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Performance poems

Suzanne at 2003 Poet Lareate reading

Using irony, humor, melody, rhythm, dance, word-play, and anything else that pops into my mind, I try to make people think about the impact of their actions on the rest of the world.

At left, Suzanne participates in the Antler & Friends Poet Laureate Reading, March 23, 2003
  YouTube Videos

The first lines of some of Suzanne's performance poems appear below. Click the title to view the entire poem.

Detail of Eli's painting of their dog Lilac

HERE, LILAC

We deny all beauty to a dandelion
Past its prime
Greying the grass
Like a tuft of shed doghair...

 

LIFE ON A LEDGE

We came from the water, now we're back again
Marching towards the border, where we may end
All life's trapped, in the space on the ledge
Ebbing, ebbing, ebbing towards the edge...

 

RAISING CAIN

Mongolians Romanians, Germans Czechs Albanians
Palestinians Ukrainians, Chinese Lithuanians
Angolans Afghanis, Poles Azerbaijanis...

 

THE INUIT DIDN'T DO IT

It's not idle chatter, there's something the matter
When Inuit milk, Inuit milk, is undrinkable
The ocean is vast, yet the garbage we cast
Seems to be unsinkable...

 

THE WRITING OVER THE RADIATOR

Adolph taped it on the bathroom wall
A scrap of paper with an unfamiliar scrawl
"Amelita Galli Curci
Opera singer from turn of century..."

WW1, WW2, WW W

It troubles me, does it trouble you
Our fate's in the hands of George W
...

Sound clips

Suzanne has performed this piece under the titles Burning Bush and "W" IS FOR WORLD as it evolved.

 

WALLFLOWER

I have exciting news for you today
I somehow found a dandelion in Whitefish Bay...

 

WHAT'S WRONG WITH IMPERFECT?


Color the lips, slim down the hips, get rid of the double chin
Realign teeth, cover crows' feet...

 

AROMA AROUND ORIZABA

Kimberly-Clarke, not exactly a park
Though it's parked there
Along the autopista
Dominating the vista...

 

THOUGHTS ON WAR

We feed them
And then we bomb them
One last meal to calm them
And to show them that we care...

 

I SING OF AGING

As if things weren't bad enough
We all discover growing old's tough
What else can I say?
We're slowly fading away ...

 

A CYCLE OF BIKEPOEMS

Biking with the wind at my back is a breeze
Coasting to the lake, cruising under trees.
With the wind at my chest biking home
I suspect I'm being forced to atone
For every evil deed I've done...

 

IF YOU CAN SMELL IT, YOU'VE INHALED IT

I would like to clue you in
So your neighbors' yards won't do you in
Look for clover and dandelion
If a lawn's safe for them
That's a healthy sign...

 

GUNS AND DRUGS

Buy your bombs bombers and missiles
Buy your tanks tankers and pistols
Assault rifles machine guns
Weapons weapons weapons weapons weapons

 

MOO-TATING

BGH
Bovine growth hormone
Are longterm side-effects
As yet unknown?
Can we drink our milk with utter confidence...

 

YORUBA PYGMIES

Their lives are so interwoven with the ecosystem
The Pygmies are as much a part of it as the wildlife
The forests, the fish in the streams.
They're fauna eating flora...

 

THE CHANGES IN THE LAKE

Each evening she watched the sun
Set on the lake
She was drawn by the endlessness of the view
Fascinated that such infinite space
Could be crystallized...

THE SOUND OF WATER

Water water water water
Water water water water
Water rapidly repeated sounds like water...

Scan of poem

Audio clips as QuickTime movie files:    0.4 MB | 1 MB | 2.7 MB

MPEG-4 file (720 KB)

WAV file (11 MB)

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