MEMO TO THE READER
if you open this book and expect to
know me you will find both truth
and lie all poets lie and lay and have
lain so discover inside what’s mad
or curious yet beware ye who enter
for you may see yourself herein
Susan Terris’s Memos are bristling notations and spare sketches from our fractured and fragmented world—yet these poems can also be understood as celebrations of both wisdoms gained and innocence lost. Scenes that sometimes begin as cameos shift subtly into raw memento mori for times lost or unforgiven. These vignettes are brilliantly rendered, precisely inscribed—and always impossible to forget.
David St. John
Susan Terris’ poetry books include Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems, The Homelessness of Self, Contrariwise, Natural Defenses, Firs is Favorable to the Dreamer, Poetic License, and Eye of the Holocaust. Her work has appeared in many publications including: Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, FIELD, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Volt, and Ploughshares. For seven years, with CB Follett, she edited RUNES, A Review Of Poetry. She is now editor of Spillway and a poetry editor for Pedestal Magazine and In Posse Review. She had a poem from FIELD published in PUSHCART PRIZE XXXI.
I like the weight, the sense, of these poems in Susan Terris’ MEMOS.
Memo to the Girl with the Port-Wine Stain Across Her Face
a teenager you’re standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial
place which declares all created equal and your friends
are photographing you not profile so only the unblemished
shows but full face and smiling audacious even
your parents I’d like to know them people who love
a girl with dreams of her own girl who lives unmarked