With Weird and Bite

Barbie lived unloved
in my underwear drawer,
not understanding
that my heart yearned for other
dolls (with weird and bite) like me.


bits on writing and living

I grew up thinking I hated dolls… I was especially suspicious of Barbie’s slightly vacant smile. In fact, I couldn’t stand the doll. But since Fate delights in laughing at her children, someone (no one truly close to me) would always give me a Barbie to unlove for years and years and years…

A few decades later… after I could procure my own dolls, I realized that it wasn’t dolls I didn’t care for. I just needed dollies that spoked to me. Had anyone given me a pissed off unicorn doll, or a slightly dreamy sheep doll, or a smirking doll with button eyes, I would’ve loved dolls as a wee girl.

The same is true about my love for reading and writing poetry. If someone would’ve introduced me to poems that embraced my weird (just the way I like it), poetry and I would’ve been loving each other madly for years and years and years… Then again, who knows, maybe Fate is just the smartest of them all. She understood that a soul should live a little (or a lot) before kissing poetry on the mouth (and playing with dolls that can bite).


linked to Poets United (love), to Holly’s 8th Annual Vampire’s Day Soirée, and to Blogging Around with Rommy (week 5)


Mavis (vampire sheep, by Gina Morley)
Drusilla (vampire dolly, by Groovy Gothic)
Princess Unikitty (from The LEGO Movie)


51 thoughts on “With Weird and Bite”

  1. The image of a barbie unloved in your underwear drawer made me smile.
    Maybe because I didn’t think you kept or cared for barbies. Delightful poem.

    Oh yes, now I get. Barbie doesn’t speak, she simply bats her eyelashes. She wouldn’t stand a chance with your wicked dolls in the photo. 😀

    “If someone would’ve introduced me to poems that embraced my weird (just the way I like it)…”

    Do you know that nothing has changed with regard to teaching (or not) of poetry (and literature at large), at least, in schools I work at. Some school libraries are not so cool anymore because kids (from different backgrounds) simply can’t relate to the literature they are suppose to read. You make a good point.

    • You totally get it. I found Barbie’s impossible neatness, for instance, a bit frustrating. I didn’t understand it then, but I supposed that I was already rebelling to things that didn’t make sense to me. It just took me a long time to figure out why I disliked it so much.

      I’m sure that things are still going slow in the US, too, when it comes to teaching poetry. But they are so much better than before. The not-so-Little Princess is assigned poetry for school–writing and reading–some of the choices are fantastic. Also, I had a poetry professor who took us to a cemetery to find inspiration. The conservative part of the English department wasn’t crazy about her methods, but the students loved her (me included).

      Maybe things will get better…

  2. LOL. I never did like dolls either – any of them but I liked my live cats and doggos. I always got chemistry sets, a couple of erector sets, things to sketch and draw with. My parents understood. That Barbie wouldn’t have lived in my drawer, it would have been beheaded and buried for a science project!

    • My parents never gave me dolls. They knew me better. From people who knew me, I got clothes and school supplies as gifts. On the toy department, I usually received hula-hoops, paddleballs, marbles, jacks and things of the sort. But… there is always that family member of family friend who has no clue. If they were nice, I kept the gift until I could find someone who would appreciate it. If they weren’t nice, well… I always needed bodies to play battlefield in the mud *cough*.

  3. I love your collection there especially the green creature.
    My brother use to give my girls a Barbie either for Xmas or b’day. I don’t think they were crazy over them. The younger one stripped them all naked and kept them in a huge Rubbermaid container. I know u have a visual! 🤣

    • Mavis is beaute!

      I don’t know what it is with naked Barbies in clear plastic containers. The not-so-Little Princess used to do the same, and keep them in the bathroom. After she started giving them haircuts, they looked like very clean casualties of war.

  4. I love love love this Magaly! It is the same with reading. Sometimes a person will think they do not like to read, because they never came across a book that truly spoke to them. Then when they do, they are hooked. Always love the way you can say something so differently. Making it uniquely your own. That is what a talented poet can do. You are a beautiful poet with your own unique voice and bite, that no one else could copy. That is why I love your writing so!!

  5. I didn’t always appreciate my parents, but I do love that my Dad read me poems with ‘weird and bite’ during my childhood. I can only recall being given two dolls – perhaps because I wasn’t very good at playing with them in a girly, mothering kind of way. I made all my toys act out stories instead. The one I carted around and cuddled was a green felt kangaroo. (I promise you, in real like there are no green kangaroos.)

