Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Snippet from Josh Pantalleresco’s Alice Zero August 13, 2020

Filed under: Poetry,Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:58 am
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Yesterday I posted an interview with Josh Pantalleresco about his book of narrative poetry called Alice Zero.  Today, Josh shares a snippet of the book for your enjoyment.

———————————————————-

II

(You are late.)
quiet
can I just sleep?
Dream my dreams
for in them I see…

The loud clanging of the cell
brings me to attention
I am here
I see him and go pale

Ace watches me
his black heart etched on his sleeve
Letting me know
he is in charge

(I want to punch him on the face)
Shhh
he’ll hear us
(I don’t like him looking at us.  Do you?)
I shudder

my meal is delivered through the small door
(I wonder what drugs are in here)
I don’t argue any more
some days just blur on by
others are just nightmares
rage and pain and anger
unjoyous madness boils inward

I have to eat the food
I need to drink the water
so what if there are poisons in here
(Lithium gives you nightmares)

It does not!
Oh no!
I said that out loud
he is staring

before long I see the men in white
wearing hearts on their sleeves
carrying needles on their sides
and sticks on their backs

I shouldn’t fight
should be quiet

meek
they’ll go easy on me

(Fuck that.)
But…
(If you won’t fight for you, who will?)
But…

I say no more
the first one tackles me
Eight shoots for my legs

and trips me
the ground feels unyielding
I hit it and struggle to breathe

I am turned onto my stomach
hands bent behind my back

I brace myself for the liquid
dreamless sleep

I hear a voice stop them
halt! She booms
the guards stop
and salute

I gasp
I know that voice
and shudder
(Out of the frying pan. Into the Fucking fire.)

my hair is pulled

blood trickles from my face
I look up and see her
she wears red
her lips painted black
her raven hair braided
her eyes cold and merciless
my jailer
my Queen

she grins at my moment
relishing my torment
she nods
I am swarmed by white

I feel the prick of a needle
and see a shade of crimson
before all goes black.

—————————————————————-

Ooooooh!  Did it give you shivers?  Here’s the link if you’d like to read more!
Alice Zero

 

Interview with Joshua Pantalleresco August 12, 2020

JOSH PANTA

Hi Josh!  I know you mostly from your Just Joshing podcast, but I was excited to hear you’ve written a book!  What’s it called and what is it about?

Alice Zero is my second release this year. It’s an epic poem that mashes up Alice in Wonderland and Greek Mythology. Alice is Pandora and she opens the box, and her last hope has a Cheshire grin.

My first novels, the Grace Awakening books, also had poetry and Greek mythology woven through the narrative, but it’s not a common combination.  Adding Alice in Wonderland adds a surreal element!  What led you to this idea?

A hot girl in a bar. I wish I was kidding. I wasn’t. I was out and I met this striking woman, who had a gorgon tattoo on her shoulder she drew herself. I was already contacted by Colleen Anderson to do a Lewis Carroll poem of some kind, and I promised to use her. So Medusa found a cool way to come into this, and then I realized after that that Alice and Pandora aren’t that different, and suddenly I had my story.

What’s your favourite Greek myth and why?

Pandora for sure. I liked the idea of Jason and the Argonauts. As a comic book junkie, I recognize the original Justice League when I see it. But I actually dig the concept of Hades and Persephone. It’s an interesting take on death. Death as lover is not something you think of when you come to the end.

What do you like about Alice in Wonderland?

It’s whimsical and pure chaos. It can be literally anything you want it to be. It’s a Jungian experience each and every time.

You’ve interviewed some amazing people on Just Joshing over the years.  Did any of your guests inspire you in the creation your own writing project?  If so, who?

You all do. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from each of you. For this project, Colleen Anderson and Vanessa Cardui shaped it a bit. Colleen from her request and Vanessa for her expertise. I can’t wait to pick Vanessa’s head a bit for the sequel.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

The Cheshire Cat. He’s inside Alice in this story and always seems to say the one thing that will set her off.

Where can readers find your book?

For now, it’s going to be Amazon exclusive. Next year I hope to do something very original with the physical release. Something most books don’t do. I’ll leave it at that. I don’t make promises I can’t keep.

Tomorrow, we’re going to share a snippet from the book here on ShawnBird.com.  Can you set up what we’re going to read?

How Alice is rescued by a certain gorgon knight and her vorpal blade from the shadows of chaos. I think I’ll let the poem speak for itself.

Awesome! Can’t wait!

Links:
Josh’s book Alice Zero on Amazon
My podcast interview with Josh as Nikolette Jones and I discuss the Nikki Knox books.

 

 
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