The Daily Art Source

Susan Lewis This Visit  and How to be Another

This Visit 

When I first opened this book I saw one line, it jumped out to me. It's from the poem, This
Visit, "the grenade of your despair." Later in the poem Ms Lewis writes, "Impassive as
viscera exhumed." This speaks volumes to the human condition, the way in which we suffer
and the way we dwell in regret and shame. But this is my opinion you must understand, not
the views of Ms Lewis.

Hardly ever do you pick up a book of poetry that quickly satisfies your curiosity the way that
a book by Susan Lewis will. By writing in brief poetic surges its easy to take them and let
each one soak in individually.  These lines are very satisfying. Take for instance the poem,
"Like Leaves." You will find these two lines,

in a dry wind

You might hear these words in a passing conversation, a story being told. But no, these
words are in a very fine poem. Any way you dissect, read or take in the work from This Visit
by Susan Lewis you're going to fine something for you and to share.

Chris Mansel

How To Be Another

I had already written a review for this book and I was about to post it, then I lost it. I got
deleted or as things happen, it just went away. So I am writing another. That's the essence of
Susan Lewis book, How To Be Another. You must find that that is in you, twist it around till it
is only you. As she writes in the poem, Sometimes: "Even the boldest blossoms will count
themselves out. "Susan Lewis writes not aggressively, although her mind is so sharp is spills
out across the page so as to send your eye up and down the page.

You can find so much here, passion, intellect, and if you read it, truly read it, you will find as
she writes in her poem 23 Related Remarks, "The exposition should be crystalline." The
prose-poetry is so smooth, so matter of fact in its distillation.

"Shopping the dictionary, he tested out heuristics, tried on mnemonics, slammed the cover on
resignation. Back in bed, he was ambushed by ambiguities."

The above was taken from the poem, Night After Night. This is a book that you should buy,
read and recommend. The language is clear, the message beautifully spoken. The pages you
will read and understand.


Chris Mansel

A Review of Heisenberg’s Salon by Susan Lewis

By now with my
eyesight it can be difficult to read on some days. But it can be a blessing just like the writing of Susan Lewis. The short poetry-prose, prose-poetry Ms. Lewis writes in asks you to start and stop; you want to embrace each line/sentence (because you want to know what happens next). As Melville wrote, “Subtlety appeals to subtlety.”
Georges Bataille wrote, “The absence of poetry is the eclipse of chance.” The absence of poetry is sometimes the appearance of prose. In Ms. Lewis’s “After So Many Years” is a beautifully written poem that like many of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s finest pieces you wish would continue. The poem begins with the nibble of an ear which later in the poem becomes a notched ear. A “lover’s boredom”, “invented languages”, it reads of two lovers’ challenging one another in a game of one one-up·man·ship. A beautifully erotic tale.

“Family Man” a brief poem, but full of the angst felt in this country. A man is driven to suicide and says, “What was the point of living if you couldn’t live?” What is the point of life anyway this suggests? That’s up to the reader and the writer. Ms. Lewis writes, “I’m sorry! I had to know what it felt like, he shouted up to her as he plunged, & the truth was he could barely wait for that first and final excess.” That final excess is the first explanation we expect from the dark object in the distance.

Ms. Lewis has written a collection that is far better than her previous work, How to be Another, and I didn’t think at the time that that was possible.

Chris Mansel

Book Review