The Chimaera: Issue 5, February 2009

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Carol Novack

9 Foibles about a Woman from the Left Bank of Limerick

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She lived in a house with a louse of a spouse: a louse, a louse, with lice on his head and a grouse in his bed; no small wonder she wished him dead.

She lived in a house, a mousy gray house and her spouse was a souse: a souse, a souse, with mice in his head and a louse in his bed; no big surprise he wished her dead.

She lived in a house but she wasn’t a mouse; but she looked like a mouse, a plump weeish mouse, and her spouse was a louse, a lard of a louse, as gross as that house; no, he wasn’t a louse, he was verly a mouse, but she was a louse with rice in her head and an old gray blouse; and she killed his pet grouse until it was dead (they said).

But you can’t believe anyone!


She was a blond mouse in a grand castle house, her Moorish spouse was a royal pain louse, a Boorish lout, and so they dwelt, the mouse, the mouse that little blond mouse with flies in her head and that pain of a louse, king louse king louse with lies in his head; he smothered her till she was quiet and dead.

Proof? Evidence?

Into the trap a long time ago!

She sat on a couch watching time go bye; she sat on a couch watching grouse fly by, watching neighbors wave hi hi fuck you sweetie pie bye; through the blinds she would spy with her black navel eye: to think she’d caused sighs with her firm young thighs!

Ah youth, sweet youth, when my mouth held a tooth!

She sat on her couch watching grouse fly by; she sat on her couch watching louses with spouses in patriotic blouses; everyone knew she’d be early to die; early to die, that Rubenesque mouse, she devoured the house and slugged down rye; buttered her thighs and swatted flies.

Till she became a rat a rat a ratta tat tat.

No no! Not that!

She slouched on her couch eating livers of swine, she slouched and she grouched drinking cheap rye and wine... and the occasional housefly looking for pie, for pie. (for pie for pie for pie for pie for pie); no wonder, small wonder she was dead when she died, but did she verly die when she died, or perchance they lied, they lied?

You’re losing it! You’re fit to be tied. Open your twat and in it I’ll hide!

She died a lard and a souse in that house, little mouse, little souse; the spouse of the mouse what couldn’t her rouse; her navel did ope, 2 doves did elope with a clove and some lime and she was much too tired to rhyme to rhyme in three quarter time or half time so she timed out full time from booze and swine, poor mouse poor mouse, poor little souse, the laces of her boots didst come unloose . . .

The end?

Non non, mon goose — there was a jury trial of her pears and they decided there was unreasonable doubt and that’s how it was when the lights went out went out went out....

Carol Novack, publisher of Mad Hatters’ Review, is a former denizen of Australia where she received an Arts Council Grant and authored a poetry chapbook. Works may or will be found in many journals, including American Letters & Commentary, Drunken Boat, Diagram, Exquisite Corpse, Fiction International, First Intensity, LIT, Notre Dame Review, Meanjin, and Otoliths, and anthologies, including Heide Hatry: Heads and Tales; Online Writings: The Best of the First Ten Years and The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets. A collection of her inventions Giraffes in Hiding: The Mythical Memoirs of Carol Novack will be published in 2010 by Crossing Chaos: Enigmatic Ink. See for additional details.

Austin Publicover lives in Brooklyn, NY, and frequently misshapes poetry into noise-songs under the Visored Burgeonette moniker ( ). He hopes to break big in the lucrative, star-studded, universally-celebrated, recession-proof & glamorous world of Sound Art.
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