April 2 – Susanna Lang

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets, and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!

The Earth With Its Relentless Pull by Susanna Lang

The Earth With Its Relentless Pull

We shed our days, the shiny mornings when we drank espresso 
at a sidewalk table painted blue while parents walked their children

and their dogs to school, and the blur of late nights when the phone 
rang or the radio announced the numbers we did not want to hear

and we could not make it all compute. We strip off days like clothes 
we’ve sweated through, brush off hours like flakes of aging skin 

or break them off, sharp-edged fragments left on the sand 
like evidence a skunk had eaten all four eggs in the nest, last chance 

for a species reduced to 70 nesting pairs. Skunks have to eat too, 
and the skunk knows at some cellular level that all our days 

are numbered. Unable to see the small opening, my mother asks 
for help threading a needle to hem her nightgown, too long now

she’s bowed down toward the earth with its relentless pull. But insists
on stitching the hem herself as the children flock to school and parents

walk their dogs home again, as the shorebirds scrape a new nest
and beat the ground with their feet, a dance of starting over,

over and over again despite the skunks, despite the gulls and herons
that will menace once the chicks have hatched, despite the storms

they’ll fly through when they leave this beach in the fall, driven
to reach their wintering grounds, driven to return next spring

until the spring they do not come back, the sand left blank and empty.

Published in the Summer 2023 issue of Gyroscope Review



My neighbor in Algiers
didn’t have a washer
but she did have a taste
for naval battles
confronting the dust of History
she resumed negotiations
against the enemies
of the nation and everyone else
she knew how to
wash dirty laundry
legs straddling
a washtub
she soaked
the stubborn tirades
of the President for Life
the official imam
sometimes God himself
she cursed
as she scrubbed
it was her way
to be political

from My Soul Has No Corners, poetry by Souad Labbize, translated by Susanna Lang (Diálogos Books, 2023)


Circe, a Bengal of small brain but big heart, doesn’t know poetry from a hole in the wall, unlike her deceased sister. Vivian participated actively in Susanna Lang’s creative life, running to listen when she heard poetry being read aloud (but not in response to other read-alouds or conversations). Still, Circe joins Susanna’s daily writing sessions, providing emotional support in the form of a warm lap rug. If Circe were to start writing, she would certainly choose to write rants, as her usual utterances are an unending series of complaints.



Susanna Lang divides her time between Chicago and Uzès, France. The 2024 winner of the Marvin Bell Memorial Poetry Prize from December Magazine, her most recent chapbook, Like This, was released in 2023 (Unsolicited Books), along with her translations of poems by Souad Labbize, My Soul Has No Corners (Diálogos Books). Her third full-length collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was published in 2017 by Terrapin Books. In addition to December Magazine, Her poems, translations, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as The Common, Asymptote, Tupelo Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, Rhino Reviews, Mayday, and The Slowdown.  Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language, and she is now working with Souad Labbize and Hélène Dorion on new translations. More information available at www.susannalang.com, @SusannaLang16 (Twitter/X), and https://www.facebook.com/susanna.lang/

Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang