Ah Clio, by Joan Colby
“You will search these pages / All your life / Looking for your name.”
“The pages are parchment flayed / From the abdomens of dancing girls. / The spine is made of cartilage / Extracted from the knees of senators / Which is bound with the sinews / Of charwomen and glued / With the bone-marrow jelly / Of newborn children.”
Such is the vision of Joan Colby in the poem “Clio Invents Her Textbook,” in which Clio rides roughshod on the lot of us.