Fixed & Free Anthology book release! Live reading this Saturday…

Hello Poetry Fans and Fam! Two live readings in one year? I’m on a roll!

Fixed&FreeCover2021_front_smallThe Fixed & Free Poetry Anthology 2021 is out, and we’re having a book release party! I’ll be joining over 80 of the 135 authors (yes, you read those stats correctly!) for a five-hour poetry-a-thon. It will run from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Pacific time this Saturday, October 16th, and I read at 2:45 p.m. Pacific. Held monthly since 2008, Fixed and Free is a love child of poet, Renaissance man, and fellow seeker Billy Brown.

Last week I got to visit Billy when I spent a few days back “home” in Albuquerque. It was really delicious to stand in his sunny living room, with this weighty tome in my hand, basking in Billy’s obvious pride in the book, and love for all things poetry and poet community. He has long been a kind and enthusiastic supporter of my work, and as I left, he said my work is “important.” I hope you agree, and I hope you will be inspired to drink up the imagery, emotion and humanity present in my fellow poets’ work — whether at the party, or in the book itself.Billy Brown

For more information, check out the Facebook event, or register on Zoom to join us live.

See you there!

I’m a featured poet! Live reading this Thursday…

Hello Fans and Fam! It’s been 6 1/2 years since I was a featured poet (!!!) at a live reading, and the dry spell ends this Thursday evening!

I’ll be sharing the stage with the incredible Lauren Camp at Albuquerque’s long-running monthly Fixed and Free show this Thursday, March 25th at 7:00 p.m. Mountain (that’s 6:00 Pacific and 9:00 Eastern). Held monthly since 2008, Fixed and Free is a love child of poet, Renaissance man, and fellow seeker Billy Brown.

After some banter and a little open mic action at 6:30, I’m the first poet at the top of the hour. I’ll be performing a 15-to 20-minute set of some of my best, most popular and most recent work (in no particular order).

It will be good to be back in my poetry home, even just virtually, and see new friends and old!  Please stop by for my set, then stay around for Lauren’s work and the open mic. The only thing missing will be Billy’s legendary baking!

For more information, check out the Facebook event, or just log onto Zoom to join us live.

See you there!

Audio! — Performance at Women of the World local poets showcase

Hi!  The Women of the World Poetry Slam 2015 is over.  There were hundreds of the best female and female-identified poets in the country in Albuquerque this week, and I feel honored to have been in workshops, audiences and on stage with some of them!  Not only that, Albuquerque’s own Mercedez Holtry tied for third place in the finals!

Saturday’s Local Poets Showcase was one of the event’s highlights for me.  Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who didn’t make it, here is the audio of my performance!


I’ve counted miles by the islands
hours by the days
wasting decades
of wanting
and waiting

I loved you
because you know the names of trees
Let no one mistake your kindness for weakness
You are like bamboo
You nod often and smile only
when you mean it
You kissed my forehead when I was ugly
comforted my nightmares like children
Your eyes are the color of stars

Your words brimmed
with the unstudied mastery
of attention and time
Your hands gifted the kindness of noticing
You move with imperfect grace
through the world
in reasonable expectation

You are not a doormat but a door
When my love knocked, you opened
You were the hinges on a trapdoor
out of my liver
allowing my rage to drain away
reviving my trust

I loved you
because you had a man’s feet
and a woman’s ears
You apologized with your whole torso
Your gratitude came as easy and abundant
as breath
Your fingers went into me asking
not to steal

When you said you missed me
you meant all of you
You spoke in complete sentences
reweaving the hanging threads of our conversations
You always found the North Star

You were the permeable boundaries
around the cell of my soul
the soft padding on the walls of my life
bouncing off my sharp edges
cushioning my corners
Your chest was a shield

I loved you
because you only follow gentle rules
and rebel when convention squeezes too tightly
You worshipped sanity
and called even when you didn’t say you would

You loved me
in public pride
out loud and declared
like that November morning
you asked me to be yours

Since then
this mortal organ in my chest expanded
beyond the confines of my bones
a butterfly who crossed the ocean
finally on land
cavorting through the greens
slowly feasting on nectar

I’ve counted miles by the islands
hours by the days
You were worth the wasted decades
You loved me the best you could
but you were not the shore

You are an island

the best so far
just isn’t good enough
so I return to sea
I return
to waiting.

© S. Rinderle, 2014


I’ve stayed up too late again
my eyes caress and scan
the inhuman glow of the computer screen
searching for a spark
of human connection
around this 21st century hearthfire
without purpose or reason
the evening hours stretch
into double digits
and shrink back into singles

I suddenly realize I’m lonely

You left your signs everywhere
In the kitchen
crumpled napkin lies on the breakfast table
coffee pot dries in the dish rack
meticulously washed
better than I would have done
I didn’t even know it disassembled like that
In the bathroom
our toothbrushes spoon
in their white porcelain bed
I smile as I turn on the shower because
it’s in gentle pulse mode
and only you leave it like that

Before we met
my loneliness
was a child in a horror film
a deformed demon ghost girl
with a traumatic history
whose long, wet hair
draped over her soggy, crooked body
her clutching hands
stabbing out at the hapless
like grasping twisted tree branches
lunging out from the dark

Now my loneliness is a river
flowing gently musical
sunlight glinting lyrical
calm and constant
clean and content
But happier when you play guitar and sing
on my banks in the morning
when you stroll leisurely
around my bends at noon
read books aloud
by my side in the afternoon
and gleefully frolic in my waters
at night

In the bedroom
two flannel sheets
rest quiet atop each other
like the folds of my intimate skin
leaving no trace of absence
no wrinkle or pocket
no sign of lack

But you’ve left signs everywhere
and both my flesh and this bed
feel hollow and echo
without your warming skin

So I turn up the heat
and sleep
lonely again.

© S. Rinderle, 2014


Spring is an adolescent
green peach fuzz on the chins of
slowly waking trees
titillating the fresh air
spewing pollen promises

Hope bursts again
once doubted as if
this year would linger in solstice
eternal frost and southern skies
sun low on the horizon
barely yawning
and yet pre-pubescent tendrils
reach up towards warm breath
predictable, inevitable
dormancy into projected energy
movement sublime

like you

the one I always wanted
the won I was waiting for
a bud maturing in slow motion
into flower
into fruit.

© S. Rinderle, 2014
Published in Catching Calliope, Spring 2014.

See me perform — Show this Sunday!

Thanks everyone who came out to ArtBar last Saturday night, it was quite a show!  If you’re looking for a fun time in Albuquerque this Sunday afternoon, come check out I’ll Drink to That, starting at 4:00 p.m., at the NEW location of Tractor Brewery — 1800 4th Street NW.  I’ll be doing a poetry feature performance — and drinking some excellent beer!

Susana Rinderle

Love Cage

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up twisted
Your heart sprouts at an angle
partially escaped
from the ribcage

Sometimes it leaves your body
and wanders around the world
in the guise of music
a soulmate
a cherished homeland at last
expanding your puny spirit
into a vast, supportive web
of joyful relevance
blissful belonging
suddenly severed
by parental cruelty
irrational denial
the soulmate’s deception, abandonment
the harsh limitations of miles by the kilo
and feeble dollars

Heart slaps rudely back into your chest
like a mildly rotted
rough cut of meat
tether pulled abruptly short
breathing painful
shallow and labored
ribcage cracked

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up twisted
Love means loss
and you avoid loss
at all costs
but you violate your word again
falling weak again
cursing malevolence
dishonoring what was always yours
until you come to mistrust
its musky scent
muscles taut again
in pre-emptive wincing

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up starving
a brittle skeleton
eternally thirsty
a steady stream of nourishing liquid
falling straight through
your parched jawbone and dehydrated pelvis
to the cracked earth beneath
your bleached metatarsals

Until one day
and green, persistent breath
allow your dry bones
to moisten and stick
grow flesh, give form
to tissues
gently guiding the heart back into place
steady rhythm
unmangled and strong
fierce protected
ribs closing like tender petals at night
just in time

‘cause when you can’t keep what you love
you grow up
twisting others.

© S. Rinderle, 2013
Published in Catching Calliope, Spring 2014.

Today is my anniversary!

One year ago today I first participated in the Albuquerque slam scene as the sacrificial poet at Poetry & Beer.  Two championships, three features, multiple slams and tons of new friendships later, I can hardly believe it!  All I set out to do was to try sharing some of my poems publically, and while things took off in a way I didn’t expect or intend, I’m still enjoying it and still making time for art and words among my many pursuits and commitments.

So come celebrate with me! Next Saturday, March 15th I offer some poems during the Rhythm & Words benefit for the Agora Crisis Center at ArtBar starting at 7:00 p.m.  See Facebook for more info.  No better way to celebrate my anniversary and the momentous Ides of March!Rhythm & Words