DWJ ReRead · Poetry

“A Slice of Life” by Diana Wynne Jones

nowwearesick“A Slice of Life” is a poem published in the anthology Now We Are Sick, edited by Neil Gaiman and Stephen Jones. This book is currently out of print, but some editions bear the subtitle “An Anthology of Nasty Verse”, and that’s basically what it is. Among the authors included in the anthology are Brian Aldiss, Terry Pratchett, S.P. Somtow and Alan Moore – so I knew to expect a good variety of nasty, which is what I got.

Diana Wynne Jones’ contribution is a week’s worth of verses by a student narrating their school lunches. Of course, if you’ve read Witch Week you’ll know that Diana Wynne Jones can describe food in a way that makes you see worms instead of pasta or brains instead of peas. And this is what goes on in the poem, along with the student’s suspicion that they were really eating one of their teachers, who had been missing from Day 1.

I almost skipped this title when I was looking up DWJ’s uncollected stories and poetry because (1) it’s a poem, and (2) the anthology was pretty hard to come by, but I’m glad that I did get it in the end – besides the appropriately nasty poem that I would’ve appreciated so much when I was still in school, I enjoyed most of the other poems from the anthology that I’ve read. Some of them were more darkly whimsical in nature, while others were outright gross, they’re mostly funny as well. Probably should have included this in my RIP challenge last month. Never mind; I will be finishing it this weekend, and maybe reread it next October.

My next DWJ read will be A Sudden Wild Magic, which I haven’t read before – can’t wait!


DWJ RE-READ no.42 | “A Slice of Life” (1991)
previous read: Black Maria
next read: A Sudden Wild Magic