Our Poetry Friday offering this week is very much in keeping with our current bimonthly theme until the end of April: Oddballs and Misfits, the Surreal and the Peculiar: A Celebration of Beautiful Strangenesses. Our host this week is Liz at Growing Wild.
I first found out about this book when I was in Brisbane sometime in 2010. When I visited the States during Christmas of 2011, the beautiful Fats Suela was kind enough to give this to me as a gift. Bibliophiles know each other’s hearts. This is one of my most treasured books to date.
There are twenty-three odd little poems in all in this collection with the equally-strange and beautiful illustrations done by the multi-talented Tim Burton. There is the tragic yet fiery love story between Stick Boy and Match Girl in Love, the product of the unholy union between a woman and a microwave blender in Robot Boy, and the prodigious talents of Staring Girl and how her eyes look like when they finally have their well-deserved rest.
As I read through the poems The Boy with Nails in His eyes and The Girl with Many Eyes and the story (told in verse of course) of Roy, the Toxic Boy, I begin to wonder what Tim Burton’s dreams are like. I would not even want to know what the texture of his nightmares may be like (Beetlejuice immediately comes to mind). This collection has an assortment of beautiful little misfits with characters such as Brie Boy, Junk Girl, Mummy Boy, Melonhead, The Pin Cushion Queen and Jimmy, the Hideous Penguin Boy to cite a few. They are all strange and surreal archetypes of the people that we are – perhaps concealed in the farthest corners of our minds, struggling to be set free to find happiness in whichever way they know how. As our featured Academic, Tuting Hernandez, describes the book – it is a “collection about finding love and building friendships and discovering dreams and passions and the self of misunderstood characters.”
And of course there is the hideous death of Oyster Boy, the King of the Oddballs in this little velvet black book.
It is a moribund fairy tale gone awry with Oyster Boy’s death narrated in a peculiarly-matter-of-fact, almost-terse, straightforward retelling sans drama nor needless emotions, the pain and heartbreak subtle yet keenly-sensed. My favorite though in this collection is Voodoo Girl and as such is my Poetry Friday offering this week. Hope you like it.
Voodoo Girl by Tim Burton
Her skin is white cloth,
and she’s all sewn apart
and she has many colored pins
sticking out of her heart.
She has many different zombies
who are deeply in her trance.
She even has a zombie
who was originally from France.
But she knows she has a curse on her,
a curse she cannot win.
For if someone gets
too close to her,
the pins stick farther in.
Here is The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy as seen in Youtube. Enjoy.
Read-a-Latte Challenge: 97 of 150