Saturday, June 25, 2011


SKELETON LEAVES by Helen Marshall ( Toronto, 2011, Kelp Queen ) ISBN 978-0-9876959-12-3, no price listed, website at

The chapbook  is a series of long poems that takes a deep look at the famed literary character Peter Pan and the society he lived in.  This is not your Disney's Pan and neither is it Barre's Pan.
The Pan in this collection is erotic as described in the poem ' The Secret of Durable Pigment

I look upon you-gost god, boy god
and dream the secret of durable pigment,
dead leaves to inscribe with fingerling poems.

The poet perceives Peter Pan as an avatar of the god Pan , embodying both his eroticism and as described in the poem 'Aurochs and Angels' his lethal ruthlessness towards the Lost Boys who start to age..

"...and when they  seem to be growing up,
which is against the rules,
Peter thined them out. "

Another line from that particular poem fully describes the essence of Marshal's take on Peter Pan.

" couldn't care, Peter,
my joy.
For that was the magic of it, "

This is a collection worth buying.
the heartlessness of it all. "
Peter thins them out. "

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