October 19, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Alejandro Escudé




Troll Story



Their leader wears a chef’s hat.

It’s all rather Bosch. The upside tree and all.

The trolls, each hidden in their own cranny,

a leaf for a desk, and the computer:

a screen fashioned from a walnut,

the keyboards clattering, knuckle bones,

transmitting ads on guns, race, and independence.

Their faces are like shot glasses. The stream

running along the tree is zeroes and ones.

The water is a kind of pink irony. Not quite red.

There’s a place for them to eat; they get a bed.

Some trolls do nothing but take language lessons.

And some, the ones who have had it,

get shot by the mulberry bush—very quietly.

Their flag is green with a black dog on it.

It waves by the stream. There’s only one car

that needs a parking space, and its owner comes

but once a year to check on the progress.

The tree does grow fruit, a kind of sadness,

but if you tasted it, it would taste more like madness.

A skull, a troll skull fashioned out of iron,

rings to call them all back after a break of drink

and cigarettes. The troll women are rolled away

like flesh-colored carpets. Things are changing now

that they themselves are news. They’re used

to making it instead like a delicious stew.

And the man with the car now visits once a month,

but the chef knows it’ll go back how it was.

The green flag with a black dog on it.






Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

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