The International Literary Quarterly

May 2010


Luis Cernuda
Sally Cline
Christine Crow
Paul Scott Derrick
Paulette Dubé
Sarah Glazer
Tomás Harris
Philippe Jaccottet
Pierre-Albert Jourdan
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Peter McCarey
Deborah Moggach
Vivek Narayanan
Georges Perros
Tessa Ransford
Sue Reidy
Daniel Shapiro
Rebecca Swift
John Taylor
Yassen Vassilev
Alan Wall
Stephen Wilson
Tamar Yoseloff
Karen Zelas

Volta: A Multilingual Anthology
(One poem: 93 languages)

Issue 11 Guest Artist:
Catherine McIntyre

President: Peter Robertson
Deputy Editor: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Jeff Barry
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. 4 Poems by Sue Reidy  



Scrabble Cue

A quag is a marshy boggy spot, I quoth.
A quant is little more than a punting pole.

Go throw a quoit, you’ve had your quota.
Be quiet now while I sew a quilt for the quins.

I wait a quint or musical interval before
I pick up a quire, four sheets of paper.

Please, don’t send me to quod, I quip.
Don’t quiz me, quit while you’re ahead.

You call me a quean, an impudent girl.
We quiver, quaggy, quanting.
Yawling, yearning, yodeling, yelping.

The Party

Out in the yard
the men are flogging dead horses
while inside
the women are baking scones.
You are the minute hand
controlling the clock
so we don’t run out of time,
but you could just as easily
be mistaken for the fly
on the wall, because
you don’t do small talk.
It’s not easy being
wasted space.

Well of Being

Drive north past the sign
for the Well of Being.
Picture the lost souls
unburdening themselves
inside, searching for their
wounded child.

Inside the Well of Being
nightly excesses are curtailed.
You wouldn’t believe the secrets
revealed before lights out.
Nothing leaves this room.

Groups, couples and singles
are all welcome.
Queens or kings are
available for couples only
Singles can share twins.
Sex before dark is taboo.
Cooking in your room is forbidden.
Speak only when spoken to.

Wounded children
curl up with their favourite
bête noirs and utter one
last primal scream.
Here families of origin
can all go to Hell.

Baby Doll’s Signature Shape

You dream you are
floating out the window
wearing your linen coat,
teamed with a taffeta skirt
in an intoxicating hue of
chartreuse, the one with
the raffish hem.

You know how to accessorise.
I note the pocket-sized purse,
the cashmere cardigan,
complemented by
the glittering amethyst
necklace. Everything
about you is perfect.

I just love your
stay-in-place hair.
Yesterday, you wore
soft chiffon and silk.
Last week, you tried on
girlie ruffles and bows.
Today, you prefer the
babydoll top.

Or maybe the red
cropped jacket?
Romantic layers?
Or this strapless
gun-metal grey
satin gown? It’s your
signature shape.

You have straddled a day
full of so many changes
of garments and moments
of wild doubt and indecision.

Don’t forget to wear your
toughest belt. Rejuvenate
your facial contours. Take
a short cut to glamour.
Go on, fake it. You can
carry it off.

You’ve got staying power.
You’re a show-stopper,
a real crowd-pleaser.
A natural.

Make me an entrance.
Beam me an after-dark
look. Thrill me.