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Since 1996 Volume XXI



Susan Rich
 
Susan Rich is author of five books including Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemistís Kitchen, Cures Include Travel and the Cartographerís Tongue. She co-edited The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders.  A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and Times Literary Award, Susan lives in Seattle, WA and teaches at Highline College.

Tricks a Girl Can Do                        

Hannah Maynard was one of the first professional women photographers in
Victoria, British Columbia. After the death of her teenage daughter, Lillie,
she created a series of multiple exposure self-portraits. From 1884 to 1896,
MaynardĻs work grew progressively more eccentric.

 

I will hang myself in picture frames

in drawing rooms where grief

is not allowed a wicker chair

 

then grimace back at this facade

from umbrella eyes

through a cage of silvering hair.

 

Look! Iíve learned to slice myself in three

to sit politely at the table

with ginger punch and teacake;

 

offer thin-lipped graves

of pleasantries. I develop myself

in the pharmacistís chemicals

 

three women Iím loathe to understandó

presences I sometimes cajole

into porcelain light and shadow.

 

We culminate in a silver gelatin sceneó

a daughter birthed from a spiral shell,

a keyhole tall enough to strut through.

 

 

Cloud Pharmacy, (White Pine Press), 2014

 

 

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