Susan Lewis

This is Not a Movie

but now & then it feels like one, & often has the same symptoms. With this overload of blurred identities, it may be advisable to drag our feet through the conceptual mud, a necessity devoutly to be resisted. Unless it’s preferable to jump ship & sink on our merits, like grief-stricken elephants. Which is not to say you shouldn’t arrive at your reunion prepared with garters, buckshot, & dungarees, in case the situation goes south & you’re feeling peckish. The man in the moon may bring his husband. As acolytes they are dry, sometimes even down in the mouth, but never dead in the water. Come to mama is what they might think, if they weren’t too worn & weathered to fall for anything an order of magnitude more inviting than this insidiously tempting razor’s edge.

Run, He Said

―by which he meant something else entirely. Bite down, perhaps, or buck up, it was impossible to internalize with any degree of confidence. Bite down, he repeated, unable to stop foaming at the mouth, meaning to imply something about the government, the nature of privacy, & metaphysics in an intertextual world. Ever the sport, at this last suggestion she blanched. Rashly, perhaps, she threw her baby down the emergency chute, optimistic it would bring him to a better place. All this discursus interruptus is killing me, she screamed, by which she meant hold me, reach inside & paddle what you find until it unfurls itself & offers a meaningful alternative.

In Which

there is not enough time for these times, never mind those fortunes clustered willy-nilly in the midst of lack. Not that hoarding is much use against our terminal condition. Selectively & collectively we’re radishes, embittered. To un-gnarl the soul, open his arms or soften a lap & see who settles in, skin to skin, against that wobbly heart. Pigeons or their wingless counterparts will be speedy on the uptake ― convinced as any urbanite of when to grip & when to jump. To untangle this discourse, close your eyes & listen. To capture your own attention, release it. Greed is a false ally. Chance is the highest power. Sprinkle something tasty on the void, extend the licked tips of tenderness. Practice mouthing apologies like better prayers. Assemble your objections, then scatter them to the still-forgiving winds.

Susan Lewis's first full-length collection (also prose poetry), How to Be Another, is forthcoming this year from Červená Barva Press. Her six chapbooks are State of the Union, forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press, The Following Message (White Knuckle Press), At Times Your Lines (Argotist Ebooks, 2012), Some Assembly Required (Dancing Girl Press, 2011), Commodity Fetishism, winner of the 2009 Červená Barva Press Chapbook Award, and Animal Husbandry (Finishing Line Press, 2008).
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