4 Rms w Vu

Susana H Case
Poetry. 4 RMS W VU, Susana H. Case's latest collection, consists of poems focused on human connections in their various manifestations, including: romantic relationships, both whole and broken, parent-child relationships, and our relationship to death and loss. The work uses the metaphorical floor plan of a New York City apartment, though the rooms are somewhat of a departure from the conventional kitchen and living room, to organize mind and memory. The view alluded to in the abbreviated parlance of a real estate listing is outward, but especially inward, where sometimes it's necessary to struggle with true understanding, to try to blast through the bricked-up barriers to insight regarding motivation and action. Organized into four sections or rooms, Susana H. Case's poems examine a bedroom where a woman's current husband is situated, the family room in which her parents, as well as herself as a child, reside, the storage room of memories of a first husband and various lovers, and a dying room for those others already lost, as well as the author's intimations of her own mortality. Loss is part of the past, as well as the future, and this collection contains the constant recognition of how vulnerable are the things we hold dear. Still, Case is defiant in the face of the mistakes of the past, which she looks at unblinkingly. As she moves from room to room, she discourses on love, sex, dogs, music, travel, movies, and everything that she believes makes a good life possible, the life she wants and intends to live. She is walking through the rooms of her memory in order to find answers to the question of how to live life fully, without regret at the end. "The poems in 4 RMS W VU, like most of Susana H. Case's work, demand full participation—no watching here—that we live in their apartments, wear their clothes, down to the 'denier nylon.' At the end we're a little shaken, but a lot wiser. Susana is a daring poet, not so much for the sake of issuing challenges, but more to the cause of poetry itself; she defies one to bring the whole body and soul, and deny no part of this experience called living."—Mervyn Taylor "4 RMS W VU is a poetic open house in which Susana H. Case guides us through the rooms of the heart. In poems addressed to husbands, lovers and parents, Case shows how the past, the curious details of daily life and wonderings about the future all weave together endlessly, how nothing is ever really lost—not a loved one, not a hurt—if you can remember. In her moving new collection, we see how this poet's art is an act of holding on in language that is sure-footed."—Matthew Thorburn "Susana H. Case's 4 RMS W VU superimposes an intricate map of a lover's mind on the floorplan of a New York City apartment in poems that never shrink from the 'weep and stink of everyday brutality.' Moving from room to room and year to year, 4 RMS W VU passes through meditations on life with dogs, the metaphysics of lipstick, and the peculiarly American primal scene of the isolating, moving, colliding car, in square footage inhabited by a woman with the brio to ask, as final prayer—'Let me blow a lot of fuses.'"—B.K. Fischer "In these poems, Susana H. Case captures a vision of New York that can no longer be seen but in memory. Filled with characters frenzied by love, desire & hope, 4 Rm w Vu reminds us not only where we're from but also who we are."—Gerry LaFemina


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