THE FANTASY HORRORS
OF THE EVERYDAY
In some fantastic adventure story
inhabited by wizards and dragons,
rife with magic and daring quests,
where morality is clearly chiseled
as the New Century Linotype that
inks the fine vellum of the page,
it suddenly all goes roughly astray.
A fog uncurls across the landscape,
obscuring castles and candelabra,
tainting both the heroic sacrifices
and fiendish deeds you once found
so captivating in the pure black
and white surety of their display.
The maiden fair is not so chaste
as she would wish you to believe.
The prince is puffed with his glory
and compulsive about his swordplay.
The crimes of the stepfather king
may prove less than vile once you
know of the beatings and constant
abuse he suffered as a mere child.
Actuality has bled onto the page,
corrupting a nearly perfect world
where you could shun the humdrum
complexities that fill your day,
leaving you little to do but slam
the book shut and hurl it away.
Yet as you turn back to take up
existence and the tasks you face,
you discover reality has not only
fled to the page but is now passe.
You house has changed to a castle
keep with every stone in place,
with a mortar so hard no battering
ram can dislodge its unyielding clay.
Your world has assumed the clarity
you thought your book would convey,
and your drug-crazed teenage son is
cast as the hero of this fairy tale.
Your carping mate is virtue incarnate.
Your cat and dog are enchanted beasts
with fire to breathe and roles to play.
And you have become the stepfather king,
splenetic with bile and poisonous rage,
wrecking vengeance on all who betray.
You scramble after that abandoned book,
seeking a draught of reality to save you
from the fantasy horrors of the everyday.