Fathom 1995



Inside Cover



Graham Touchie (4)
Jay White
Jacob Towers
Peggy Apostolides
Erica Spenser
Kathy Mac (4)
T. Gaoh
Rob Hutten
Guillaume van Moorsel


Karen Smith
C.A. Garbutt
Urs Frei






     Two weeks ago, I was approached by a man who asked if I had read the novel he held in his hand, and what did I think of it? I was surprised and blurted out, “Who are you?” He laughed and his teeth shone like the sun reflecting from a chainsaw instantly before it starts to gnaw through a tree. Within five minutes, he’d chopped through my exterior bark and had stolen my phone number from my easily impressed and susceptible core.


     When he called me a week later, I pretended to forget him: “Do I know you?” But I think he knew I was lying because who could forget such an introduction? Blood pumped to my heart, maple sap running to the bucket.
     “Well,” he said finally after we had bored ourselves with small talk, “did you want to get together sometime?”
     He had apparently cut off my head with his cleverly sharp wit because I wasn’t thinking of the dangers of going out at night with a man that I hardly knew. “Yes,” I said. I even agreed on his suggestion to meet at my place and go on from there. My address slipped from my mouth like a leaf from a tree in fall.


     He came last night. It was clear and hot. We talked about media censorship and TV, artists and music. I already knew that I could love this stranger, though we had known each other all of three hours. This city which had previously bored me was begin­ning to look like an interesting place to my enlightened eyes.
     Even as my stranger man raped me on my comfortable couch I fooled myself into thinking that my life was going to be much more interesting now.
     I pretended that I hadn’t protested loud enough and that he didn’t realize he had mistaken my intentions. I imagined that I was somewhere else: back home watching the glow-in-the-dark stars on my bedroom ceiling; in the park listening to the squirrels angrily chatter at the people.
     I thought that he hacked off my arms and my legs, for I could no longer feel them as my body went limp in terror. I thought that he ripped out my eyes, for I could not see his face bobbing above mine nor would my eyes ever look at a man again. I thought that he sliced off my ears because I couldn’t hear myself screaming “STOP,” no matter how loudly I cried out. I thought that he carved off my lips because I couldn’t feel his kisses that were supposed to stop my quivering.
     But I could deal with that. I could have lived with no arms or legs, no eyes to see. I could have lived with no ears and no lips. Arms and legs and eyes and ears and lips would grow back as soon as he disappeared in the night. I could have lived.
     But he didn’t stop with that. I had liked him, truly liked him. When he raped me, he took my heart and he quartered it. I can’t live with that.
He cut me down like he would clearcut a forest. And now all that’s left in me is fear. Eventually time will take even that, the fear will leach from me and I will be as bare as the clearcut forest floor.


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