At Ink Sweat & Tears we normally would be less than sanguine about ‘Letches’ receiving the honours but when this refers to Susan Richardson’s ‘powerful’ ‘vivid’ ‘amazing’ poem which had such ‘relevance’ and has been voted by you as the IS&T Pick of the Month for March 2018, we can understand the response.
Susan is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. She shares a home with an Irishman, 2 pugs and 2 cats. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002, and in addition to poetry, she writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has been published in: Stepping Stones Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Furious Gazelle, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Foxglove Journal, Literary Juice, Sick Lit Magazine, Amaryllis, and The Anapest Journal, with pieces forthcoming in Eunoia Review. She was also awarded the Sheila-Na-Gig Winter Poetry Prize and will be featured in the Literary Juice 2018 Q&A Series.
Susan has asked that her £10 ‘prize’ be donated to the RNIB.
The call to bright lights is a whisper,
tempting souls into the clutches of
dreams that hang on a celluloid precipice.
Los Angeles turns us into letches
who lurk under the wings of angels,
covered in soot from generations
of sweeping up discarded morals.
Decrepit men, slathered in wealth,
chase the skirts of simpering women
with molded cheek bones and noses
they weren’t born with.
Carbon copy blondes trample
over the backs of comrades, and reach
through barbed wire for a glimmer of fame.
They come in droves and shed their skins,
willing to do unthinkable things for
just a drop of starlight on their tongues.
Voters’ comments included:
…Susan’s words paint a raw, vivid, very real picture of a world I know all too well. She gracefully articulates a place that sparkles from the outside, covering up the darkness beneath that has the power to morph something beautiful into a hideous shell of its former self.
The imagery here is really powerful. Having lived in LA, I can totally imagine the hordes of carbon copy blondes trampling each other! Really good, cynically humorous stuff.
Pictograph of American culture beneath cellophane.
I love Susan’s writing and her beautiful soul. This poem hits on an interesting and less than beautiful view of life in LA.
This poem captures 2018 Las Angeles so perfectly!
The poem risks making us uncomfortable and yet we must admit the truth of this tragic story for so many “starlets.”
Powerful images and message.
Beautifully worded, modern and relevant
Breathtaking. Though-provoking. Wonderful.
Amazing touching brilliant
The sentences are well constructed, the words chosen just right, and that gives the poem its power to linger long in your mind.
She perfectly captured the dirty underbelly of the city.