Monday, July 27, 2009

Suzanne Richardson Harvey, Ph.D.

I am wondering whether you might be interested in any of the three poems below, pasted into the body of this email. I look forward to your frank assessment.

BIO: A member of the Academy of American Poets, Suzanne Richardson Harvey lectured for almost two decades at Stanford University before retiring. And before moving to Northern California, she taught at Tufts University, where she earned her doctorate in Elizabethan poetry, specifically that of Edmund Spenser. Her poetry first appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and then in Ascent Aspirations Magazine (Canada), nthposition (UK), and SpeedPoets (Australia), among other venues.

SURVIVOR: MIDNIGHT SONNET FOR THE HOMELESS ON MARKET STREET

The connoisseurs of Charpentier
Liszt and Debussy
Stroll toward the grey cells
Labeled Benz and BMW
Cradling the corpse
Of a Grand Marnier soufflé
An empty goblet of Cabernet
A snifter of Drambuie

The ragged hot dog perches on her stick
Like the banner Lee bore at Gettysburg
A raw tomato floats
In a lettuce leaf boat
Sinking with battered but genteel grace
On a dead sea of Diet Coke.

TOPOGRAPHY FOR A BULIMIC

I live in a land with
Valleys of chocolate nougat
A mountain of croissants
Rivers of raspberry jam
I live in a house whose
Walls are built of cherry pie
I live in a room where
A starved heart is the cistern
I empty daily
With a finger tip.

THE VELVET GARROTE

I make it a point to arrive at 7 a.m.
You'd be firing the electric log
In the Nob Hill suite
If it's March you'll be cruising the Bay

I feed Mother beef broth
Scrub out the grime between her toes
Clean her crotch
Stick a Q-tip in her ear

You'd be coasting at anchor in Sausalito now
Or maybe dipping escargot in spinach sauce on
Fisherman's Wharf
Perhaps you're fondling a jade Buddha in Chinatown
Or worshipping the beach at Monterey

I'm fixing Mother breakfast
She doesn't eat bacon and eggs over easy
You mentioned the Eggs Sardou
That swim in uncurdled Hollandaise at the top of the Mark

This morning I'll scour the toilet bowl
Scrape the ice box
Attack the oven with a Brillo pad
Bleach the brown stains on her pants

This must be the season
For long afternoons and cable car rides
For Grey Reisling in a Napa vineyard
For surfing in Santa Cruz and Sunday Brunch on the
Tahoe Queen

I'll return precisely at 5
To see the dinner soup is warm
The saltines crisp and the jello firm
No need to give it a second thought

It must be just about time for green velvet waves
To caress the beach at Carmel
I was reading Freud the other day
He says guilt can drive a man straight off the Golden
Gate Bridge.