Susan Briante

Better Than Paris

Good morning, I love you late     for a meeting     I am still
in bed our faces turned to our respective cardinal points
south/northif we are speaking only of heritage, degrees of melatonin.

Architecture shapes the body

no matter the square footage, I feel a thin frame
around me,a 1920s duplex: a thin white border
as in old photographsaround
this middle-class winter.

A shopping bag gallops down the middle of Ross Ave like some bad-ass

Last night, looking for a parking space near the Dallas Public Library
I got lost, turned right past orange construction barrels,
corporate headquarters, county commissions, convention centers
turned circles

in a downtown built in the late 1970s on the scale of a capital city
in some developing country, launched like a wind-tossed plastic bag
into a future at the farthest end of an uninterrupted plaza.

Door after glass door.
Not a cop, not a vagrant in sight.

At the ruins of Pompeii, Melville writes like any other town. All the same
whether one be dead or alive. Pompeii comfortable sermon.

Last night, I dreamt I held a stone with an oyster shell
surface, some artifact of the soul
5 years
the stone-shell gave me
existentially, perhaps, geographically
perhaps I should stop worrying about my IRA.

Melville liked Pompeii better than Paris.

The Germans have a word for this
feeling of walking across an interminably long space, this feeling
that we will never arrive at our destination: platzangst.

I watch a gray dove walk across Ross Ave
in full morning
if it's gray I call it a pigeon, even here in the south
west walking across Ross Ave as if it didn't have a wing
to its name.

Susan Briante is the author of the chapbooks True to Scale and Neotropics: A Romance in Field Notes. Her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in The Believer, Creative Non-Fiction, and New American Writing, among others. A co-editor of the journal Superflux, Briante is an assistant professor of aesthetic studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her first full-length book of poetry, Pioneers in the Study of Motion, was published in Spring 2007 by Ahsahta Press.


Executive Editor
Tom Grimes

Managing Editor
Jane Hawley

Co-Managing Editor
Reyes Ramirez

Poetry Editor
Jennifer Whalen

Fiction Editor
Stan Rivkin

Nonfiction Editor
Heather Lefebvre

Eric Blankenburg

Copy Editor
Sessa Kratz

Interviews Editor
Amanda Scott

Public Relations Manager
Samantha Tanner

Book Reviews Editor
Mallory Chesser

Blog Editor
Josh Lopez

Assistant Blog Editor
Alicia Salzmann

Sarah Howze
Dan Barton
Niko Kyriakou
Theresa Holden
Brandon Ricks
Casey Winters
Rachel Gray
Lawton Cook
Lauren Bull
Benjamin Seanor
James Deitz
Timothy Dailey
Maggie Ilersich
Stuart Gill
Katrina Goudey
Dorothy Lawrenson
Ram Hinojosa
Meg Griffitts
Jacob Massey
Paul Adams
Allison Myers
Phillip Mandel
John Edgar
Michaela Hansen
Shelby Newsom
Ashton Kamburoff
Graham Oliver

Faculty Advisor
Steve Wilson

Founding Editors
Michael Hart
Evelyn Lauer
Josh Magnuson
Toby Peterson
Michael Wolfe

Advisory Board
Katie Angermeier
Ben Engel
Evelyn Lauer
Herpreet Singh


logo for the CLMP

All photos were taken at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, by Sameera Kapila and Herpreet Singh.

Website design by Sameera Kapila