The Chimaera: Issue 3, May 2008

Catherine Chandler


“Foole,” said my Muse to me, “Looke in thy heart and write.”
— Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella

And so I searched, but all that I could see
to write about was this: a vacant room
whose occupants once held a tenancy
of woodstream orchids, where an old perfume
clings to its quiet corners, knows my key
will turn, a frequent caller to a tomb
already ransacked, sifting through debris
only a fool like me would dare exhume.
I’ve served my warrant, Muse, and I am pleased
to tell you that I’ve found the smoking gun
you always knew was there. So I have seized
it, tagged and bagged it. Now my work is done –
this evidence I can at last impart,
the delicate forensics of the heart.

Catherine Chandler was born in New York City and raised in Pennsylvania. She has an M.A. from McGill University, where she teaches Spanish in the Department of Translation Studies. Her poems and translations have been widely published in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.