This poem is taken from Stand 221, 17(1) March - May 2019.

Keith J. Hutson Three Poems
The Highland Live-wire
i.m. Walford Bodie (1869-1939)

What set his name in lights was when he got
the audience to strap him down and shoot
ten thousand volts, twice-nightly, through him.
Ladies fainted from the stink of singeing skin;
Houdini, shocked like I’ve never been before,
sent the original electric chair
from Sing Sing as a gift. How charming.
Fired up now, Bodie began claiming
he could heal the sick: Send me your lame,
your simpletons, I’ll fry them whole again!

or words to that effect, and Aberdeen saw
hundreds turn up to be cured. Some were,
but proper doctors branded him a quack –
then practised ECT: pot, kettle, black?
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