Alice In Wunderkinderland With A Hedgehog (Draft 5)

Alice In Wunderkinderland With A Hedgehog

Alice in Wunderkinderland With A Hedgehog ]

When smiley squirrels claw up the trees
and every cat meows for milky magpies
all the fields of Central Park are free,
and every school girl will unwind and read

So Alice in her yellow Carroll dress
spread her sheet on meadow grass, and
meadow larks chirped Volckermort, a
value-song for a feather-at-risk, but

Alice tired of Homer’s Odyssey
duh-faulty Greek tragedy dark, a
theme so far from Central Park,
or even downtown Wall Street

“Oh dear,” she shouted to
the curious white rabbit who
pulled and straightened his suit and tie

“Come, come,” he billowed
” ’tis most unsuitable to shout at me
when I’m to lunch with
THE Chef Steagill.

Though chilled
by thoughts cold-Alice, she
ran off with her caution indeed
to follow him down a rabbit hole

and falling down a cave interior
she felt too big to manage when
the rabbit through a tiny door went

But the doorknob had lips
and devised a sinister tip:
“Drink the tea from mushroom lake
and you will shrink my dear
to a manageable size.”

When Alice applied his advice
she felt peculiar in drinking:
a discreet shudder cooing
for a door d’esprit looming,
every growing thing
then knowing tiny her

Enter, the doorknob said
as it twisted itself ahead where
knowing her stands
Alice found Wunderkinderland,

land where stood the Caterpillar
who did smoke a hookah in
multi-armed charm

“Hookah booo-kah, indeed; whooo
goes there? Speak!” he decreed

“’tis me, um, it is I, Alice
a refugee.”

“Indeed I see; delighted.
It being your unbirthday
then you must be invited
to boogie at
the bank unholiday.”


“Boo-kah, boo-kah, it’s not your birthday —
is it now, nor would you be closing any banks?”

“Um, no
I don’t think so”

“Indeed, and there down the road
meet the Mad Potter and meet the May Hare
for the devil-may-care unholiday dare…

“But,” he chortled, “it is you
whooo must buy the insurance…”


“You must have insurance —
for endurance, for endurance
it is you, dear, whooo
must have insurance, and for
every leg and every segment I have
a million dollars for salve. So dear
write me a check for a billion dollars.”

“I… I… I’d wish upon a star for that
but it’s quite bizarre
you’d think I’d have it.”

“Yoooou indeed. We’ll lend you credits.”

And so it was
with a thousand hands
he wrote a thousand papers

“Cry on these dear,” he said
“And the deal is done.
sign for a sign
sign on, sign on and
follow the sign, dear.”

The signs Alice followed thus
were not only circuitous
but harebrained ludicrous:
“May Stop”, “May Go”, “Mayhem”,
“come See the May Hare”, “May Potter”
“Comme ci comme ça”

Alice felt so-so unsad, arriving there
glad to see finally
madness in person

Maybe not unmad,
the Potter and Hare alone at
a one hundred seat banquet table
sang the un-fabled song:
“unsad unbirthday to you
unecstatic unbirthday to you
unsad unbirthday dear Alice
undramatic unbirthday to you.”
And after applause, the May Hare said,
“Now blow up the pie and
do not wish for anything.”

“Pardon me,” Alice said,
“I do appreciate such a
grand manic welcome
but please, if I may ask …”

“Yes, speak up, speak down, don’t mess up
the chatter to the ear, here here,”
pleaded insolent Mad Potter so
dizzily spinning on his chair-on-a-wheel,
“Yes do inhere the unsilent soul.”

“Yes, then,” said Alice,
“a pretty party — but don’t
I get a cake?”

“Heavens no. A birthday cake course?
One must have pie with explosives
to be unsilent of course.”

“Well,” said Alice in a mental haze,
“I suppose day’s pie, but shouldn’t
pie be round with cherries?”

“Silly girl. Pie are squared
and have birds mixed with sugar glaze.”

“Here here, not π, ” said the May Hare,
“ahem aha, where is Chef Steagill
with his catching pots?”

The Potter spun. “Pots? Yes pots —
lots of pots. May pots, mayhem.
May Hare, where?”

“Oh on my harebrain,
I don’t know where. Hey Potter,
send in the bloodhound and beagle.”

