Monday, September 8, 2008

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Susan Grimm

Age: 56

Habitat: Lakewood, Ohio

Range: Cleveland State University, my front porch, water (chlorinated or lake)

Diet: Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Levine, Sylvia Plath, Shelley, Pablo Neruda, Jorie Graham, D.A. Powell, Theodore Roethke, too many others.

Distinguishing Markings: Lake Erie Blue (2004), Almost Home (1997), Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems--editor (2007)

Predators: I don't think anything's hunting me down. Time? Inertia?

Prey: Readers?



Sea weed, flexible walleye bones, empty
shells, draggled gull feathers. Rain falls
like the color of the sun, accumulates.

Two-legged, stripped down to essentials (but
not too far), we wade into the water, reverse
ice to the drink, the waves trying to wear us

down, longing to serve us up like pips
on this margin of melted beach. The wind whistles
through our teeth, the sand grinds them down.

In the honeypot of the sun, headache-y, blasted
with thirst, we should be learning about excess,
the salt coming up to crust us as if each beach

were the ocean. We genuflect with our beads
of sweat to the salt whisper and the shelving
tongue that made us, here at the crux—the sun

like a peach above our glowing convoluted heads,
bodies of water swaying, our feet momentarily
stilled in the scratchy reactive electric fuzz.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I only knew Susan from what I read about and by her in Cleveland Poetry Scenes. Good stuff - and I was especially fond of her "Things I Can Know." I'm glad you're doing this series, Michael - and especially happy that you posted this piece. "Particle-Drop-Breath-Ray" is killer - and that's a good thing. ;)


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau