Suzanne Frischkorn’s Girl on a Bridge

Suzanne Frischkorn by Lori Schaller

In addition to Girl on a Bridge, Suzanne Frischkorn is the author of Lit Windowpane, also from Main Street Rag Publishing (2008), and five chapbooks, most recently American Flamingo, (2008). Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies including, Ecotone, Indiana Review, Margie, North American Review, Verse Daily and Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems, part of Knopf’s Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets Series. A 2009 Emerging Writers Fellow of The Writer’s Center, her honors also include the Aldrich Poetry Award and an Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. She serves as an Assistant Editor for Anti-.

“Good citizens beware: Suzanne Frischkorn has let Girl on a Bridge loose on the world and she’s spreading the word about the furies of femininity and the madness of motherhood with its ‘stone weight of home’. These poems burn holes on the fairy tale pages of domestic fantasy and uncover the treacherous (though more exciting) narratives of those women who dare stray from the path or, at the very least, who celebrate their desires: ‘What’s more flattering than being wanted by a mouth that waters?’ This book of finely-crafted verse holds up its poetry like a lovely razor blade.”
– Rigoberto González
“Suzanne Frischkorn is a fierce and fearless poet. In Girl on a Bridge, she first upends our dainty notions of girlhood and then leads us into the wilderness of violence, madness, fear, and love  – and does so with beauty and tenderness.”
– Julianna Baggott
“Bee stings,”
he called
the bumps
under my t-shirt.
I had a crush
on Roger—
his blue eyes,
his blond hair.
That day
on my porch steps
wrecked my posture for years.
Great Lash

     You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much.
     People think she’s a whore.

Our cornfields were paved in asphalt, sulfur
lights snuffed our stars. When one of us had
no shoes, we went barefoot, walking streets
laid with tar. First we coated lashes blackest
black from tubes of green and pink, our eyes
lined kohl. If it was Thursday we found
boyfriends and waited by the liquor store for
anyone to buy us Smirnoff. Anyone at all.
          We were not sweet girls.
We were not sweet girls, yet we wore silver
chains with silver hearts & crosses, onyx
rings, blush, lipstick, powder. Hair flipped
by vent brush before entering a night without
stars. Our parents were line dancing, were bank
tellers, were absent. We were a family that knew
          nothing about its members.
We cut school and watched Foxes.
We cut school and drank vodka.
We cut school and got stoned,
did our makeup, walked the streets.
One of us got out. One of us ran
into our connection working a shoe store,
one of us glimpsed another with a baby,
one of us marries her Thursday night
          boyfriend and shatters her image.
We were not sweet girls, no. If there had
been corn, or stars? Maybe the deep
sweet girlness would have surfaced ― dreamy
          fresh-faced girls ― petals listening to rain.
When the Sun Came Out They Disappeared
The town woke to moths.
Overnight a quiet storm
smothered the appetites of birds,
and papered the utility poles.
                                                 It’s a sign of drought
when all the signposts disappear,
when an entire town disappears
draped in white winged moths,
papery, and dry as a drought.
The town prayed for a storm—
a deluge to knock down poles.
There was not a branch left for the birds.
Not a single perch left for a bird.
A white slight of wing, and the town disappeared.
Wings stacked upon each other, pole
after pole blanketed in gypsy moths.
The town woke up to a storm
of white wing, and disappeared.
                                                       Like children disappear
their whereabouts known only to birds,
forgotten in archives, alive only in the storm
within a parent’s heart, their bodies found after a long drought.
An omen, these moths,
          of all that will disappear.
It remains to be seen how much utility the poles
retain. If white wings portend drought,
do tens of thousands white moths
portend the death of birds?
                                            Will the birds disappear?
                    What is this storm?
A white papery gypsy storm
that settles on the utility poles
and makes a town disappear.
A slight of wing brings barrenness, and drought
They could have warned them, the birds,
                                                   You will wake to moths.
A storm of moths takes a town
its birds, its utility poles,
                         and just as with drought, life disappears.
from Girl on a Bridge (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2010)
Signed copies of Girl on a Bridge are available here.
Read more of Suzanne’s work.

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