Salon C, Level 2
I sat back down. The next reader had an avian air about him. Eagle-like brow, blond beard, puffy-chested, unsteady, gestural. He spoke of the prize he won. He spoke of the blurbs on his back cover. He spoke of his youthful employ at an insurance company. It’s a gas, he said, not what you’d think.
Yeah, he said, I’ve got the Wallace Stevens angle. And I’ve got the Harvard angle. And I’ve got the Princeton doctoral angle. And I had a semester in Paris that is like a Henry Miller angle.
I complimented him on his postmodern sexual conquest poems. Thank you, he said. I liked seeing you read. Then he turned back to his colleagues who slapped him on his knees with excitement. He drank a curious brown drink, circa 1960.
I might as well be doing heroin, I wrote dramatically on a paper napkin. Or he did. The evening went black after I finished my brown drink. I found the napkin smashed into my underwear the next morning. Either way, I decided, I would use the line to write a poem of my own.
Suzanne Wise is the author of the poetry collection The Kingdom of the Subjunctive (Alice James Books) and the chapbooks The Blur Model (Belladonna*) and Talking Cure (Red Glass Books). Her poems have also been published in the anthology Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance, as well as the journals The Awl, The Bennington Review, Bomb, Bone Bouquet, Cura, Green Mountains Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Quaint, and Touch the Donkey, among many other places. She lives in New York City.
Gem Blackthorn is QMT's Sex Columnist, and the author/curator of Lust Thrust Thursdays. Send her your submissions and questions at sexsexsex [at] queenmobs.com