A distance between
belief and science? Are we
enlightened? Are we
sublime? What is
extraordinary? This mermaid
of scales and papier
mâché or a sand and
stone Goliath?  Are you
a wonder? Or artful
deception? Have you ever
gazed upon a basilisk, a wicked Jenny
Haniver? Have you been
Humbugged? And isn’t it thrill
ing? The chill
of an unknown finger
up the bones
of your spine?
Would you linger over curiosities
and chimeras
stitched by hand?
Lost in the land of spectacle
and at what price?
When did you last


Photo Credit: gagilas Flickr via Compfight cc

About Jen Rouse

Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Poet Lore, Midwestern Gothic, Wicked Alice, Southern Florida Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry, Crab Fat Magazine, Up the Staircase, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist for the Mississippi Review 2018 Prize Issue and was the winner of the 2017 Gulf Stream Summer Contest Issue. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at and on Twitter @jrouse.

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