Verisimilitude by Suzanne Allen

A5, 24 pages, €5
First edition June 2011
Second edition May 2014
ISBN 979-10-90394-05-6
Cover image by Dylan Harris.
Typesetting by Meghan McNealy

Verisimilitude is the debut pamphlet of Suzanne Allen, a regular on the Anglophone Parisian scene. Published by the equally Paris-based Corrupt Press, it is a modest-looking yet beautiful collection, with an evocative cover of a rundown interior.

I first encountered Allen’s poetry when she gave a performance of her long poem ‘Wail’ (anthologized in Not a Muse: the inner lives of women) a feminist retelling of Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ at Culture Rapide. While the poem does not feature in this pamphlet, the short opening poem ‘(un)loaded’ feels very much in the same vein, a call for inclusion:

‘There’s a (w)hole in my can(n)on

where a (wo)man should be.’

This poem perhaps best summarizes the pamphlet: a questioning of language and of status quo, through humour and heart. Verisimilitude is a collection of love, of loneliness, and the pursuit to palliate the latter through an exploration of language.
Read Claire Trevien’s full review at Sabotage Reviews


Candle

clean cell—
a lead ladle, a
needle, ale—and
della danced all
lace laden—an
eden ended.



Morning After

Last night the moon was shaped like a scoop. Only
every time I reached for it, it skipped away.
So I gathered the stars by hand.

Since I had never studied them, I named them myself
before dropping them into the skillet.
They spattered and hopped on the hot cast iron.

Without them, midnight collapsed, cape-like.
I thought he might never leave—then the sun rose
orange. I cracked it, though somewhat remorsefully,

on the squared edge of the pan, burned my knuckles,
let the flames spill into the ocean,
blotted up every trace of him with rain clouds.