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
that smile.  

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.

God Helmet

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.

Mind-Body Disconnect

No good, a marriage
made in heaven, no possibility of body

in that loft-like space,
a place without lust, paradise lost.

Mind-body problem:
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.