Black Lawrence Press
April 1, 2011

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Sarah Suzor

from After the Fox
(a collaboration between Travis Cebula and Sarah Suzor)

Nocturnal, I guess
we should talk.
I’ve fallen for someone,
some thing, else.
No one you know.
No one I know, either.
It was you, but different.
You, but only the way I saw you
in my mind.

The jukebox is gone.
I looked last night.
I watched the moon cut itself in half.
I danced to silence,
swept the dust off the floor
with my feet.

People thought I was crazy, Nocturnal.
Do you think I’m crazy?

Whatever questions we answer out here
will have to be answered honestly.
I can’t replenish what hour after hour takes away,
what the ears hear when they’ve spent too much time
listening to each other every day.

Do you know, Nocturnal?
Do you know, the gulls are loudest right before dawn?
They get nervous.
They get scared they will be stuck staring
at the same stagnant moon
forever.

When you arrive,
I will have already slept with
the sea.
And, no, I won’t have extra.
Extra or enough.

The way I see it:
play the game,
or leave the table.
Make your bed,
lie in it.
There’s no use pretending there’s any other way.
Reap what you sow.
If you can’t
handle the heat,
slip into lead shoes
and let go.
Let go.

The way I see it,
it’s all one big game,
the ol’ “over-under” strategy.
60/40, 80/20.
In other words, Nocturnal,
when I leave, I’ll leave loaded.

In other words,
the way I see it,
you’ll have to find it in your heart
to forgive me.
Does it still work that way?
Does it still work?

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: On the Pacific Coast Highway, watching the ocean.

Q: Do you remember the first poem you read that really blew your mind?

A: George Oppen’s, Of Being Numerous.

Q: What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you in the last 12 months?

A: Winning the Hudson Prize!!!!!

Sarah Suzor’s poetry, reviews and interviews have appeared in various online and print journals including Hotel Amerika, Tarpaulin Sky and Rain Taxi.  She lives in Los Angeles, where she is an editor for Highway 101 Press and a guest lecturer for the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris. Her collection The Principle Agent is the winner of the 2010 Hudson Prize and is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.

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