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This poem is taken from PN Review 202, Volume 38 Number 2, November - December 2011.

Seven Poems Jane Yeh

The black cat that always sits on the bin next door wasn't sitting on the bin.
• The price of porcine commodities rose slightly, while that of the vegetarian English breakfast at my local café remained the same.
• No-one attempted to assassinate the French librarian at my old university, despite his insistence on labelling paperback books 'INFÉRIEUR'.
• The last of the flannelette pyjama tops I had stocked up on in America abruptly gave up the ghost.

Something was missing from my life (other than the black cat and pyjama tops).
• A new recycling regimen in my borough wasn't enough to make up for it.
• Neither were reports of recent advances in tooth-whitening, fuel injection, and women's rights in various countries.
• Nor did a certain Hollywood actor's growing resemblance to Mayor McCheese prove sufficiently distracting.

The shallowness of my existence was hardly a novel development.
• I had been known to frequent discount shopping outlets voluntarily and to reject suitors based solely on hair length.
• I spent hours devising ingenious interrogation tactics for Cluedo, despite having no-one to play with.
• I was a card-carrying member of a secret organisation devoted to the abolition of Velcro.

It was unclear to me whether literature could offer any salvation.
• Volatility in German type markets meant that italics were now verboten.
• The invention of see-through paper resulted in a move towards blatant transparency in fiction.

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