To Read of Women and Men

Jessi MacEachern

Jessi MacEachern is a PhD candidate in the Département de littératures et de langues du monde at the Université de Montréal. Her poetry has previously appeared in CV2 and PRISM. Her writing on the feminist poetics of the modernist H.D. and the contemporary poet Lisa Robertson will appear in forthcoming edited collections from the University of Florida Press and McGill-Queens University Press.


In The Great Dream Book you can learn the meaning of dreams as interpreted through Madam De Barsey and benefit from a complete alphabetical table of lucky numbers all for 50c. You wear your aunt’s coat passed on to you by her husband after the funeral.

In The Magician’s Handbook you can learn tricks and secrets of the world’s greatest magician Hermann the Great many of which are easily executed without apparatus all for 50c. You finger the engagement ring snug on your left hand. The mohair at your waist pulls.

In Practical Palmistry you can learn the standard work of beginning hand reading as carefully and interestingly explained by Comte C. de Saint-Germaine all for 50c. You think it is the sweet autumn wind. You think it is a late-to-arrive friend. An arm bars your torso from moving forward.

In Fortune Telling by Cards you can learn ancient interpretations of the cards in the modern manner so simply expounded by Margot Le Myre all for 50c. You feel a strange hand beneath your aunt’s coat. Beneath your party dress. Thwarted by your yellow stockings. Rising all the same.


You select the cards.

This queen with a tornado on her shoulder band. Her subjects wear royal blue

handkerchiefs over their partial faces to avoid her fungi smell. It is typical of life in a crisis she wears a party dress.

This heart that is not facing a flower. Yellow leaves are stuffed in her purse

until bursting. It is the yoke of wealth or the upheaval of marriage

alerts her pale eyes to the night.

This spade with a decoration at his breast. The richly embroidered handkerchief in his pocket is plucked to wipe the beading sweat off his brow. It is typical of life

she mistakes assault for the wind.


The habit should be formed of studying the positive or negative influence of the picture. There are a variety of reactions to be had. This queen faces a lighted candle, and the gem on her shoulder band takes flight. She looks out into wide, open spaces.

The habit should be formed of glancing through some suitable vocabulary before giving a reading. There are a number of conventions to be met. This heart goes out into the autumn night. She wears a mohair coat, a ring, and yellow stockings. In the aftermath a fleeing man.

The wind carries out its age-old promise of fulfillment to the heart. This spade has myriad faces. He wears a military decoration at his breast and walks into the night unfixed by time. This may suggest a material quarrel or a greater self-revelation.

In the aftermath a woman alone. She has been nowhere in these smartly ordered rows of wooden pews, these artificial garden parties, these late autumn scenes; she has been in every one, kneeling in the shadow of a fleeing man and pouring lily-scented water from her palms. A woman alone. Sweetened on the wind.


To read of men is to imbibe of 8 parts Sage Leaves, 4 parts Silver Mullein, 4 parts Wild Clover, 1 part Blue Eyes Flowers, 6 parts Bear Berry and 1 part yellow Licorice.

Pour citer cette page

Jessi MacEachern, « To Read of Women and Men », MuseMedusa, no 5, 2017, <> (Page consultée le ).


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