The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Susan Yount’s “House on Fire”


Socks of Fire

Never mind that the manager instructed you to wear solid black or navy
socks. Hey little pistol. You’ll even forget the four fat fucks at table five. Want
to make some extra cash? You got the round table tonight and in these smokin’
socks you’ll serve chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and sawmill gravy
scintillatingly. Let me be your pepper, you salty centerfold. You. The star of the
Cracker Barrel Ballet and Roadside Freak Show. Your Glowing Charcoal
Argyle Socks (No. 555), dyed in China, will stay mid-calf as you dance to the
tune of cranky, deep fried okra. What time you get off? I’m staying at the hotel
next door. Even that 50-cent tip left by the two old crones is no match for these
swanky Uzbekistan-combustible-cotton, hand quilted socks. Another cup of
coffee hon. Your patrons will be amazed as you blaze through kitchen grease
seizing oversized portions of mac and cheese for their delight. More cornbread.
More biscuits. Then, sparks flickering from your ankles — the manager notices
your defiance. You are fired. You’re secretly thrilled. He calls you into his
office. You take a seat. Kick off your shoes. Light a cigarette from your hand

Ribbed, stay-up tops. Made by India’s leading hosiery-maker to the upper
caste. $13. Glowing Charcoal Argyle Socks (No. 555), as described,
combustible cotton.

This selection comes from Susan Yount’s poetry chapbook House on Fire, available from Blood Pudding Press. Purchase your copy here!

Susan Yount is the Editor and Publisher of Arsenic Lobster, works full time at the Associated Press, teaches online workshops at the Rooster Moans and is the founder of Misty Publications. She recently earned her MFA in poetry at Columbia College in Chicago while working full time and raising her son. Her poetry has recently appeared in several print and online magazines including Roar, Jet Fuel Review, Booth Journal and Menacing Hedge. Susan is a 2003 recipient of The Lynda Hull Memorial Scholarship in Poetry and in 2010 she was awarded first prize in the 16th Annual Juried Reading competition at The Poetry Center of Chicago. In her spare (!) time she moonlights as madam for the Chicago Poetry Bordello. Her first poetry chapbook is the sequel to this one, Catastrophe Theory, and can be found at Hyacinth Girl Press.

Andrew Koch’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Connotation Press, Mojo, Rust + Moth, and others. Although a Tennessee-native, Andrew presently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife and cat while teaching literature and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.


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