Wisconsin Tragedy (Slenderman)


Wisconsin Tragedy (Slenderman)

Where does real begin?
At a mother’s breast
First dip in a pool
First lick from a puppy

Where did unreal begin?
Remember Bambi
The shotgun off-screen but
your parents were there
to hold your hand and
dry your tears and
talk about how movies aren’t real

Where does the new unreal begin?
Parents turn on the TV
and tune out their kids
The video games seductive
Playing pimp or dealer with
a steady aim and BLAM
And all the women are whores

Where does real begin now?
The Internet, shady Slenderman
A sick fantasy with lots of fans,
lots of kids, is calling the shots
The stabs

Real is unreal
Fantasy is reality
Parents are clueless
Kids rule their own worlds
Worlds of pain and loneliness
Worlds their parents don’t
care to think about

Boomers, we were lonely too
But we had trees to climb
and time and time
…and time

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday, the letter “W.” I wish this was not a true story. I wish it did not involve 12-year-old girls trying to kill their friend because some sick person told them to do it and they believed in Slenderman more than God.  For those who aren’t in the States, two girls were convinced by a fictitious character (whose stories are all over the Internet, written by hundreds of people) that to enter his “club,” they had to kill someone.  Whoever created Slenderman in the first place is sick enough, but whoever dangled this bloody carrot should rot in jail.  The girl survived.  Her friends (being tried as adults) left her for dead but she crawled to a roadside.  She is home now, but psychologically, who knows what is in store for this poor kid?

This was in the suburbs. Waukesha is in the heart of the Christian Right, Paul Ryan’s land. I pray for the soul of my state, even as I reside in the “hippie district.”

Peace, Amy

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. georgeplace2013
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 05:18:25

    So much violence… so many divides… your questions about reality are ones most of us ponder but don’t find satisfying answers to. Your poem addresses that well.

    Reply

  2. Roger Green
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 05:41:10

    This was a particularly bizarre, and sad story. I was unfamiliar with Slenderman and wish that were still so.

    Reply

  3. Greensboro Daily Photo
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 05:50:25

    Amazing poem. The blurred line between real and unreal reminds me of the writing by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children). So glad you are publishing your poems and participating in ABC Wed.

    Reply

  4. brian miller
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 05:57:18

    clueless parents….that is a huge part of it….we have become so involved in self gratification….and entertainment….we have distracted ourselves from reality….

    Reply

  5. kaykuala
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 09:29:17

    Present day woes! They can bring tragedy from unexpected sources. Parents may not be privy to the happenings surrounding their kids. When it does happen it cracks the very fabric that binds families together. It is a real pity when those who suffer are the docile innocents. Great write Amelita!

    Hank

    Reply

  6. sarahleelopez4377
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 10:19:43

    Such a great poem and a great point you make in it, if only kids had to actually play outside and use their brains and have parents raise them….I don’t know where these concepts went but it kills me they are gone

    Reply

  7. Sara v
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 10:42:13

    Amy, so painful–who in the world thinks any of that is a good idea? Being outside in nature is so healing. Too bad everyone’s afraid and stuck inside with their electronics..

    Reply

  8. Hazel Anastasia
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 13:16:11

    Bambi still breaks my heart :(

    Reply

  9. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 14:17:42

    That is a dreadful story. I have long thought that the violence we hear of every day is linked the the unreal world that children inhabit electronically all day.

    Reply

  10. Sherry Blue Sky
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 14:20:06

    Oh my goodness, Amy, how horrifying – the disconnection between parents and kids is creating a band of lonely children without direction. I resonate with your closing lines about how we boomers were lonely, but we had outdoors, sunshine and…..time!!!!! And hope, too, I think. Hard for today’s kids to have enough of it.

    Reply

  11. Joy
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 14:33:06

    Horrific story and the sadness in your poem expresses so well the sickness of the world today.

    Reply

  12. mybeautfulthings
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 15:01:39

    Yes, we had trees and time….. How sad this whole thing is and your poem captures it all with its terrible sadness and the incomprehension of those left outside.

    Reply

  13. Pamela
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 15:26:20

    Amelita, that is a powerful poem on the disarray the world is in. I have not heard about this, how horrible!

    Paz y amor,
    Pamelita

    Reply

  14. Ellen
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 16:24:27

    You captured so much here in this poem. Such a tragedy and almost unbelievable but there it is reality.

    Reply

  15. coalblack
    Jun 19, 2014 @ 05:03:10

    This crime utterly shocked me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and wondering how on earth girls so young could have done something so horrific to someone else, all because of some character on the internet.

    Reply

  16. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 22, 2014 @ 15:27:30

    A crime that gracefully have not passed the news here.. sounds like something of a black storybook where the unreal pass into reality.. I just wonder why it can impact kids so much.. we read dreadful stories too.. the Grimm stories were quite grim, but somehow we knew what was for real and what was not…

    Reply

    • Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
      Jun 22, 2014 @ 15:30:26

      And by the way.. for what reason do you ever try kids as adults… if this would have happened here.. those kids would have been given treatment and probably all three kids would eventually be healed… kids do terrible things but wherever could you get into your head that they should rot in jail…

      Reply

  17. purplepeninportland
    Jun 23, 2014 @ 12:11:59

    This was a very sad story, showing clearly the lives of children these days. We did seem to have a lot more time, and interests, didn’t we?

    Reply

  18. whimsygizmo
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 10:26:36

    This is a powerful, poignant, perfect piece, Amy. Thank you for writing it.

    Reply

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