Monday, September 15, 2008

I Thought You Should Know

We are working on Suzanne's second book of poems, I Thought You Should Know, which should be out sometime next month. Like always, Suzanne comes across as a powerful poet, observant and novel in the ways she treats the language. The book has a very American tone to it, and the America that reflects in it is unlike the America that we have known here in India. Suzanne speaks to us as the other America: the America that is a co-traveler, the America that we do not work for. The America in her book speaks to us in many voices that seem so close.

Take, for example, her poem "3.14159" where the day begins with a cup of coffee, more coffee and "watching static," and comes to a close "sitting in the center of room and waiting for an impression." No necessary articles, barely grammatical. It is this monotony that recurs in poems like "1861 to 1864," revealing the disturbing dimensions of a world where "nome de plumes exist for a reason on the Internet; nobody is left responsible." Responsible for genocides, bomb explosions that leave hundreds dead in a split second.

She tells us funny stories that she just remembered. Stories that she thought we should know. And we listen spellbound, realizing there are bits of us in all of them. Bits that will never come together.

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