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Title: Susan Browne
Post by: Frederique on 01 Oct, 2011, 10:07:18
Susan Browne (


Born in Long Beach, California, Susan Browne has lived most of her life in the Bay Area. Her poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Subtropics, River City, The Mississippi Review, Gargoyle, Margie, American Life in Poetry, and other literary journals and anthologies, such as 180 More, Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, edited by Billy Collins, and Ordinary Genius by Kim Addonizio.  Her awards include prizes from the Chester H. Jones Foundation, the National Writer's Union, the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, and the River Styx International Poetry Contest. Her work was nominated for a Pushcart Award. Selected as the winner of The Four Way Books Prize by Edward Hirsch, her first book, Buddha’s Dogs, was published in 2004. She also has a word/music CD with poet Kim Addonizio, Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing, available from

Her poems have recently appeared on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac and Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry.

Her second book of poetry, Zephyr, won the Editor's Prize at Steel Toe Books.
Susan teaches at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California.  She also teaches her own poetry workshops online.

Title: Susan Browne, Chance Meeting
Post by: Frederique on 01 Oct, 2011, 10:11:02
Chance Meeting by Susan Browne

I know him, that man
walking- toward me up the crowded street
of the city, I have lived with him
seven years now, I know his fast stride,
his windy wheatfield hair, his hands thrust   
deep in his jacket pockets, hands
that have known my body, touched
its softest part, caused its quick shudders   
and slow releasings, I have seen his face   
above my face, his mouth smiling, moaning   
his eyes closed and opened, I have studied
his eyes, the brown turning gold at the centers,   
I have silently watched him lying beside me   
in the early morning, I know his loneliness,   
like mine, human and sad,
but different, too, his private pain
and pleasure I can never enter even as he comes   
closer, past trees and cars, trash and flowers,   
steam rising from the manhole covers,   
gutters running with rain, he lifts his head,   
he sees me, we are strangers again,   
and a rending music of desire and loss—
I don’t know him—courses through me,
and we kiss and say, It’s good to see you,
as if we haven’t seen each other in years   
when it was just a few hours ago,
and we are shy, then, not knowing   
what to say next.