Half a logo
Cover of issue #223

Current Issue: #223 Agency & Affect (Winter 2014)

Canadian Literature's Issue 223 (Winter 2014), Agency & Affect, is now available. The issue features articles by Ranbir K. Banwait, Paul Huebener, Lisa Marchi, Veronica Austen, and Andrea Beverley, as well as an interview with Laurence Hill by Kerry Lappin-Fortin, along with new Canadian poetry and book reviews.

Petrified at Every Turn

by Susan McCaslin

From wheelchair row the view can be grim.
You swallow the horse pill of the world sitting down.

A whiskey's what I mostly need,
she said, cryptic, bemused.

This is finally the loosening of words
as when a child is everything

before all divisions and theories.
Nothing matters now but the whispered transmissions.

The eye is the same, mandala of the eye.
Cat tiptoes by, sentient, unconcerned.

These are the proverbs of Phyllis
At Crossroads Retirement Center:

Watch your words. Never
Put your faith in a sphinx.

Beware of chocolates.
Sometimes they shoot bolts of electricity

that blunder around the room.
Don't worry about me,

I'm sitting in the Mercy Seat.


This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #172 (Spring 2015), Auto / biography. (pg. 91)

MLA: McCaslin, Susan. CanLit Poets: "Petrified at Every Turn" by Susan McCaslin. canlit.ca. Canadian Literature, 2 Oct. 2008. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.

Half a logo Support the CanLit Tuition Award