The Jim Archives
Trellim Alonzoid's Bag of Tricks
(Creative Writing Anthology)
...collects artifacts from Mrs. Rosenberger's Creative Writing class, spring semester, senior year. Moods range from the pensive to the frivolous.

Trellim Alonzoid's Bag of Tricks (an introduction)

Trellim Alonzoid's Bag of Tricks
isn't filled with stones or sticks—
it's filled with tales both great and small.
Come hear one, come hear them all.

You shall hear of far-off lands,
where pipers play upon the sand;
where all the day is spent in song.
So come with me, so come along.

Into the realm of hazy dreams
the mystic story ship careens—
Imagination's magic lair.
So come along, come if you dare.

But if the real world is to you
more fascinating, bright, and true,
the bag of tricks, I know it holds
a mirror for the real things, too.

Into the mirror you shall peer
and see yourself or someone dear
to you; or maybe you'll just see
the shadows of the passing years.

So Trellim's wondrous sack of yarns
shall welcome you into its barns
of poet cows and minstrel cocks.
So come inside—the door's not locked.

(May 1987)

Spoon River Follies—The Brothers Williamson

Barrett Williamson

Don't laugh.
Well, I know you're supposed to,
and it does mean that I'm doing a good job, but
please don't.

This is not me.

I am not Chuckles; I am Hamlet,
or Othello, or King Lear, maybe
(with enough makeup).
But these days, it seems,
people don't want Shakespeare—
they want Barnum.

They said I had promise—
Broadway, Hollywood, anything.
Not one word about
getting up in front of everyone
and making a fool of yourself
on purpose.

I should have gone into insurance.

(April 1987)


Thomas Williamson

I hate numbers.
They used to be playful things, years ago,
wonderful creatures that danced a graceful ballet
on the papers set before me.
Now they just lie there cold, still,
They're getting to be like the people around here.

What does this chart have to do with anyone?
Who cares about the "Percentage of American Males
Between the Ages of 21 and 35 Injured Annually
in Supermarket Check-Out Line Accidents"?

There's more to life than numbers.
There's more to life than insurance.

Maybe I'll run off and join the circus.

(April 1987)


Eric Arthur Williamson

Fudge Ripple, anyone?
How about Vanilla Raspberry Swirl?
Yes sir,
two thousand and one flavors,
each and every one delicious.
(Well, maybe not Coconut Avocado Mint,
but that's a matter of personal taste.)

Seeing a fine acting performance
may reaffirm one's belief
in the transcendence of art,
and being well-insured
may give a person
a quiet feeling of security,
but eating an ice cream cone
makes you happy,
and on a hot summer's day, ecstatic.

And when little (and big) kids
look at me with expectant eyes
as I scoop up their Butter Brickle,
I know I have a place in this world.

(April 1987)

Remembering Trilogy

I. Remembering

I remember nighttime.
The royal ball...

(Tonight is ours beneath the stars
that sparkle in their lofty perch.
The moon ascends betwixt the bends
of ancient juniper and birch...)

Some have, some search.
And if the sign says "Please don't touch"
you'll keep your distance.
Museum pieces.

(No, it's not your face I see,
through the dark, glassily.
Simple shadow it must be,
for you would not wait here for me.)

But dreams are worth fighting for
because the night, no longer bright
with all the festal pleasantries,
continues on, e'er and anon,
regardless of our memories.

(May 1987)


II. «Ce dont les légendes sont faites»

Don't look up,
legendary pup.
Don't look down,
legendary clown.
Don't look silly,
legendary billygoat.

Don't look here,
legendary deer.
Don't look there,
legendary bear.
Don't look around,
legendary groundhog.

Don't look now,
legendary cow.
Don't look then,
legendary hen.
Don't look back,
legendary yak.
You know where it got Orpheus.

(May 1987)


III. Some More Remembering

So in the darkness stands alone
the vanquished knight beside the throne.
The games are over; all is done.
And only this remaining one
contemplates the lady fair—
sapphire eyes, auburn hair.
("Here have I a place of rest,
here have I found happiness.

For I have glimpsed the truth within
these folds of lace and crinoline—
the overpow'ring might of doves
and the fragility of love.")

"What of games?" he's heard to sigh
(by contract, union knights can't cry).
"They're silly, meaningless affairs."
The victors are the ones who care.

Tomorrow, near another town
the weary knight will settle down,
and as the shadows swallow light
his voice will echo in the night:

"Your face tonight I'll once more see
where happiness meets memory.
Then it shall pass again, alas,
one pearl in cold infinity."

(May 1987)

The Sea (haiku)

Unto the great sea,
the boulders and pebbles roll.
All of them get wet.

(May 1987)

The Marching Band

They have turned
"The Stars and Stripes Forever"
into a dirge.

(April 1987)

Crown of Thorns

See the crown sparkle in the sun.
Sparkle, crown, sparkle.
You sure cost enough.

(May 1987)

How Not to Treat Your Pet Kangaroo

The kangaroo kicked in his crate,
offended at being called "freight."
He broke through the wood
and said it felt good
to be free again—yes, it felt great!

(April 1987)


The surnames in the phone book change
but Hillandale is still the same.
Though human face come and go,
the face of Hillandale remains.

The railway station's lazy flow
of trains and people great and low
in muted thunder passes by,
stirs not the field where poppies grow.

And in the silken azure sky
the wanderlusty sparrows fly
above the hissing cast-iron snakes—
they'll look down, perhaps, and sigh.

And in the distance, sunlight breaks.
The silence makes the earth to shake,
makes recompense for man's mistakes,
makes recompense for man's mistakes.

*with apologies to Robert Frost and John McCrae

(May 1987)

Thoughts Had While Viewing a Bridge

And here the bridge
that's welcomed travellers for ages, it seems.
Some cross not knowing their destination,
but others are quite sure of theirs
and stride up to the tollgate with all confidence
and give the gatekeeper a knowing smile.
Knowing what, I'm not sure.

They say that people change
when they cross over the river.
It's inevitable.
And though you might return one day,
as some do,
things won't be at all the same.
I'll bet it's the water on the other side.

But I don't know for sure.
And the only way to find out
is to go for yourself,
so they say.
Then you'll understand.
But I don't think I'll cross today.
I don't think I want to understand


(May 1987)

Trellim Alonzoid's Bag of Tricks (reprise)

Shut the gate and dim the lights.
The carnival is through tonight.
Tell the people all to go—
the curtain's closing on this show.

Tell the kids who like to ride
the ferris wheel that deep inside
we'd love to stay for one more day
but we've got more hick towns to play.

Tell the folks who come to see
the lady with the beard that she
hates travelling from town to town—
she wants to shave and settle down.

And tell the fortune teller's fans
that he was just a normal man
and they were fools to come and pay
to hear him babble on that way.

But tell them that we loved to see
their faces all aglow with glee,
and that we hope to see them all
when we come back to town next fall.

(May 1987)

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