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I fell like Alice

A poem with optional music, read by the author

Tove Jansson

I fell like Alice down the hole,
but somehow I was falling 

I heard the pounding beat 
of the Ramones in the distance, 
and there was an old clip 
of Jack Kerouac 
reading from On the Road

with Steve Allen playing jazz 
in the background close to me.

Although it was all
so random, I thought,
I still want to know why 
Hemingway became a god 
and Kerouac nothing
but a Beat alcoholic. 
I’ll take Jack over that god 
any day, and I say that with earnest.

In my sliding fall,
I saw my first boyfriend 
giving me my first kiss, 
my last husband,
kissing me one last time,
and it began to seem to me
as though everything 
has always gone 

I wondered why it is 
I measure my life in men 
and turn them into bookends 
when all I wanted was to read
and feed my head.

And then Don McLean began singing
his never-ending song 
about an America that’s gone 
and I thought about the
the day I would die,
it made me want a big slice 
of something more.

I fell and fell,
glancing at my sliding past, 
and I saw most of my life
has been about 
chasing a white rabbit
who made me small, 
who made me feel
nothing at all.

I should have fallen 
like Alice, 
without holding on.