Susan Tepper is the author of eight published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent book just out in June is a road novel titled “What Drives Men.” It was shortlisted at American Book Fest Best Book Awards. Other honors and awards include eighteen Pushcart Nominations, a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for the novel “What May Have Been” (Cervena Barva Press, and currently being adapted for the stage), NPR’s Selected Shorts Series, Second Place Winner in Story/South Million Writers Award, Best Story of 17 Years of Vestal Review, Shortlisted 7th in the Zoetrope Novel Contest (2003), Best of the Net and more. Tepper is a native New Yorker.


Blue outlines the lips
heavy with fatigue
you can feel them
a long rain shower and
gutters overflowing
onto sparse grass—
a mud scene
rather than tranquil
beauty this spring,
a startling mess of
too much death
the dropped lip
drooling coffee onto
the rim of the white saucer.