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Posts Tagged ‘Susanna Rich’

Raise the Lord: To Witnesses in My Driveway Praying on my Rebirth

January 8, 2010 3 comments

by Susanna Rich

Rock Me Sexy Jesus.
—Pam Brady and Andrew Fleming

Not to be rude, dear pious things, but why
are you praying for me like some knitting
circle — needles tap-tapping like blind
pen points trying to write on each other.
Have you no inkling?

In His name, you say, you can only be
saved in His Holy Name. But my
Jesus wants no fabrication, no nominal
yarn gathering or balling. I am who
He wants me to be. I strap His hands

to my headboard, bind His feet —
My Man of Proportions — My All —
My Maker of Love rising up, rising
into me. We make scenes together. My
feet poised over His feet — stigma to stigma.

I raise my arms into a cross. I am His whip.
More, He begs, More pain. Be unforgivable,
so I can be big — bigger. His mouth
is open, aching for my vinegar tongue. Eat me,
He cries out. I lick. I bite. I suck the wine

trickling from His breast. He burns. He sweats
into my sheets. Mercy, He calls out, Mercy
I roll back your religious canons, rescue
Him from your Calvaries. I am not the thief
who taunts Him to save me. I am the one

who mounts Him over my bed, dangling over
my life. We are each other’s thief — me
from below, He from above. He erects in me
His Paradise, where I come and come to Him —
My Adam, His side bleeding where He and I

die into each other, each unknowing day. Put
down your needlings, your moist ends, your double-
hooked unravelings. I don’t need your loops, your
cables,  your stitches. You crotchety prayers, get it —
I have Him nailed.

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Susanna Rich (website) is a 2009 Emmy Award nominee for the poetry she wrote and voice-overed for Craig Lindvahl’s documentary Cobb Field. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Television Daddy and The Drive Home (both from Finishing Line Press); the 2008 Featured Poet of Darkling Literary Magazine; and a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing. An internationally published poet and prose writer, Susanna tours the one-woman audience-interactive poetry experience Television Daddy, and is in production for The Drive Home (opening in 2010). She is Professor of English and Distinguished Teacher at Kean University in New Jersey, teaching such courses as Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and 20th Century Women Poets.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

The Charmed Life

November 5, 2009 2 comments

by Susanna Rich

It takes nothing — talent nor courage —
to be a sleeping princess
in a house of glass — Tiffany doves
floating in door lights, gold

-camed windows, panes that mirror
interior lights over outer darkness.
Things break only from others’ use —
etched flutes and tumblers; the crystal

witch’s ball hung to ward off evil;
Murano lamps; silvered walls;
the central vacuum…
Glaziers come, like charioteers,

with ladders and Unrue racks
to unscrew old strike plates, bleed
the furnace, crawl on their bellies
amongst toads and kittens

transparent in the walls. This is living
in the sky, in the full neon of the sun,
glitter of stars, a store of Magic
Ginger Ale — phosphate bubbles

unreleased — the aspic mold of pansies,
the heart-shaped ice cubes for guests
who bear their envy, to the altar
of you… For a spell to be a spell,

it must be broken — the rescuer must be
disguised, the rescued must seem to sleep
in a life of liquid suspense — perfect,
cold — waiting to be shattered…

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Susanna Rich (website) is a 2009 Emmy Award nominee for the poetry she wrote and voice-overed for Craig Lindvahl’s documentary Cobb Field. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Television Daddy and The Drive Home (both from Finishing Line Press); the 2008 Featured Poet of Darkling Literary Magazine; and a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing. An internationally published poet and prose writer, Susanna tours the one-woman audience-interactive poetry experience Television Daddy, and is in production for The Drive Home (opening in 2010). She is Professor of English and Distinguished Teacher at Kean University in New Jersey, teaching such courses as Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and 20th Century Women Poets.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

Passover

September 4, 2009 8 comments

From the 2009 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest finalist ashes, ashes, by Susanna Rich

My father wouldn’t lead me down the aisle:
you were a Jew
and hadn’t asked him —
cognac to cognac — for my hand.

Good Catholic Hungarian girls marry
Royal Austro-Hungarian Empire types,
have children to speak
Hungarian for Grandpa’s dollars.

For years my father came to brag
about the war: ministering to German
soldiers; his chocolates, Gillettes,
and stockings for their wives.

He brought wine from Polish vineyards
I feared
unspeakably fertilized —
some sympathetic magic I couldn’t drink.

Don’t let them lie to you, he spoke
like a spell over my Holocaust books,
Catholic priests, good people were killed
more than Jews —

Jewish bankers, Jewish doctors,
Jewish control of the media…

I asked him not to.
Robbed of his conjugating adjective,

he can’t speak.
He holds vigil by our bedroom window,
his eye filling the pane like frost,
assuring himself no children will mix

his blood with the Jews’.
In spring I gather flowered Seder plates
from Fortunoff’s, saffron tablecloth,
new five-fingered vase.

I bury our pots in the garden,
as your mother once did,
to purify them,
so we can all eat.

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“Passover” originally appeared in Visions: International 59 (1999). It was reprinted in Writers at the Water’s Edge (Ocean Grove: Tri-Muse, 2003) and in Dovetail: A Journal By and For Jewish/Christian Families (May/June 2003). All rights reverted to author.

Susanna Rich is a 2009 Emmy Award nominee for the poetry she wrote and voice-overed for Craig Lindvahl’s documentary Cobb Field. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Television Daddy and The Drive Home; the 2008 Featured Poet of Darkling Literary Magazine; and a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing. An internationally published poet and prose writer, Susanna tours the one-woman audience-interactive poetry experience Television Daddy, and is in production for The Drive Home (opening in 2010). Her books and DVDs are available at her website.