The Mathematics of Disengagement

The Mathematics of Disengagement


Susan Hoover

Sample Poem


Show me
The big black crow
That flew with dark feathered purpose
Into my belly somewhere along the line
As my gaze turned towards
The fallen sparrow and God
Was not behind it.

Ransacked my innards
Picked the fire clean from my bones
Gorged itself on my chemistry.

Heavy with pillage weight
Waddled across the bed
With slowly lifting wings to flap
Out the window towards night secrets
Leaving behind a few tidbits of memory
Curled and bleached on the sheet.

Once shown, will there be
A simple scavenger or a holy messenger,
A remover of excess and debris
Or a thief of kernel?


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For those of us privileged to know her, Susan Hoover’s poems are a reflection of the woman herself. Intelligent, highly charged, funny, understated, passionate, proud, self-effacing, daring, joyful, logical, and heartrending. Don’t enter these poems lightly; they won’t forgive even a flicker of inattention.  Hoover is a top shelf poet; do whatever it takes to make room for these gorgeous poems, they reward both heart and head. —Angelo Verga, author of six poetry collections, and curator of Literary Events at the legendary Cornelia Street Café.
A commanding three-part mathematical poetic masterpiece of intimate musical delicacy with surprising twists that land you in the light of fiction and truth/on rough seas/among swimming words/and the sparkling light of fiction and truth/with the fragility of glass and the charred edges of repercussion/flipping coins with the devil/dodging the wreckage of life/falling axes/and edges/lines/and angles shift and reclaim themselves in the strong shadow of the sun. —Bruce Weber, author of Poetic Justice (Ikon Press)