Issue 17: Dorothy Lehane

the art of hygiene in scripture

                for Alexander Rattray & Hana Oh

" for the body is not one member but many." (St. Paul)

post mosaic beverages    post abstainers

biblical alcohol   biblical hints on air

treating     airspitters as social bacteria 

penalties of camp

wool-linen-flax remedies    the heat is in the body


   large of thought sages

                                                        thither the sick     thither the wounded


   the wash houses weep                            sanatoriums weep 

   for sojourn

for city outposts ─ soiled    how does the body absorb  

            how does the body scat disease out     

uncleanness   male pollutions                    


                                                                                 saddle sat on by   


                                                                                                              touching his flesh


                                                           cut off

                                                                                                                            eating unholy things


                Of the hands in Job   

                                            post mosaic

linen conducts heat in the body                                                          think       Babylonian purple


how does it outpour       the art of hygiene    

    keep the mind clean                 keep the body busy

part nostrum part vermifuge

               for Stephen Kenny


to run                                    from calomel /mercurous chloride    rolling nostrum

Martha- Jane Whitsett, aged 7

butchered by her regular bred physician

butchered by white thinking        white cash for skin        for her tiny tubes tiny bronchi

babe with the dry blistering      with the pertussis    higher pitch

high for human


paying cash for apoplectic fitting black people 

blood-letting & cupping at the temples   active purge w/vinegar



how every family should be elevated at least two feet above the earth, with good plank flooring

N-O-S-T-R-U-M  labour productive   labour intensive  

           if this is human

                                                                                   even the forensics             even the archaeology of this

these cradles commodified    even the babes   such tiny springs     physicked & catalogued

weathered teeth & whip scars   unruly     will pay cash

drapetomania: say run run

to run                                from calomel /mercurous chloride rolling

run run                                 from vagico fistula butchering

run run run                                                 from vermifuge             if this is human  

to own this history                              this sickness                            this white thinking montage

For the miners

                  for Mike Mantin, David M. Turner and Alexandra Jones

pit residues      outpouring      objectified sores

relearning the limb      meadow-ed tread      

ricketted wife      subsiding home        cobbled bed

raffles for prosthetics       machismo scars   the land runs female    

drowning linchpins     the sons step in       new breadwinners

nine years of pneumoconiosis        jilted torso

crocheting warships     to live without libido

sociosexual   they are the have-nots    human rights    

after disembodiment    defused charm     swelling swelling up

damp vortex    home is the concept of home

home is the contortion        the overflowing limb    

acquiescence is a profound shift     flank all questions

as 'invalid'         home is a lapsed molecular structure  

too breach        too small for influx      becoming otherwise

Dorothy Lehane is the author of Umwelt (Leafe Press, 2016), Ephemeris (Nine Arches 2014), and Places of Articulation (dancing girl press, 2014). She edits Litmus, and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent, and London South Bank University.


Copyright © 2016 by Dorothy Lehane, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.