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Poem: "Playing with Babydoll" (Part 1 of 4) - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Playing with Babydoll" (Part 1 of 4)

This is the second freebie from the July 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl, courtesy of new prompter angela_n_hunt.  Now it happens that she watched the movie Sucker Punch  and was appalled by it, and dissected its flaws in a post.  Then she left me a prompt basically asking me to fix the plot.  Well, I haven't seen that movie; I looked up the plot.  Reading that made me want to twist its nuts off with a lug wrench and reassemble the pieces into something that would not suck like a black hole made by Microsoft.  So my Muse brought out the WD40 and the duct tape and we went at it.  The resulting poem is over a thousand words, so I have subdivided it to avoid making LiveJournal hangfire; I'm going to post the four parts one day at a time, so that you can enjoy them as a miniseries.

WARNING: This entire poem is violent, and contains many misogynist characters bedeviling the heras.  It may be triggery for some people.  Part 1 contains murder, references to abuse, and betrayal.  If such imagery tends to upset you, then you might want to skip this poem.  But if you're okay with valiant heras struggling against terrible obstacles, here it is.

Playing with Babydoll

When Thorne's wife dies,
the only things standing between him and her fortune
are his two stepdaughters, Babydoll and Sugarplum,
and that's exactly how he thinks of them:

This explains the attempt to marry them off
to ugly old men with lecherous tastes.
(He knows what the girls do to themselves
after he's through with them. 
He's seen the marks. 
Suicide is plausible, given the right push.)
It also explains the fight over the magic wand,
desperate scuffle leading to Sugarplum's death
and Babydoll's imprisonment in a madhouse.

Thorne hides the wand.
It's not something to get caught with,
in a land that doesn't even believe in magic.
He gets away with that. 
No one looks for the impossible.

Babydoll sleeps for a week in the madhouse,
but her dreaming mind takes in the clues anyhow.
She spins oblivion around herself
like a caterpillar safe in its cocoon.
She dreams of a brothel and four beautiful dancers
all owned by a man named Blue.
He is the color of depression, but that's all right.
Babydoll knows how to deal with such things.

Her inner vision shows her
what it will take to escape:
a map, a flame, a knife, a key,
and a fifth element hidden from view.

When she wakes, she meets four fellow inmates,
other girls trapped by the betrayal
of fathers, brothers, lovers ... men.

Amber overflows with emotion,
babbling sense and nonsense all together.
Honey sticks to one topic, and it's usually a theory,
soaring far above such everyday things as logic.
Fireball and her little sister Flower stay close to each other,
rarely out of arm's reach, and who could blame them.  Not Babydoll.
Fireball blazes with passion; she's too hot to handle.
Flower keeps both feet on the ground,
but mutters and mumbles about being a dirty girl.

They are strange.
Something about them is clearly different
from the people presented to Babydoll as decent,
but she has long since learned to see through deceit.
She understands them anyway.

The clock is rolling,
dropping its minutes as marbles.
The clock is rolling,
and Babydoll knows it.
She can feel in her bones
that her stepfather is up to no good.

Babydoll whispers to her friends,
spins forth the fantasy of brothel and dancers,
holds out the promise of escape.
They catch hold of her threads,
clutching not at straws
but at silk stronger than steel.

[To be continued ...]

Read Part 2.
Read Part 3.
Read Part 4.

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

4 comments or Leave a comment
zianuray From: zianuray Date: July 7th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
"something that would not suck like a black hole made by Microsoft."

Black holes SHOULD suck, right? So if Microsoft made a black hole that sucks, they'd have done it right...*brainbreaky**ow*.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 7th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)


janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: July 7th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
*nods* I've heard the phrase, "The day Microsoft products stop sucking is the day they buy Electrolux."

However, I will admit to an ongoing love affair with MS Excel.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 7th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


Black holes should suck. I figure MS could make epic black holes.
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