“Oh Hare, ’tis mayhem; look there
Chef Steagill.”

The chef ran in with clanging pots.
“I’m here here. There there all.
If everything is in disorder,
blow up the pie.”

When he caught Alice’s eye
she pushed the plunger

Kaboom sprayed pie
and the chef caught the bird

Yes indeed ’twas absurd
at least Alice had thought when

Chef Steagill spake like a bellyache,
“I’ve got it now. For
today’s unholiday I’ll make
‘Peasant Under Glass.’ ”

“Oh dear, goodness gracious,” chimed Alice
with words like a dance, “Dear sir,
you mean ‘Pheasant Under Glass’? ”

“Certainly not, dear girl.” And he began to sing,
“ ‘And when the pie was opened,
‘the peasants began to sing’
‘wasn’t that a dainty dish’
‘to set before the King.’ ”

It was indeed a harebrained song
so Alice applauded along
with the hare’s eerie squeal
a clap to the rhythm of the Potter’s wheel.

But the Hare jumped up upon the table.
“Table this matter, Sir. For without Mr. Glass
it’s an impossible task.”

“Very well,” said the chef, “I’ll bend:
one hundred meals to be served —
then let it be then
croquettes by the dozen”

The Mad Potter spun around four times,
a greater lunatic than slick.
“I’m incredulous thus,
even with the thyme and time,
you ought to know, by the dozen
can only be ninety-six.”

Alice was puzzled, but
the chef was un-non-plussed

“Only a possum,” he said,
“would say non possumus.
It’s un-impossible
for a man with certificates.”

Alice was puzzled, but
with all the others, she was pulled
onto the grand table, and they
all held hands in a circle and danced:
“Certificates, certificates,” they sang,
“Everyone is certifiable.”

Alice was puzzled, but
on the fourth turn, fourth beat
the chef retreated and bowed.
“Decorum,” he said,
“Everyone please be seated.”

Just then, a little bird flew in for a drink, and
the chef dipped its tail feathers in ink.
“This entitles the bearer to four
croquettes,” he wrote on a certificate.

“Very significant, this certificate,”
said the Mad Hare, “and
dare you write the corporate bond
for United Flour?”

“No,” said the chef, “OK,
“better yet than croquettes
I have a bond for United Croquet
with mallet aforethought.”

“Outrageous,” said Alice,
“I don’t know about bonds
and all these phenomenon
but I love to watch croquet.”

“Hey! You don’t say,” Chef said.
“Pray tell. Enough said about endurance.
You certainly have the insurance…
You’ll see: while I prepare the meal
you’ll make a deal and
meet the mallets and the balls.”

“Pardon me,” Alice said,
“I do appreciate such
grand financial advice
and a chance to meet new peope
but please, if I may ask…”

Chairman Potter spun around suddenly:
“Indeed, speak up, speak down, don’t mess up
the chatter to the ear, here here. Know
this, do adhere to the call of the unsilent soul.”

“Yes, then,” said Alice, “Um, seems a non sequitur
to meet the balls?
I’ve seen pretty balls, but
never heard them talk.”

“Heavens, if you love Croquet
and chocolate-covered grasshoppers
you’d know the rules: when a
hedgehog first signs up to be a ball,
he must make one sport speech, and
then he mustn’t talk at all or even
beckon with a mouthful of insects.”

“Pardon me … um …”

“Silly girl, you don’t try to talk
with a mouthful of insects, do you?
It’s been a mild winter, with abundance
of creature and grape to over mull; it’s
always impolite to talk with your mouth full.”

“Appreciate such much but…”

The May Hare hopped up onto the table
and began a thumping tap dance to
accolades from Potter mad indeed.
“Sing,” Hare said, “Insectivora:
Shrews and hedgehogs and moles. You see?”

“Pardon me,” Alice sang, “Shrews
and hedgehogs and moles, I see.”

Thump thump. “They live in
a credit-defaulty swamp

“Oh my…” And a swarm of flies flew
into her mouth, so singing she stopped,
but certainly hummed, stunned

Knowingly knowing something,
the others checked the forest sounds
for the woodpeckers peck

“Aha,” said the May Hare,
“It’s the running of the flies
and fly balls. You see?”

