COOK'S LUCK $14
The poems in Cook’s Luck (Finishing Line Press, 2012) did not want to be shaped into the familiar lyrics and free verse narratives Susan Glassmeyer is accustomed to writing. They persisted instead as prose vignettes on diverse subjects, from comical to serious to meditative. All share a common theme of hunger and a longing to feed that hunger. The meal grows in size with the smallest poem introducing the book and the longest poem satisfied to occupy the closing page.
For a signed copy of Cook's Luck, please contact Susan directly.
Placing Second in the 5K
Just before the gun goes off, your mind is back inside the track of yesterday recalling that red-tailed hawk circling a field on the outskirts of town. A second hawk sailed close behind crying out with a flourish while the first hawk, all one-pointed focus, plunged into the knee-high green. It clutched a field rat by the throat and carried away that bulky prize whose tail whipped the sky like a snake. The hawk and the rat looked oddly grand in the overhead blue while the second hawk flew silently away, still hungry, but unencumbered.
The mountain overtook you the way it bullies up against the sky. And whatever the name is for that mammoth rock that hoards the range of light in the famous photo by Ansel Adams, you resented how big a shadow it cast over us on the ground below in mid-afternoon, mesmerizing the gatherers. Now, a poster of it hanging above your couch captivates the baby lying beneath it. In a supine milky stupor he gazes unblinking into its face as if hypnotized by the eye of a giant, while someone in the room delights in saying: it’s his very first metaphysical experience! You politely disagree saying: but he’s already his own metaphysical experience having just recently disembarked from the mystery of the womb. There is further talk about how soon the new one will be upright and walking like the little god of curiosity his parents dream him to be, though not especially dreaming this for themselves. Then someone points out a beguiling neurological footnote: before verticality, the baby must be a face-down sloppy bottom-feeder first, must pivot and push on his reptilian belly, scooch and rock on the floor in a reaching attempt, until one day his legs will knee him in the belly and his colluding arms will fold then straighten then hoist him into motion, each set of lovely diagonal flippers alternately propelling him forward—a fleshy four-limbed creature lunging toward some object of his desire (perhaps a rattle) resting in a shadow cast by the all-purpose bosom of an upright mountain of a mother.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
Grateful and funny, trusting and trustworthy, Glassmeyer’s vision is lit from within by a clear-sighted and unshakeable love. These poems stake their claims at the very heart of life—in strange encounters with loved ones, in familiar meetings with strangers, in lovingly awkward reunions with lost selves. I most gladly accept the title poem’s invitation to “Trust the sweetness of the accidental grape” that blesses with its presence, a metaphor, perhaps, for Glassmeyer’s unique gift, the poet’s original recipe for these conscious and heartfelt poems.
For sure the cook is lucky here, and so are we who get to sit down to eat. Ms. Glassmeyer is the chef who wants to surprise, the chef who wants us to slow down and the chef who works for all the senses. Many of the ingredients here are beyond organic; our poet has foraged in the wild. These poems are nutrient-dense; we won’t eat another meal like it.
—Valerie Chronis Bickett
Poet/Teacher/Author of Triandafilo
Susan Glassmeyer delivers a magical collection in her new book, Cook’s Luck. These prose poems sweep from the comedic and surreal to cool meditations on food and cooking, nature, work, violence, and love as strange and ever-morphing. These quietly powerful, elegant vignettes rip open the surface of free verse and pierce our imagination. Read these poems and see for yourself.
Poet/Professor, Mount St. Joseph University