photo of hand tipping over silver bowl containing water

Two Poems by Susan Yount

(Please rotate your handheld device to landscape mode to provide maximum width for each line.)

After Icarus Fell,
after Pieter Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
oil on canvas
28.9 in × 44 in

our ships would never dock. When no one on the island seemed to notice, we thought them all dead. On Sundays, we’d trade women. On Mondays, we’d wake drowning. On Tuesdays, we’d spin in the sea, sails heaving and twisting in the wrong directions: We were each our own sick hurricane. On Wednesdays, we’d dream of wine and wake too bloated to swab the decks. Each Thursday, our ailments confronted us like a pet that needed feeding. On Fridays, we’d bring our dead to the edges of the ships and loose them into the sea. We’d watch them sink into the red algae, admiring the soles of their feet. Saturdays, they’d all come back again.

When the winds finally fell and the sails stopped their mournful billowing we were too weak to paddle-in the ships. We still have hope we’ll run aground.

He wrote to me in first person with first lines from first songs
that I cannot remember but I shouted at him anyway

wearing satin or sateen : don’t touch me cyclone hurricane poetry machine I hate you dream cow oppression crossing the bridge


Susan Yount was raised on a farm in southern Indiana where she learned to drive a tractor and hug her beloved goat, Cinnamon. She is editor of the Arsenic Lobster, madam of the Chicago Poetry Bordello, and founder of Misty Publications. She also works full-time at the Associated Press and teaches online poetry classes at The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative. As if all that wasn’t enough, she recently completed her MFA in poetry at Columbia College Chicago, co-writes the “Rebellious Women in Poetry” column and is mother to a darling 6-year-old. Her chapbook, Catastrophe Theory, is out with Hyacinth Girl Press.

Lead image“Dead in the water” (via Flickr user Thorbjorn Sigberg )