But Alice wondered
what was to come

Mad Potter:
“The hedgehogs are coming —
it’s the coming of the hedgehogs
to the banquet with all the
Zeitgeist and glory,
dressed to the nines
with their triumphant spines.”

The hedgehogs rolled in
like acrobats or tumble weeds,
and with a chatter-wonky prose
reposed on their seats, able
to feed with their noses on the table —
without doubt a clout indubitable;
forty-eight on the right had their portfolios
and on the left forty-eight undeniably without

Alice in Wunderkinderland With A Hedgehog ]

— Douglas Gilbert


5 thoughts on “Alice In Wunderkinderland With A Hedgehog (Draft 5)

  1. I love the “un-impossible” and “thyme and time” and the dance on the grand table…everyone’s certifiable?!? ah, i guess i should just say i love it all. It’s an adventure to read and i keep looking forward to the continuations. Can’t wait for Alice to meet the mallets and balls!
    I just wanted to stop in really quickly to leave a comment, my parents are coming over to grill out and should be here any minute. I’ve been getting things ready all day, have been cleaning and i’ve baked a batch of peanut butter cookies and a batch of chocolate chip cookies, have made pasta salad and some green beans and potatoes…gotta run for now, be back later on…

    1. Thanks. Sounds like a yummy grill time. Ah, chocolate chip dipped in potatoes with green beans. Sounds delicious… even separately.
          I made a new draft, but also put the extension here because I left a link to this draft and people newly coming from that link may not bother to look at the new draft. I wanted to erase the other drafts but then I thought the links may be out there already and someone clicking on an erased draft will be disappointed and won’t look further. I guess I could wait until I’m fully finished before posting, but this topic is not going to be discussed for much longer and I’m thinking I have to have the links out now while it’s still hot. I don’t know…

      1. (giggling) I’ve never mixed chocolate chip, potatoes and green beans before! But we did have a good time and yummy food.
        I went and commented on the new post. Good idea, adding it to this one just in case people didn’t bother to go to the new one. This is quite the masterpiece of a poem. The Alice theme is so relevant to what is going on. And i think it’s a good idea to have the links out while all of this is still fresh in the news and on peoples minds.

      2. I’m glad you had a good time and there was no grilling interrogations but just grilling fun. I’m getting kind of lost: I’ve done a lot of innuendo and name dropping but I’m not sure what point I want to make or how I’ll end it. It has to at least seem like it’s going somewhere so someone can give it an interpretation that I could claim I intended to make. It’s taking me a long time to get past the introductions and on to the Croquet match where I think some point could be made. I’m trying to think of analogies with betting at the racetrack as metaphors for all these strange derivative instruments which I don’t understand. Maybe the Wonderland characters can write their own as betting-ticket derivatives of some kind for the Croquet match. But I’ve drifted around so much that I don’t know how to pull it all together. Well, at least in the new draft I finally figured how to get the flamingos onto the scene. Just bringing in the characters has been difficult. And there’s a continuous stuggle between a story line that reads like prose and some poetic stuff that’s very mixed in form. Some stanzas are jolting because the rhythm or form are suddenly different. It’s totally inconsistant. This is going on forever. I don’t think I’ve written a poem this long before.

      3. It IS getting to be quite a long poem but i think it’s great. It’s a fun read and keeps my attention (which can be a task at certain times). I think i might have ADD or ADHD or something like that. It’s embarrassing at times, especially when i’m at work and forget things or space out and don’t pay attention and then have to re-ask the customer what they wanted again, i can just tell they’re thinking “oh my gosh, i get to deal with this girl…” Thankfully that’s not an everyday occurrence, BUT i always enjoy and am completely into your writing, so that’s a very good thing. I’m not sure the whole scandal is over yet, i read an article saying it could reach 7 billion! Maybe as more is revealed along the lines of what’s going on with the whole thing then it will become more clear on how to pull it all together. I don’t think it’s inconsistant or if it is i didn’t notice and didn’t feel jolted when the rhythm or form changed. Honestly, i think wunderkinderland is probably a wacky, inconsistant place so it’s most likely normal to be that way or write that way when it’s about wunderkinderland. How’s that saying go? When in Rome, do as the Romans?

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