Lyn Lifshin

Why I Probably Won't Write

about Blue Spirit Lake, Costa Rica

the similarity of days,
how monkeys at lavender daybreak
before hot light
glazes the fronds.
Ruby globes I may never know
the name of clumped in,
is it, the pecan tree?
On some other night,
pelicans, teal sea. I should look
up the names for birds
I've never before
heard singing.
This year, no astrologer.
Electricity goes off
for a few hours and you sweat.
Somewhere else, an
enormous northeaster is
brewing. Today there's no water,
no toilets. The stink
reminds me to
not bitch: think Haiti.
Soon I will paint fronds that
will never look perfect
as the real thing

That Damn Bolero

it was that
damn bolero,
not that the bolero
doesn't have the
sense, that
feeling of someone
moving over you,
the electricity of
thighs touching
thighs, but it
could have been Latin
where hips move
but don't so
often touch or
cling. It could have
been a minuet.
It wasn't their bodies
but how she
flaunted and giggled,
pushed her bulbous
breast and her
pimply face
into him and I
was supposed to just
watch, think it
was cute,
that flunking out
of school big ass, that
too young to worry
slut who you
can tell by thirty
will be obese
and haggard. If, as
Cézanne said, all
art starts with strong
emotion, this
shaking, jiggly bitch
must surely
be my muse.

Lyn Lifshin has published more than 120 books of poetry, including, most recently, Ballroom(March Street Press), Katrina (Poetic Matrix Press), Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness (Texas Review Press), Desire (World Parade Books), Persephone (Red Hen Press), Another Woman Who Looks Like Me, Following Cold Comfort and Before It's Light  (Black Sparrow Press at David Godine), The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian (Texas Review Press), and All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead.  All True, Especially the Lies (World Parade Books).



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