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Ice Storms in the Setting Sun: Collected Poems 1987-2013 by Susan Smith Nash

Ice Storms in the Setting Sun: Collected Poems 1987-2013
by Susan Smith Nash

$26.95 paperback
2014, 276 pages, 6 x 9

Cover photos and interior artwork
by Susan Smith Nash

ISBN-13: 978-0615954622
ISBN-10: 0615954626

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Perfect Storms



Ringtone just like a woodchipper

I thought it was a good day.
But he had just left a message
I couldn't retrieve.

The ice storm came in
on a wave of advection fog

Vorticity in the transport of moisture and temperature
We were huddled together
like high school football fans on bonfire night
coming to know their beloved Dumas Demons were ordinary mortals like
quinceaneros wanting to learn to dance,
coming to know the "how not to's" of dating

The message made the most sense
As I anticipated it; before I actually retrieved it.

Chainsaw in the Key of B



I'm using my cell phone as a flashlight
Never thought verbal communication could ever shine a light on anything

The hygrometer measures the dampness
Cold clammy in this stew of stories about global climate change

I just don't care

I tend to trip over my own gloom
My existential angst

The cell phone rings in my hand
My guiding light flashes "unknown caller"

As always



They came in on wind and a weird gust front
Like all prevarications

Neon signs advertising lottery tickets, beer, 12-packs of bottled spring water
Bags of freshly shelled peanuts, honey-glazed pecans, wasabi macadamia

Forecast came as text message warning
Late & suddenly irrelevant

I left with the storm's slow outflow of pressure and stinging sleet
Like all new beginnings.


• • •


Varieties of Infinity (in the Form of Shoes)

Cool summer rain in St. Petersburg,
moist hopes clinging to legs like a "chick flick"
that sensitized state
lasting only long enough to be aware that,
yes, something else is possible.

Summer on the edge of a canal to the Neva River
smells of infinitude and continuity,
their smooth waters like walls erected by the mind
no longer attracted to metonymy –

Only the concrete will suffice.

A leg smoothed down with oils;
a sandal sherbet-bright;
cut-out patent flowers pushing into the toes;
an amber pump, subtle in spite of itself;
strolling alongside
the gold-leaf icons of the orthodox church
glittering like beads and shared needles.

New Russia, old Russia?

A slender leg,
terminating in thin straps
an impossible heel; or,
a narrow foot,
cloaked in modest leather?

And then,
the motion of legs,
an outrageous dream lasting only long enough
to be aware that "awake"
is merely one of many states.

Today I buy colored stones
as if they were amber
or the past reborn.

Susan Smith Nash's professional career as a petroleum geologist was launched at the height of one of the many oil "boomlets" in recent times, which meant her formative years were spent coming to terms with the subsequent oil "bust" (which lasted much longer than the boom itself). The boom-bust cycles she has lived through prepared her for the labyrinthine journeys the mind takes when confronted with unexpected shifts in fortune (and one's idea of reality). It also motivated her to continue her studies in business, economics, and in English, where she earned a master's degree (emphasis in writing) and a Ph.D. Her Ph.D. focused on the use of the apocalyptic narrative by mad messiahs and doomsday cult leaders. Since that time, she has stayed connected to geology, while also bringing together her diverse backgrounds by devoting a great deal of time and energy in elearning, mlearning, and other innovative knowledge and technology transfer approaches. The desire to find connections and see the unexpected parallels and coincidences in life informs her writing, which ranges from critical essays, articles on elearning, poetry, and fiction. Her previous book, Good Deeds Society, received recognition in Slovenia, and was used to encourage school children to find ways to do good deeds at home, at school, and in the environment. Susan's latest books are The Adventures of Tinguely Querer and Writing for Human Relations. Her technical work appears widely, including the American Association of Petroleum Geologist's open journal, Search & Discovery.

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