    • My mother was really good at telling us stories. It was my favorite part of the night. After we did homework, ate dinner, and finish chores, she would tell stories and I love to act out some of the parts (guess I was the doll, lol).

  6. I had no love for Barbie either not that I was child when she first made an appearance. When I was a very young boy I did want a doll, toy cars were fine in the daytime but I needed someone to cuddle at night. So reluctantly my parents bought me a toy monkey (unsexed) that I loved from the start and slept with at night. I loved it so much a new face had to made for it (twice). When I first went to school I couldn’t take it with me so it was hung on the back of the front door waiting for me when I came home. We moved house in 1945 when I was 9, and when we unpacked I found that Beppo (the monkey) had not made the journey with us so from then on I had to become a real boy!

  7. Life is better when we embrace the things that truly call to us rather than endure things simply because that was expected of us. LOL, though who says we have to play with Barbies in a way that’s expected of us? I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine and she said her Barbies were all naked or semi-naked witch queens who ordered Ken around.

    • I didn’t have any stuffed animals growing up. But that makes sense for a child living in the Dominican Republic and living with a weird skin condition. No one really knew what I was allergic to, so keeping me away from anything that could collect dirt wasn’t a good idea. Still, I had a pretty one-eyed doll, I kept under my pillow, lol!

    • Yesterday, as I worked on the rough draft for a new story, I’m pretty sure I heard dear Dru ask Mavis, “Would you be my friend and steed?” Mavis looked very agreeable. 😀

      Growing up, I always wanted a calavera doll.

  8. a soul should live a little (or a lot) before kissing poetry on the mouth … a fabulous observation! And I second that unlove of barbie dolls..very much!

  9. “..other / dolls (with weird and bite)..” When one hears their call a whole universe of love opens. That’s how I feel. I still love doll-house, may be because I never had one or may be because I have a penchant for tiny houses.

  10. I’m sorry, Magaly, but dolls have always given me the creeps. I did smile at Barbie in your underwear drawer. We have no dolls in our house, except for the glove and hand puppets I use for Bounce and Rhyme – and most of them are soft toy animals! I agree about embracing your weird and kissing poetry but not dolls that bite – that reminds me of the dolls with pointy teeth in Barbarella.

    • Sock puppets are awesome. They have a bunch of them at my in-law’s public library, and the not-so-Little Princess loves telling stories with them. I love watching her.

      I have to confess that I’ve never watched Barbarella. I just learned about it a day or two ago, when a friend mentioned it in relation to this poem. Now, I must watch it!

  11. Love your poem and Love those dolls of yours!! I actually loved my dolls. I loved my baby dolls and my stuffed animals and a I had a few barbies. I always wanted a darker complexion Barbie with dark hair though and that didn’t exist when I was a kid.

    • Hm… I don’t remember seeing any dolls with dark skin when I was growing up. But for me it was not so much the looks as what the dolls “could do” with the clothes they wore, I think. Because I remember loving a Lion-O (from the Thurdercats) figurine I got from a librarian friend. I mostly love it because of the sword, lol!

  12. I like your stuffed dolls! I never “mothered” dolls–had a favorite pillow that looked like an animal, and gave it a name, but it was strictly a pillow. I liked Barbies as figures for handcrafts, and still do…some of the Barbie-clones meant to look like real people, Farrah Fawcett, the Spice Girls, Mary Kate & Ashley, may not have fangs but look distinctly likely to bite to me. I remember a storybook (“Caitlin’s Holiday”?) where “Holiday,” an off-brand Barbie-type doll, came to life with the personality of a shelter dog and would nip the little girl’s hands when she wanted things… Thank you for explaining the appeal of the Bratz and Monster High dolls, though.

    • I think they are perfect for crafting and make overs (like Gina said). They are very thin, so a lot can be added to their shape without losing the humanoid form. The new Barbies (and dolls in general) have gotten better, seem to offer choices to almost all. I think that’s really nice, for Barbie and for Barbie-like doll lovers.

      I’m glad that you were able to see why some people might like Bratz and Monster High dolls–understanding others is always good–but that is not what I meant, by “dolls (with weird and bite).” I was talking specifically about the dollies in the picture: Drusilla (an armless and legless doll that grins at life), Mavis (a sheep with green wool blooming with daisies), and Unikitty (a fiery unicorn with a temper). I like dolls that are as unique as people.

  13. I agree with you!! I love your dolls so much! They rock! I am smiling. I still have one of my original teddy bears, where I took the one eye off and drew a black dot in it’s place! LOL! Big Hugs 🙂

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