Paperback Price: $11.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295234

Selected Poem


I had my faults.
I had my so-called desires.
I remained open to temptation.
I argued with my colleagues.
I did not reach 100 percent
in my assignments. But I was no pry
pole, I was subsidiary. I was aspiring
to cog. I wanted to be a gullible
sheep or a rowdy-dowdy shepherdess
or a shamefaced sheepdog.
When I learned what I had to be,
I sat down on my luggage set
and wept. Then I unpacked. I decorated.
I raised the roof. I flew my kite.
I removed all the skulls and thieves.
I told my wise leaders where to sponge.
I was less than resistant. I was more than bold.
I was beyond naked. I was technicolor.
I was a brilliant butcher, an innovative
streetwalker, a saucy sales manager.
I knew a good stogy, a fine lace teddy.
I lived for love. I erred accordingly.
I assumed the world condoned my stunts.
It's clearer today. I was misunderstood;
I was in-the-know everyone else wanted
out of. Today there are no traces
of erasures, and no qualms, no real
wrongs. I made judgements for the best
and by the standards of the time.
Now that it's over I must beg
for attention. I have been robbed
of the limelight that comes with
responsibility. I can only imagine
how hard it must be for you
to believe me, I mean, to hold
blame. I mean, to be you.

The Kingdom of the Subjunctive

“A sharp debut . . . . Here is autobiography with political purpose, poetic experiment with self-knowing deprecation and unabashed gravity.”

“The first book of the poet Suzanne Wise, The Kingdom of the Subjunctive takes declarative leaps into the imagined; it expertly carves into gleaming surfaces to examine their astonishing interiors, as well as the tools of examination.”
American Letters and Commentary

“In The Kingdom of the Subjunctive, the cruel weights of history are freshly remembered, while computer-age white noise is subject to an almost lascivious forgetting. The center will not hold; the apocalypse is, was, and will be. Suzanne Wise’s imagination is assertive and surprising; her sensibility extends from the deliciously funny to the austerely tragic. . . .These poems of displacement and vicarious existence encompass external mirrors of the self and ruminations that boil within. This is a poetry of info-shock confessions and blasted narrators in which urban glut and debris are compounded into monuments to nation-state and private soul, in which female space is both indeterminate and profligate. Suzanne Wise’s work bristles with the struggle to define and comprehend the absurd component of evil and despair.”
—Alice Fulton

“I love Suzanne Wise’s poems because they’re droll and cavalier, magnificent and terrified all at once. With all the invisible poise of Masculinity—which she doesn’t care to possess—she manages to flip responsibility governing her poems so that what’s secrectly driving them feels like everyone’s problem. And that seems like a grand success. As if a vast and almost patriotic distress signal were being sent out.”
—Eileen Myles

“Brilliant, necessary, deeply felt, cut-to-the-quick, explosive, sassy and real damn good are just a few ways of describing Suzanne Wise’s The Kingdom of the Subjunctive. In the words of Wallace Stevens, Wise’s poems resist true wisdom almost successfully.”
—Lawrence Joseph


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