Original Text

Susan Holbrook, Misled (Red Deer, Alberta: Red Deer Press, 1999): 54-55, 57.

1Fortissimo romance, blistered to the max. Rather be ghoulish
3the whinnying. The subject of pathos or bathos or Cheerios. The Spanish
5the roof. Stole the show. Narrative is all fun and games until someone
6loses a roof. Come-uppance is no coin, a warning no prism. And does
8and sloth. It's not in grace but in a burning house that we say there is
He cried: "It was not I, it was my brother," but say what he
would, they cut off his head.
10Meanwhile brothers drinking lattes. Meanwhile the axe dulls
11and thoughts hang by a thread. Froth to blame, blood to father-
12ing wuthering. All manner of amnesias trying to recognize my own neck
13from that angle. Proving fables can be cerebral. Take heed, he started it
14but I got in heck. A flustered justice, fresh ground hot flash. Necklace of
15coffee beads in the bottom of a wax cup. Licking chops. Eyes, beads, lust
16collecting dust. See what he would, chopping sucks. The evil brother
17always remembers to send a card on mother's day. "Not I," said the lit-
18tle red hand.
Immediately the physician fell on the ground, and now he
himself was in the hands of Death.
19Them requisitioned apples. Fell before he got a chance to find
20a lover worthy of the plums in the icebox note. A moan bigger
21than a bruise. Bus drivers make the worst passengers. "Cold hands,
22warm heart," said Death. Good times, bad liver. Grapes in the crisper do
23not adequate his teeth among stones. Eye them roll, tiny decapitations.
24Finally a moment to acknowledge the glassiness of the word tincture.
25Praying for a referral. Someone with teeth to say: without, incurring
26dreams. Within his bending sickles compasse come sorry chips and


0] Poet's note: “*Italicized lines are gratefully stolen from The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales (New York:Pantheon Books, 1944)." Back to Line
2] sitz baths: baths in which one sits; hip-baths. Back to Line
4] peenay sol: pine sol, a type of clorox (a cleaning fluid). Back to Line
7] chenille: "A kind of velvety cord, having short threads or fibres of silk and wool standing out at right angles from a core of thread or wire, like the hairs of a caterpillar" (OED). Back to Line
9] Big Red: cinnamon-flavoured gum sold by Wrigley's. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
Special Copyright

Copyright © Susan Holbrook 2009 and not to be reproduced without her explicit written permission.