This week, we are excited to present a new poem by Susan Rich. Rich is the author of four collections of poetry including Cloud Pharmacy, shortlisted for the Julie Suk Prize and the Indie Fab Award. Her other books include the The Alchemist’s Kitchen, a Finalist for the Washington Book Prize, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue, winner of the PEN USA Award (all from White Pine Press). She is a coeditor of the essay collection The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Crossing Borders published by The Poetry Foundation and McSweeney’s. Rich’s poems have been published in fifty states and one district including in the New England Review, The Gettysburg Review, and World Literature Today. Her website is www.susanrich.net and she blogs at www.thealchemistskitchen.blogspot.com.
Recently, the artist Leonora Carrington has inspired much of my work. Carrington’s paintings and sculptures are difficult to categorize, but she is often grouped with the surrealists, yet was also heavily influenced by Hieronymus Bosch. For me, the brief news headline “99-Year-Old Woman Wakes Up to Find an Exotic Animal on Chest” brought forth an iconography that Carrington would have loved (wild animal, bedroom, crone). Of course I didn’t understand that this was why I was drawn to the news story until the poem was finished.
99-Year-Old Floridian Wakes Up to Find
~with a line from William Butler Yeats