Susan Parr

Two poems from Susan Parr’s Devera

followed by a note on the author

He Moonlights in Food Services

Indeed I dwell in the throat of a god
—Saint-John Perse

Silent busboy
with zigging skeleton—
mutton platterer—
he who lilts salami,
who does away salads bawdy,
who totes the bitten parsley
in befuddled falls,
and never apolo-
gizes, as he arcs,
and jazzercises—
one dies
to know the algorithm
he’s flung along,
the uncordoned code
of this boy’s barnstorm;
one haggles to have him,
to inspect his ajar eyes
as he collects the glasses
and one wonders, as he does—does he

speak a language?
And would he be a wag—
or would he be hard to hear—
or could he, speaking, finally conjoin—
meaning, could speech be the cord
on which a being’s hung—
from stable, secret trunk—
ladder, to which his wandering’s
insecurely tied—
apotheistic sluice,
his body
vines on
and denies?



Fruit Loop

The apple tree
(so like a town)
drapes changepurse arms
across the rotting wall.
In every apple’s flesh,
a spot of black,
a hole—
this town’s
in trouble.

But the leaves
(wrists of tissue,
windy rough
draft symphony)
do not fall.
The leaves’ town is
cottony, capable.




He Moonlights in Food Services first appeared (as The Answer) in Diagram; Fruit Loop also first appeared in Diagram.

Susan Parr was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1967. She was educated in Russian Studies at Barnard College, New York City, and later earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Washington. A graphic designer for some years, she more recently tutors in English as a second language in Seattle, where she lives with her dog, Diamond. Her first collection of poems, Pacific Shooter, won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize and was published by Pleiades Press (2009). Her work has appeared in anthologies including The Best American Poetry series, as well as in journals such as PageBoy, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Seattle Review, and MARGIE.