Cynics, says our author, "write books / by Edwin Brock / illustrated by / his wife." Readers already familiar with the wry, sometimes dour work of the British poet Edwin Brock will recall that his wife, Elizabeth, contributed the jacket illustrations to his two previous collections published here (Invisibility Is the Art of Survival and The Portraits The Poses). Now they have combined their talents and complementary satiric visions to produce "A Guide to the Isms." With the biting verse of the one, and the charming, mischievous sketches of the other, Paroxisms prods some of our most cherished sets of ideas. Catholicism, Freudianism, Patriotism, Communism, Capitalism, Surrealism, Eroticism, even the poet's own Cynicism––all are at the receiving end of the Brocks' combined sting.