Fathom 1993



Inside Cover



Jason Holt (3)
Dana Graham
Mariam Pirbhai (3)
r.j. inglis
Sean Maschmann
Graham Touchie (3)
Leslie Stockhausen
Nicole Fernandez
Helen Prosser
Sean Lawrence
Simon Gauci
Derrick Higginbotham


Ramona Ryan 1
Ramona Ryan 2
Urs Frei


Mariam Pirbhai




Shedding old views like serpent skin.
Snaking through a dogmatic jungle.
Rubbing wrongs with rigid rights.
The epidermal baggage
      straggles behind
      in entrails of past assertions –  
      stagnant stench
      of hand-me-down truths.
What you touched and what you tasted yesterday
      has dissipated; dead and done.
Like the eidos, the fixed, the formal,
Is it not mostly
      a matter of mind
      that one day moves you,
      the next day, sucks you dry.

And instances are everywhere,
but no explanation, no haloed purpose,
just random selection,
a needy subjection
to kinship and to kind.

I’m slipping through these social bars
that proffer light, but blacken stars.
Curve Cobra,
                   Cobra writhe,
While others walk in languid lines
      of certainty.
– straight, sharp, and narrow certainty.
Bury the myth
      and swallow the sparrow’s
      unsuspecting babe.

Satisfy the craving you were saving
      up for mercy.
Lose the jungle;
it doesn’t need you.
Grow anew with the discovery of transience.
Dive in darkness,
      under stars.


[And of what was it we talked about again?]

And of what was it we talked about again?
Or perhaps the silence said it all.
I don’t know what to make of this, you know:
ideals, idolatry, and longing.
For what?
More time to shatter images,
scattering promises like rose petals
at the feet of one we feel is more deserving,
at the feet of one who’ll crush them,
trampled on and tripping us up along the way.
Even petals lose their fragrance,
red carpets rip beneath our clumsy feet,
and someone always falls harder than some other.
Oh, for clarity I would rise above the water,
keep the million promises I’ve made,
and act the fragile fool!
But clarity lies no deeper
than the rose bush in the dirt.
Words from the river feed you
but eventually run dry­
the rose bush dies.

And of what was it we talked about again?
I can barely hear beyond my doubts.
I don’t know what to make of this, you know:
hailing down affection
in frozen moments of perfection ­–
in comparison to what?
A blemished past?
A cloudy day?
A wilting rose?
A withering ego?
There are no ideals, and idolatry is doting ­–
a no-thorough fare that slaps you in the face
with the realization that
all you’ll ever have is a longing for something
that will one day grow a thorn and poke you
in your bleary dreamer’s eye.


Sorrow for the Raven:
A Dedication

Raven swoops,
Absconds the scenery
In silhouette of night-shade.

On singling out
the snow-dipped fir,
Raven sits and Raven stirs
the snowflakes
– a thorny perch, revealed
against a cold, white landscape.

Raven cries.
Black widow wings unfold
and punctuate a somber sky.

Raven Wise,
they call you dread
for calls you crow into obscurity.
And when winter wakes
It wears you like an omen.
Sorrow for the raven
among the branches,
conspicuous and dark
To a superstitious eye.


last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul