Black Lawrence Press
April 13, 2014

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Sarah Suzor and Travis Cebula

Here at Black Lawrence Press we are celebrating National Poetry Month with a poem a day, featuring a total of 30 authors from our list. Today’s featured poets are Sarah Suzor and Travis Cebula, who co-authored the forthcoming collection After the Fox. Sarah is also the author of The Principle Agent.

 

From Atlantic

In other words,
the coastline.
In other words,
The empire state building.
In other words,
after the fox.

Dear Nocturnal,
have you jumped into the edge of the Atlantic?
Have you
forgotten me.

*

After the fox, see

the chase. Feel the theater.
A grasp at something
with a velvet waist.
An overcoat fails. In other words,
midtown. In other memories,
hands were held in place
by pearl bangles.

By starlight.
May I call you

Morning, Morning?
I would say “again.”
But it’s been said,
again, and better than
once. I did not jump.

Once, I did not know
you or your other
more comfortable shoes, then,
worn when you strode 

dripping from the ermine sea.

I do no not forget
what I owe. I do not
sleep on your account.

*

The chase is accounted for, Nocturnal,

The chase is no longer
your biggest problem.
These streets run north and south.
This island, you see, is narrow.
The problem is there’s never
enough time to catch you.

And starlight?
It’s not summer anymore.
In other words,
I haven’t been to the sea.
In other words,
I haven’t seen you for days.

Go on,
talk about all the memories
you have in your head.
Go ahead and make a joke.
I’ll be here,
watching the sun light
the skyline,
light the tallest building,
one at a time.
In other words,
the chase is accounted for
and I don’t sleep either.
Dear Nocturnal,
This island:
it’s narrow.

*

You speak of narrow,
of this island. I would not dare to
joke about something so serious.
Because I’m talking about legs.
We can agree here
on the tallest, yes. And longer.
We can agree on haste. We
can agree
on December.

An overindulgence of black
leather seemed more comfortable
then, after the fox.
In other words, not erotic.
In other words,
neurotic. Talking,
time squared and
squared again until one hour became
four hours blown walking.
In other words,
crosstown. A tandem stagger
past buildings lit
from inside.

It’s not a gaptooth summer.

Say the sun won’t slide down
like a tongue licks glass canyons.
Say the sun is not really chasing,
either. Not at this pace.

Morning, do
you ever grow tired
of your narrow tracks
in concrete, or the white
stare always scorching your back?

 *

One hour squared
is one hour
and that’s all.
And that’s a fact.
But you’re right about one thing:
say the sun won’t slide down.
Say the sun is sick of the chase.
The chase is sick of the sun.
In other words, Nocturnal,
after the fox there are no tracks,
no tired eyes.
After the fact,
there are no apologies,
no jokes to be made.

Somewhere, someone
is looking for you.
Somewhere the Atlantic is crying.
Serious or not,
I’d say “once more”
but I prefer “again.”
So, again, how easy is it
for you to live with your decisions,
how easy is it
to stare at the sun.

 *

Climbing is not easy.

Morning, again is
never easy. Nor is after,
and that’s a fact. That’s physics.
That’s all. I’ll never
apologize on your behalf.

Someone may be searching
for me. In other worlds,
someone may be looking
at the sky now or building
a castle from green glass.
But it is not me
by the breakwater crying.

Morning, it is not me
or the Atlantic who cries
after the fox.

Or a corrugated box.
There are a myriad yawning.
On other days a broken
sunrise could be called
a dawning. On other days a rest.
Today this gift is for someone 

else.

I am trying, but I
have never stayed,
and never
seen the sun un-
obscured by clouds. 

 Again or ever.

 In another language,
there will only be the gulls
to welcome you back
from waltzing.

*

from After the Fox (forthcoming in 2014)

 

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Sarah Suzor’s full-length collection of poetry, The Principle Agent, won the 2010 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2011. She also has a forthcoming collaboration After the Fox, which is co-authored with Travis Cebula and will be available from Black Lawrence Press in 2014. Her reviews and interviews can be found in Tarpaulin Sky and Rain Taxi, and she has recently guest blogged for the Best American Poetry series. Suzor’s poetry has been published widely, as well as anthologized, translated and nominated  or the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Venice, California where she is a founding editor for Highway 101 Press, a correspondent for Omnidawn’s online magazine OmniVerse, and a guest lecturer for the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris.

 

 

 

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Travis Cebula resides with his wife and trusty dog in Colorado, where he founded Shadow Mountain Press in 2009. His poems, photographs, essays, and stories have appeared internationally in various print and on-line journals. He has authored six chapbooks of poetry, including Blossoms from Nothing, available in 2014 from E·Ratio Editions, as well as  three full-length collections. The most recent of which, One Year in a Paper Cinema, has just been released from BlazeVOX Books. After the Fox, a new sequence he co-authored with  Sarah Suzor, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2014. In 2011 Western Michigan University and Charles University in Prague awarded him the Pavel Srut Fellowship for Poetry. In addition to his other teaching, writing, publishing, and editing duties, he is a member of the creative writing faculty at the Left Bank Writer’s Retreat in Paris, France.