I’m watching A Face in the Crowd (1957)


I’m watching A Face in the Crowd (1957), the scene
where Patricia Neal meets Lonesome Rhodes’ first
wife played by Kay Medford, there’s something about
the situation between the two women that feels so familiar
it rattles me, sitting here watching the scene, too, I’ve
done it before, done it a thousand times, Lee Remick
as the cheerleader wrapping her leg around Andy
Griffith’s calf and Patricia Neal left in the lurch, her
deep voiced drawl, I’ve been there, sat here, watched
that, felt this, like the first time I went to Little Szechuan
on Oliver St., the waiters washing the tables with hot
tea, whole fish in front of me, K plucking out the eye
with chopsticks and holding it toward me, my open
mouth in the mirrored walls a thousand times retold.




I can’t rest, can’t get no relief


I can’t rest, can’t get no relief from fragments
of a life that come at me like pages in a flipbook,
like Hazel who walked by our house every day
in her black coat and veil and four-buckle arctic
boots to head up Cemetery St. to talk to her dead,
her parents, the fiancé who died in war, does she
matter, does the fact that I followed her and listened-in
matter, or that a sonnet is one frame in a long strip
of celluloid most of which will end up on the cutting
room floor back when there were cutting rooms as when
K who is long dead worked on “Radar Angel” editing
on the Steenbeck, I was ok-looking then, long hair dyed
blue, white dress, no idea who I was or what to be,
eating whipped cream in slow-motion from a teaspoon.


Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, was published in 2015 by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010) won the Juniper Prize and was published in 2010. Her fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018. Seuss was raised by a single mother in rural southwest Michigan.