Thirteen Tales From a Book You Forgot by Zoë Dwyer


Zoë Bird, fiction & poetry

Lisa Chun, fiction

Jonathan Ashworth, fiction & storytelling


Fairytales original and retold that flaunt
their richness and magicality, and delight
in the interplay between lightness and
dark–these are not sugary, watered-down
stories.  They are beautiful and juicy.  

(rated PG)


Sunday, 28th February, 3PM,  free
Wild Oats Community Room
(in between Wild Oats and Professional Tires)
 West Cordova Road, Santa Fe


Thirteen Tales From a Book You Forgot

I. The Lost Princess

A girl jumped from a silo
and was never seen again
except by a magpie
who ate grain from her open hand

II. The Demon Princess

Laughs as her glass eye drops

puts a stop to it

III. The Exiled Princess

Of the incorruptible tongue
remembers a series of stone steps

A man with a boar’s head in his arms
whistling a lullaby

Something that will never be repeated

IV. The Wooden Sword

Two young mountain lions
simultaneously recognize the moment
when they have stopped playing
and begun to fight

V. The City of Luz

Is a moral tale
a warning to wild young women

Each copy comes with a handful
of pebbles for the shoes
a sprig of myrtle for the few
who might think to use it as an antidote

The tracts yellow
change hands
get shoved in leather satchels
until all that is left are the stones
which spell impermanence

VI. The Beggar King

Maybe you are the one I’ve heard of
who does not conceal a knife
in his walking stick

Still the edge of your holster
genuflects to the dark

VII. The Water Palace

The carriage creaks and rumbles
across a bridge of ice
inhabited by snakes and reflections

Someone is following music
they heard at night

VIII. The King’s Dream

He puts a large urn below his bed window
so that there may be love while spelunking

Rain tricked into traveling
even further to reach human desire

IX. The Pirate Princess

Her monogrammed marker at Psalm twenty-three
was heard to have whispered something to the clouds

The cats and monkeys stayed aboard

X. The Prince Who Was Made of Precious Gems

Invited the kind birds
to take him apart
and reassemble him in a new way

He was glad for the rain on his feet
especially after his feet were gone

XI. The Underground Palace

The door only appears on Tuesday

And the werewolf’s Tuesday
may be different from your own

XII. The Wonderful Healing Leaves

Crushed and mixed with clotted cream
fed slowly to the poisoned woman
who fled an apocryphal scroll

XIII. The Imprisoned Princess

The spiders so pitied the sight of her naked flesh
on stone and straw
that they wove her an everything garment

Dress and bed
hat and stocking
skirt and tunic
tent and belt
umbrella and curtain
shroud and pillow

She vowed to live again
to someday bring them a conch shell

Titles of Tales taken at random from
Elijah’s Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales, ed. Howard Schwartz

© 2008 by Zoë Dwyer

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