dolls by tom whalen

i read this book this morning. it was the 2006 caketrain chapbook competition winner. i think i really like it. it is sad and creepy and beautiful. and it describes childhood savageness and sexuality very accurately i think. also it brought back tactile memories of my favorite doll victoria. i miss hugging her and smelling her hair.

here is my favorite page:

Once a Doll Was Exploring Her Intestines

Once a doll was exploring her intestines and fell in. What? The doll could not be dreaming. Dolls do not dream. The walls were wet and of stone that sparkled. Oh, I am lost, I am lost. But dolls don't know where they are. A man with a moustache in the shape of an anopheles mosquito passed by her. His clothes and shoes were made of scrap metal. Next she encountered a rat carrying a toy truck in its mouth. What, what? Then an unlit candle and a deaf alligator were carried off by a beetle.

Night descended. The child put her to bed. The dog peed in the corner. Dolls do not pee, at least not proper ones. Still, she went on exploring, saying What, what, I am lost, I am lost, while the dog slept on and the child released from her vagina a large bright red goldfish.

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