There are men can make you sweat
bullets but can’t make you cry
can’t tamp out the soft side
lying in your chest this pillow
it wants to be rocked
between your knees
wants to be stroked from
the inside out—
Those men who pile drive you
after will forget, like holes
copyright Susan Tepper. Posted with permission from the author.
More about Susan Tepper and her writing:
Susan Tepper is the author of four published books of fiction and a chapbook of poetry. Her current title “The Merrill Diaries” (Pure Slush Books, 2013) is a Novel in Stories that begins in 1976, spanning one decade and two continents, two husbands, spies, psychics, hit men, hookers, the music biz and lots more. Tepper has received 9 nominations for the Pushcart, and one for a Pulitzer in the fiction category. She is a named-finalist in story/South Million Writers Award 2014. Her author/book interview column UNCOV/rd runs monthly at Flash Fiction Chronicles, and another column, Let’s Talk, is her monthly rant on the writing life at Black Heart Magazine. FIZZ, her reading series at KGB Bar, NYC, is sporadically ongoing these 7 or 8 years. Other projects include a 3 act comedy play, co-written with Dennis Mahagin, that will be showcased in NYC forthcoming. www.susantepper.com
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I’ve had the pleasure of reading Tepper’s work for many years now. Our paths have crossed in flash projects, blog tours, poetry publications and a recent fiction series, 2014: A Year in Stories. And we even met once in person — at the 52|250 KGB reading event back in December 2012.
I posted a note about Tepper’s last novel, The Merrill Diaries, here. I find her short collections of stories charming. My favorite is a meeting of two people in Berlin — and all their connections, found and lost — in the book From The Umberplatzen. She has a way of writing about women and men that I find arresting and real.
Here are some other links to reviews and discussions with the poet:
Youtube of The Merrill Diaries reading at Cervena Barva Press Art’s Space, Somerville, MA, 2014
August 2014 discussion with Gay Degani about process and inspiration.
Thank you, Susan Tepper, for sharing your work with us this week!
Tuesday Poem is a collective of poets who share poetry on a weekly basis across borders and time zones. At the TP hub this week you’ll find “The Baobab Tree” by Rachel Sawaya — a gorgeous poem that was the winner of the 2012 Takahe Poetry Comp, posted by TP editor this week, Andrew Bell.
For more Tuesday Poems, go here.