Girl Watching

Original Text: 
Susan Holbrook, Joy is so Exhausting (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2009): 52.
1Wow, lookit her, there's a sunlit hay bale, there's a key lime pie and a million pixels.
4Sticky kitchen floor, infected piercing, leaf blower, another Hollywood lesbian breakup.
11There goes a winning ticket, slickly spinning bobbin winder.
14Yes, for no one is as pre-emptive as you, as spacious and choppy.
15Well, I'll be a silk-lined swimmer, give me a kiosk, handy rhododendron.


2] Stockwell Day (1950-): Canadian leader of the Canadian Alliance party who, after winning a by-election in 2000 in Okanagan-Coquihalla in British Columbia, arrived for his first news conference by riding across Okanagan Lake on a Jet Ski, wearing a wetsuit. Back to Line
3] dabber: coloured marker pen. Back to Line
5] licorice allsort: a mixture of differently flavoured candies. Back to Line
6] oldies station: radio station playing pop songs of the '50s, '60s, and early '70s.
hams: that "part of the leg at the back of the knee; the hollow or bend of the knee" (OED). Back to Line
7] Fisherman's Friend: strong menthol lozenges, made in England originally for the breathing ailments of deep-sea fishermen. floaty pen: colorful tilt pens that have floating objects in a see-through barrel. Back to Line
8] drum machine: electronic device that produces musical sounds of percussion instruments. Back to Line
9] Hallucinogenic Toreador: .Salvador Dali's oil painting on a bull-fighting theme (1968-70) in which repeated images of the Venus de Milo are much easier to see than the toreador himself. Back to Line
10] oaf cat: pop graphic of a disagreeable cat appearing on shirts and cards. Back to Line
12] Awake pamphlets: evangelical information pamphlets of Jehovah's Witnesses, designed to warn non-adherents of an impinging end to the world. Back to Line
13] tin chimera: trading card in a game of magic, the Tin-Wing Chimera, which gifts a Chimera (dragon) card with the ability to fly. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Susan Holbrook and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.