you alive inside a sentence?

Does the scent

of jasmine stain your dreams?

…there’s been                         a change

in the weather,

baby, a change in the sea… Always an after, & a before—


   I'm not sure       anything comes       before

el Prostíbulo Poetíco—except perhaps a sentence

                of allegiance...        Inside we weather

          the breath of others         & inhale the scent

     of their stains.   I like    when you talk       of change,

   Ramón, then          I feel alive        inside a dream.


La vida es sueño,

Miss Q,                                                 & before

we were           other persons, other selves      change

is within us & erupts,                                         a sentence

without punctuation or much meaning. What is the scent

that lingers here? Tell me                     your interior weather.


If I tell you, Ramón,                              will the weather

be warmer inside? Will you share more of your dreams,

Ramón?                                               I fear the scent

of the past, of the things that came before…

I prefer a perfect sentence

with or without meaning                                 to change.


…what does not change

is the will to change…             I can´t read your weather.

Are you rainy? Near the sea? A life sentence:

an island. A highway. You can be in my dream

if I can be in yours… There were fears before.

Now there´s music, tingling skin, a garden of scents,


a tree bearing cents.

I pick the fruit               & give you the change.

...there's been                          a before,

baby, there will always be an after                whether

of highways or islands or gardens                   we dream

—we are alive tienes razon inside this sentence.


whose soul is sense                           el aguanta el tiempo…

...only the dreamer can change         or change the dream...

Before our world began                      someone supplied a sentence



Miss Quote’s Reading


Past          :       body    :          the sun

                I have morals again

past         :       mind    :           two of cups

                 what you depart from

past         :       soul     :          death

     in which nobody will win

present     :       body    :          queen of wands

the sadness of a healthy libido

present     :       mind    :           ace of swords

   les rêves n’ont pas les titres

present     :      soul      :          seven of swords

       negar es pensar

future       :       body    :           the empress

you must be loved to be fertile

future       :       mind    :          page of swords

   ¡que camino tan largo!

Future       :       soul      :           justice

thought is the only thing






Edward Smallfield is the author of The Pleasures of C, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (a book-length collaboration with Doug MacPherson), and locate (a chapbook collaboration with Miriam Pirone). His poems have appeared in Barcelona INK, e-poema, Fourteen Hills, New American Writing, Parthenon West Review, Transfer, 26 and many other magazines.


Jessica Rainey is a writer and translator from the UK. Her work has appeared in All Angles (a bilingual English-Catalan short story anthology), Barcelona INK, Dusie, e-poema.gr, Páginas Rojas, Ricci Ricci Journal, Sawbuck, and as a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s new poet competition.


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