“The Seven Wonders” by Alan Bigelow

Open “The Seven Wonders” by Alan Bigelow

This webyarn takes us on a journey through the mind of the speaker triggered by ingredients while he explores his kitchen. The speaker makes a bizarre connection between seven ingredients (flour, pepper, sugar, salt, olive oil, vinegar, thyme) and his romantic relationship with a woman who has abandoned him. It is structured as a linear narrative that follows the same pattern with each kitchen ingredient: the revealing of the ingredient, the explanation its historical significance or its use in both positive and negative ways, a video is incorporated as a companion, and finally the connection between the ingredient, the speaker, and his relationship.

Similarly to another one of Bigelow’s works, “In a World Without Electricity,” the speaker of “The Seven Wonders” reconstructs past events in order to make sense of them. In the earlier work, the speaker reminisces over the death of someone close to him, while in “The Seven Wonders” the speaker examines his seemingly finalized amorous relationship with a long gone woman in the hopes of finding closure.

Seven Wonders Pepper

Each ingredient serves a purpose. The speaker is comparing each one to romantic relationship and its components. By doing so, in sixteen days the speaker comes to terms with the apparent end of his relationship. The flour represents the foundation any relationship should have, and without which it can crumble. Pepper is the most traded spice in the World which the speaker compares to how people use superficial love to spice up a burgeoning relationship. The speaker is implying that “love” has been cheapened and commercialized the same way pepper has. Next comes sugar and so on with the remaining ingredients. The photos of the ingredients are in close, macroscopic scale, comparable to the way the speaker is analyzing his relationship, and also evoking the monumental Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The GIFs represent the journey the absent lover is taking starting at the Niagara Falls and ending…

Well that’s for you to discover, dear reader.

“In a World Without Electricity” by Alan Bigelow

“How They Brought the News from Paradise” by Alan Bigelow

Screen capture from "How They Brought the News from Paradise" by Alan Bigelow. A dark, stormy night on the open sea where the ships are being violently rocked by the waves, and palm trees and hills can be seen in the far distance. Text: "A skull and crossbones fluttered / over a long, wooden plank / - the bar - / with its beer taps, shot glasses / and alcoholic ballast."
Open “How They Brought the News from Paradise” by Alan Bigelow

This narrative poem tells the mock-heroic adventures of an unlikely antihero on an imaginary quest. As Bigelow describes the piece,

In “How They Brought the News from Paradise to Paterson,” a first-person speaker narrates his story (in heroic verse) as he swims from one end of a resort pool complex to another in search of what he thinks is more alcohol, but is in fact a journey to find his marriage
and himself. The poem plays with the epic and tragic within a setting stifled with consumerism and class separation.

The poem is structured as the monomyth, in which the speaker, while lounging at the Paradise pool bar in a 5-star resort in Barbados, overhears what he interprets as a call to adventure: the bar has run out of rum. Taking upon himself to embark upon a journey through the pool complex to find the god-like Concierge at the far end, whose “sage advice / and quick, imperious commands” would restore the flow of rum in Paradise.

Read more…

“Last Words” by Alan Bigelow

“Pangram (The Quick Brown Fox)” by Alan Bigelow

“He Said She Said” by Alan Bigelow

“This Is Not A Poem” by Alan Bigelow

“My Nervous Breakdown” by Alan Bigelow

“Archetypal Africa” by Alan Bigelow

“Brainstrips” by Alan Bigelow

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