The first poem in a collection of fifty (Christine Heppermann's
Poisoned Apples), The Woods, faces a photograph of a grove of trees.
"The action's always there.
Where are the fairy tales about gym class
or the doctor's office or the back of the bus
where bad things also happen?...
No need for a bunch of trees.
You can lose your way anywhere."
In a volume slim enough to slip into just about any backpack or
messanger bag Heppermann shows us that in today's society the
expectations our society has for girls and the situations they find
themselves in provide dangers the Brothers Grimm never imagined back
in the day.
*A beautifying spa treatment is compared to the preparation of a
turkey for the dinner table with the implied concept of consumption by
*Mannequins make a 13-year-old girl feel like a failure;
*An anorexic girl pushes past the point of no return.
Many of the poems contain elements of the original stories,
sometimes in very surprising ways:
*Rapunzel decides she's going to sleep in rather than let down her
hair so a prince can climb it;
*The miller's daughter, instead of entering into the mission
impossible that has her making deals with Rumplestilskin, gets an
apartment, takes classes, waits tables, and won't tell the secret
ingredient in the gravy;
*Little Red much prefers her drinking and smoking Wolfie to the
woodsman whose posterior she will kick if he shows up...
My favorite imagines how period products would be marketed if
guys were the ones who menstruated:
"For pads with Wings, Kotex shows jet fighters.
For Heavy Flow, ninjas surf a tsunami.
For Scented, smiling blondes in bikinis
Enjoy sniffing a crotch..."
Poisoned Apples is a delightful must read for anyone questioning
the relevance of poetry or fairy tales.
On a personal note, I am proud to say I did not spend a cent on Black
Friday. I walked to Orono and back, finding two bags of bottles and
cans to cash in. I cooked a turkey with all the trimmings dinner. I
spent quality time with my precious companion Joey cat.
A great big shout out goes out to all the others who decided not to
battle the crowds in this orgy of spending that ironically happens
after we at least pay lip service to being grateful for all that we
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod