Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf


by Tom Holmes

He handed me my college diploma.

My arm yellowed and stiffened with six sides.

My arm an unsharpened pencil with cuffs,

a hand, and a sheet of authorized paper.

He congratulated my graduation,

patted me on the shoulder, and pointed me

off stage. I swung my arm to shake it loose

and knocked a chair into the hardwood floor.

It splattered c, h, a, i, and r.

I hugged my mother into m, o, and m.

Then my left hand dripped f, i, n, g, e, r, s,

h, a, n, and d into a puddle.

My world decomposed without my intent.

I touched myself and dissolved into e, g, and o.



TOM HOLMES is the founding editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog The Line Break. Follow him on Twitter: @TheLineBreak


The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review