Against Disneyland

By Barbara Louise Ungar

Disneyland is there to conceal the fact that it is the ‘real’ country, all of ‘real’ America, which is Disneyland.—Jean Beaudrillard

An iconography of excrement,
I might have said, at seven,
had I known the words.
Instead, I sulked in baleful silence

to torment my family all day.
Precocious, I knew how to ruin car trips
by getting carsick, but that was involuntary
genius; this, deliberate retribution:

How dare they bring me there?
I who scorned birthday parties,
even as a tot resisting
coerced laughter. Tiny pilgrim

dragged through the Inferno of California
sun on asphalt: each new line
descending to a deeper circle; each ride,
a worse contrapasso punishment.

A diminutive French critic
lacking only a candy Gauloise Bleu
dangling from my disdainful lips:
My townspeople, what are you thinking!

No more Mickey Mousse,
I might have signified, had I
known how. Like any cartoon animal,
I recognized bad magic by instinct.

Instead, I simply cried.


From Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life.

Barbara Louise Ungar's third full-length poetry book, Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life, was a poetry best-seller for SPD for several months this spring upon its publication by The Word Works. She is the author of two previous full-length collections of poetry, Thrift and The Origin of the Milky Way. The latter won the 2006 Gival Press Poetry Award, a Silver IPPY (Independent Publishers' Book Award), an Eric J. Hoffer Notable for Poetry Award, and the Adirondack Center for Writing Award for Best Book of Poetry 2007 (co-winner). She is also the author of Haiku in English, and several poetry chapbooks. She is an English professor at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

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