Monday, November 21, 2011

Ray Succre


Mr. Arnolds, my neighbor five years ago: It was me. I'm the one who ran over your cat. I didn't even see it. I'm sorry that I suggested your daughter may have done it. I'm sorry.

Jan Arnolds: See above. I'm sorry.

Grandma J.: The coat you bought me last year? The one I always say I've just taken off whenever you call? I drunkenly lit it on fire five months ago. I'm sorry.

Amad, my old friend: Remember when I threw that monstrous party and you passed out, and by morning, some measly person had stolen your cigarettes and poured soup on your crotch? They gave me some of the cigarettes not to say anything, and the soup was my idea. I'm sorry.

My ex, Andrea: When I lost my job because of corporate cutbacks? That was a lie. I told my boss that if she talked to me that way again, I'd piss on her head. She fired me. I'm sorry.

Bookstore On the Bay: It was me. I stole all those books. I figured out how to remove the magnetic strips, and would do so while chatting up your clerk. I did this daily. He thought we were pals. I read all of the books I stole, at least. One a day for almost an entire summer. I'm sorry.

Little Lisa: We only went out for a single day in the third grade, and we broke up because I wouldn't give you my pen. Listen, I told everybody we did it. I'm sorry.

Laurel, a waitress in Olympia, Washington: That guy who stole my wallet off the counter while I was in the restroom, which made me unable to pay for my coffee that one time? I didn't own a wallet. I'm sorry.

Safeway of America, Inc.: I was the one who stole Eraserhead. I gave you the wrong phone number which truly was an accident because I'd just moved into a new place with a new number, but you didn't check my I.D. and when I was about to sign the little rental agreement, I noticed the phone number I'd given had pulled up the first name "Esther", so, quickly and unfortunately for Esther and your company, I signed it "Antonio Banderas" and never returned the video. I'm sorry to you and I'm sorry to Esther and I'm sorry to Mr. Banderas, as well.

To a certain couple: Red fruits don't cause Alzheimer's disease. I made it up. You can start eating strawberries again. I'm sorry.

To Aaron from sixth grade: Though it’s been twenty years, I've still got your Nintendo game, Bionic Commando.  I convinced you I had given it back and that you had lost it, but I just hadn't beaten the game yet. I moved to the other side of the country with it. I'm sorry.

To Kat, a neighbor in a high-rise apartment building I once resided in: Sixteen years ago, I needed to make a local call and my phone service had just been disconnected. You had offered to let my use your phone for local calls. I knocked but you weren't home. Later, I found the telephone service grid on the second floor, so I spliced into your line with my room's phone, thinking that it wouldn't really matter as long as I switched it back when I was done. When I picked up to make my important call, you were home and you were ordering something on it. The salesclerk couldn't figure out what ordering number your item was supposed to have, so you had to explain to him (and though you didn't know it, to me) that it was the jelly-apparatus on some page 36. The Rhino II, I think it was called. I didn't mean to overhear it. I hope everything worked out and I'm sure blue was a wonderful color. I'm sorry.

Ray reads "Twelve Apologies":

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Ray confesses: While confessional poetry is not my flavor, I decided one afternoon to try some, wanting to be as basic and pure about it as I could. The result: Twelve Apologies. Honestly, I have enough of a past that I could have made it Fifty Apologies.

RAY SUCCRE is an undergraduate currently living on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and son. He has had poems published in Aesthetica, Poets and Artists, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novels Tatterdemalion (2008) and Amphisbaena (2009), both through Cauliay, are widely available in print. Other Cruel Things (2009), an online collection of poetry, is available through Differentia Press.

For inquiry, publication history, and information, visit Ray online:

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