A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2005, vol 1 no 3

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Ed Higgins

Houdini’s Final Escape

You prepare for one sorrow,/but another comes.” --Derek Walcott

I once read about Houdini and his wife, how they planned his stunts together. Bessie, the petite soubrette (as she was billed in her modest vaudevillian tights and white flounce blouse), as the magician’s assistant would kiss her husband for luck in front of the crowd, on tip-toe apparently, her cheeks flushed with anticipation as she tilted her head back the way shorter women do. The cold metal key a communion between them waiting on her tongue.

death’s lock--
with illusion’s velocity
clicks closed.


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