Magical Disenchantment in “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi. Review.

If vanity could kill, this book would be murder. Oyeyemi’s tale is winding; the plot twists and turns in every direction. The characters are full of evil and charm. There is a specific darkness to the retelling of this Snow White tale that allows certain themes to shine so brightly. In a subtle and disorienting manner, a way I could only describe as magical disenchantment, Oyeyemi addresses themes of vanity, gender, parenting, race, and education.

Boy is abused by her terrible father, the rat catcher, who would “accidentally” let pans fall on her or worse, seduce her with food only to later tie her to a chair and let the blind rats chew at her face. Having had enough, Boy runs away, runs to the station, and buys any ticket that is far away enough. She lives in a boarding house but is shunned slightly for not having any skills or talents.

She has a gentleman caller, Charlie, her true love, write to her. But it is Arturo Whitman who ultimately gains her hand in marriage. Whitman has a little girl Snow, whose beauty enchants everyone, even Boy. Boy loves Snow and if only she had let herself, would be the mother she always wanted and never had. Snow loves Boy and welcomes the new baby; in fact, she chooses the name: “Bird for a boy and Bird for a girl.”

Bird is born and immediately Boy gets accused of cheating on her husband. Continue reading “Magical Disenchantment in “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi. Review.”

Forbidden

I could never stop looking at you from different directions. You never stop long enough for me to hold you and I know once in a while it’s stolen—is this even real? do you think of me? does the thought comfort you, or are you torn between the shouldn’t and couldn’t, won’t and will it? Could it?—It’s already happening in the imagination. I’ll meet you there.

From every side, it is beautifully flawed. There are too many jagged corners.
Only a diamond can cut a diamond

Clarity

In a moment if clarity

I realized he was no good for me

It was a moment of futility

He’s just some guy

The special was the movie in My head

An ideology a dream I had for myself and thought could not be replaced or replicated

But in Fact he’s just a man

Full of insignificant details and redundancy

Never took the time to know the real me

Mostly interested in my body

Once he had it as his territory

He deposited it back to where it could be reclaimed

For sale the sign says

So

When is the right time to refuse this misappropriated designation of property

Fool I don’t know who is the greater fool

Him, for selling what isn’t his or

Me for allowing it

But at ease I realize in the moment of clarity that all he ever did was Want And welcome fight but now I see that love is not flawed or tolerated or broken

Good company is not guilt ridden

Imperfections are perfect for a good cause because

Imperfect people are the best people

Womanhood

To cherish and hold, wrap my arms around your warm shoulders, cradle your head to my shoulder, caress your hair shhhhh
“Baby”
Hold you to my chest,
“Baby”

Angry words. thorns and bristles. stinging stones. They will only irritate but never penetrate my skin

Child, I love you, and I mean you and only you, every you, whenever you, whole and true, pieces and all. I will bend down and pick up every piece and sweep the glass dust

Even though you’ll never be whole again I will put you together—all of this does not lessen me or weaken me or exhaust me

Play and pick at my insecurities
That is the price I pay to cry and laugh freely
I gladly pay

 

 

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