The Works of Susana Case
Susana H. Case has recent work in many journals, including: Amoskeag, Cider Press Review, Coe Review, Diner, Eclipse, Gulf Stream Magazine, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Mochila Review, Potomac Review and Slant. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she is the author of The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press, 2002), Hiking The Desert In High Heels (RightHandPointing, 2005), and Anthropologist In Ohio (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2005).
All Poems © Susana Case
Anything But Love
Your distraction at the protracted nipples
that just strolled
slowly by our table. My gin martini I’m trying
to drink, this prong
of olives I might poke in your eye. The proposal
you were nice enough
to bring. Oh, and a ring, modern jewelry,
which I don’t favor.
The existential dread you give me. Your starched
shirts, never any sweat.
The mirror I bet you stand before to practice
My pile of books, you view as a liability.
My never being sure
why you’re here, except—for bed. The different
lie that I’m ready for.
The trouble I have saying goodbye.
The neurotheologist envisions religious rooms in every home,
alters a snowmobile helmet to create fake
epilepsy, sacred disease,
through electromagnetic fields. The helmet’s symmetric
spindling. Excited neurons. Orgasms
without sex: transcendental
storm bubble, temporal lobe untempered love. Light
a cigarette, lessen amino acid in the cingulate
cortex before the final
scalpel, cold as an icicle: feared ultimate altered state—existential
chemical emptiness. Electricity, its pleasure,
its pain: Nicola Tesla,
celibate genius of alternating current, feared round objects: pearl
earrings, the number three. From the helmet,
micro-seizures and God speaks.
The qualm—if God told me to kill, these sensitive
and mystical subjects fervently agree,
I would do it in his name.
No good, a marriage
made in heaven, no possibility of body
in that loft-like space,
a place without lust, paradise lost.
even when I hate you
I want you—
both your hands
on my breasts, bisected brain.
I put on a new dress. You say,
nice dress, your breasts look bigger.
I wear that dress all week.
Images of my brain, on an MRI,
shell of a horseshoe
crab. Where exactly do free will,
desire, reside—the neurologist doesn’t say,
he looks for electricity.
Unlike him, I’m not a pragmatist.
Let’s remain impervious to reason,
keep the amperes flowing. I can’t calculate
how often we’ve gotten together.
No empty piazza of heaven here,
this transient earth, just carnal
curves on which I want you dancing.