Fathom 2000



Inside Cover



Vicki Combden (2)
Maud Alexandra Arthur (2)
Jennifer Lyn Durkee
David Lee
Ritu Malhotra
Kent Fraser
Cameron Thorne-Humphrey (2)
Gina M. Granter


Shawna Ferris
Jane Affleck
Phil Neville


Vicki Combden



Happy is a Flavour

There is a box made of wall-papered birch,
with immovable wheels and a seal of sap.
With a crack of its lid to deliver the light,
it screams open and closes Amnesia’s gray eyes.

Dolls whose woolly hair and plastic skin
still reek of candy and powder and
Tinkerbell make-up.
Some with old tub water still hanging heavy in their squeakv feet.
An old bristled brush clinging to
rusty curls long gone.
A dinky van with a chocolate-covered raisin
stuck in the back:
Probable packaging: sweet 1982.
An American beauty with a skull full of holes,
sticky joints,
and lips splashed with beet juice for all time.
And at the bottom, yellow grit that made
tangerine cheese, served on a sandbox.

Her eyes ate till they were filled to the brim
with fragmented moments of monumental tea
This box,
her life,
the powdered soup version.
She closed it forever upon its syrupy hinge.

Her fingertips slide from pages
with the glaze of coloured wax.
And there are coarse, yellowed books
that she loves all the more
because of their accidental dips
into bubble baths.


The Disguise  

Someone else will pull the cord.
She’ll eventually flow off unnoticed,
disarmed by the glittery mall-bound flock.
She stares at the blue mittens her mother knitted,
not seeing them.
A glimpse out the opposite window
would be avoidable silent drama,
revealing her eyes... or her eyes... or hers.
Hard, shrinking lasers.

Through the corner of her eye
she espies an ad at the front:
Another beautiful woman with a moustache of
She can tell they are using their lasers,
scorching paper to destroy the head-start
that sits between perfect breasts.

Pouting convincingly, she attempts the picture of
Make one of them see that she knows that look well.
She loves those frayed turquoise mittens.
“Look at those hideous mittens.
Poor little thing, her family must not have much.
And her so pretty too.
Too bad, she might have been somebody.”

Her house was way back there.
She hopes someone will ring the bell soon; it’s a
      cold day.
She clings to the upholstered seat, meekly cursing the seating plan,
discretely digging through pockets for more loose change,
careful not to rumple the bills.


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