I want to share with you an incredible poem by novelist/poet Francesca Lia Block, who I just met but think, somehow, I’ve always known.
In this poem, she builds a dark fairy story explicitly on the framework of Vladimir Propp’s folk tale morphology with powerful, exquisite results.
Here’s a taste, click here for the whole thing.
ABSENTATION: How could I have left them? The boy with his small, fierce body. The girl with lupine eyes. They stood weeping in the doorway between the light house and the night. Their warmth still lingered on my cold hands even after I was gone.
INTERDICTION: “Don’t go!” they wailed. “Don’t go with him.” They ran to the window and watched me get into the long black car. I saw their faces shining there, like little lights. Like stars reflected in the dark pool of the glass. He was hunched over the wheel and wore a ruffled shirt. His eyes were an interdiction, too but I did not recognize.
VIOLATION of INTERDICTION: He carried me away into the night. Trees bloomed in the fluorescence and strange electronic birds sang. He picked a flower and put it behind my ear and read me poetry. I swooned. It did not take much.
RECONNAISSANCE: We went to find my mother in a weird old restaurant that smelled of meat. She was sitting fragile in a huge red booth like a piece of garnish. She, too, was tricked by him. She took me aside and said, No other man has deserved you yet, my darling.
DELIVERY: Where is the cancer? he asked her. She told him and he laid his hands on her as if he were a healer. We gasped with gratitude and relief. How little we knew him…