149.1: Sarah Suzor:: Problems & A Good Example & The Perfect Example 149

If I had to choose a poet to watch bad reality television with, it would be Sarah Suzor. It’s not because her new book-length work “The Prettiest Girl in the World” is shallow—though it considers superficiality as a theme—or pop-culturally obsessed—though song lyrics and fashion play their parts therein. It’s that Suzor can take the most trivial, minute concerns of the everyday and spin them into wildly philosophical musings. Bad lines from a bad love song morph into reflections on authenticity in relationships. An astonishingly pretty girl becomes a funhouse mirror, reflecting and distorting all of us: our flaws, desperation, gratitude and desires.

On the play between lowbrow and high-mindedness in her work, Suzor writes that it’s “an attempt to mimic our lives: the way we all search for truths, but during the search find ourselves flooded with outside influence.” These pieces, both narrative and disconcertingly disjunctive, perfectly capture that sense of pursuit, interruption and confusion.

And flooded is right. The seemingly shallow waters of Suzor’s poems accumulate and accumulate, until readers realize they’re treading in the most fascinating, complex and dangerous of oceans. And caught in this literary flood of beauty, charm, poison, etymology and psychology, Suzor’s poems demonstrate how “we're all just surviving, / all just trying to survive, / and we're all going to do whatever it takes. / That is, whatever it takes to survive.” Jessica Piazza

Problems


There are all kinds of things that need immediate attention.
Love is not one of those things.
 
I tell myself:
It’s not necessary to figure everything out at once.
I tell myself:
Pick your poison.
I tell myself:
Fish or cut bait.

*

The problem is with inclinations.
The problem is with tendencies.

*

Some people will say:
You’ll never know until you try.
They will look at you,
tilt their head, and say:
It’s worth a try.

*

I remember the prettiest girl saying:
We’re all just surviving,
all just trying to survive,
and we’re all going to do whatever it takes.
That is, whatever it takes to survive.

*

There are all kinds of things that need immediate attention.
Figuring out what to believe is not one of those things.
I tell myself:
It’s necessary to take everything with a grain of salt.

*

The problem is with predispositions.
The problem is with habitual propensities.

*

I told her I’d do whatever it takes.
Then I asked God to have mercy on me.

Mercy is like forgiveness with more desperation.
Desperation is like love without reciprocity.

*

People will say:
One day you’ll look back and laugh.
These people will have never sat down with the prettiest girl.
These people will have never cried themselves to sleep.

*

She said:
I imagine myself granted forgiveness. Somewhere. Someday. I will ask for rain. And it will happen. And this is how I will know.

*

There is one love song that says:
“Tell me who I see when I look in your eyes;
is that you, baby, or just a brilliant disguise?”

This is an important question.

Brilliance is just talent with exception.
Exception is something like the prettiest.

*

That same love song says:
“So when you look at me,
you better look hard and look twice;
is that me, baby, or just a brilliant disguise?”

A disguise is a story that is hard to believe.
Belief is relative to the number of times one has repented.

*

There are three-thousand-five-hundred-fifty-six ways to be granted mercy.
All of which have to do with rain.



A Good Example


There is one country song says:
“You’re the one that hung the moon.”

This is a good example of an exaggeration.
A lie.

However, what makes a liar a liar is relative to the truth.
What makes the truth the truth is relative to the charmer.
What makes the charmer the charmer is relative to the audience.
Or forgetfulness.
Or forgiveness.
Or the phase of the moon.
The lyrics of the song.



The Perfect Example


I heard one folk song that said:
“I will go if you ask me to.
I will stay if you dare.
If I go, I’m going crazy.”
 
This is the perfect example of love.

*

I asked her if I could stay
and she said nothing.
So I stayed.
In the morning she asked me: Do you like this dress?
And I said: Yes.
And she asked: Do you still think about me when you wake up?
And I said nothing.

*

It’s always important to know which questions to answer.
It’s always important to know which song to play at the right moment.

*

That same folk song says:
“If I go, I’m going shameless.”

There is one country singer that screams:
“I’m shameless when it comes to loving you.”
 
The irony in the word “shameless” is that it can work both ways:
-to act without pride or
-to act without shame.
 
*

One day she confessed all the lies she’s ever told.
Then I asked her:
What do you dream about?
And she couldn’t think of anything.

*

Because I could never believe her story
I couldn’t tell if she was smarter than me, or I was smarter than her.

Manipulation is just shameless intelligence with or without forgiveness,
a love song with or without the saxophone,
the prettiest girl with the most brilliant disguise.

*

I heard her say:
If I wanted to tell you the truth, I would have already done it.

I heard her say:
It will rain, or something,
and then we’ll walk in to the ocean.