Lyn Lifshin


always women in the
dark on porches talking
as if in blackness their
secrets would be safe.
Cigarettes glowed like
Indian paintbrush.
Water slapped the
deck. Night flowers
full of things with wings,
something you almost
feel like the fingers
of a boy moving, as if
by accident, under
sheer nylon and felt
in the dark movie house
as the chase gets louder,
there and not there,
something miscarried
that maybe never was.
The mothers whispered
about a knife, blood.
Then, they were laughing
the way you sail out of
a dark movie theater
into wild light as if no
thing that happened


Milky summer nights,
the men stay waiting, First National Corner
where the traffic light used to be, wait

as they have all June evenings of their lives.
Lilac moss and lily of the valley
sprout in the cooling air as

Miss Damon, never late for thirty years,
hurries to unlock the library, still
hoping for a sudden man to spring tall from the

locked dark of mysterious card catalogues to
come brightening her long dusty shelves.
And halfway to dark

boys with vacation bicycles
whistle flat stones over the bridge,
longing for secret places where
rocks are blossoming girls with damp thighs.

Then nine o’clock falls thick on lonely books
and all the unclaimed fingers and
as men move home through bluemetal light,
the Congregational Church bells

ringing as always four minutes late,
the first hayload of summer rumbles through
town and all the people shut their eyes
dreaming a wish.

Lifshin's Another Woman Who Looks like Me was just published by Black Sparrow at David Godine October, 2006. It has been selected for the 2007 Paterson Award for literary excellence for previous finalists of the Paterson Poetry Prize ( Also out in 2006 is her prize winning book about the famous, short lived beautiful race horse, Ruffian: The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian from Texas Review Press.  Others of Lifshin's recent prizewinning books include Before It's Light published winter 1999-2000 by Black Sparrow Press, following their publication of Cold Comfort in 1997.  Other recently published books and chapbooks include In Mirrors from Presa Press and Upstate: An Unfinished Story from Foot Hills and The Daughter I Don't Have from Plan B Press.  Other new books include When a Cat Dies, Another Woman's Story, Barbie Poems, She Was Last Seen Treading Water, and Mad Girl Poems, New Film about a Woman in Love with the Dead, came from March Street Press in 2003. She has published more than 120 books of poetry, including Marilyn Monroe, Blue Tattoo; won awards for her nonfiction and edited four anthologies of women’s writing, including Tangled Vines, Ariadne’s Thread and Lips Unsealed. Her poems have appeared in most literary and poetry magazines, and she is the subject of an award-winning documentary film, "Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass," available from Women Make Movies. Her poem, "No More Apologizing@" has been called among the most impressive documents of the women’s poetry movement by Alicia Ostriker.  An update to her Gale Research Projects Autobiographical series, On the Outside, Lips, Blues, Blue Lace, was published spring 2003.  What Matters Most and August Wind were recently published.   Tsunami is forthcoming from Blue Unicorn.  Arielle Press will publish Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched Me, Living and DeadAll True, Especially the Lies summer of 2006.  Texas Review Press will publish Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness in March 2008 and World Parade Books will publish Desire in March 2008.  Red Hen will publish Persephone in March 2008. Coatalism Press is publishing 92 Rapple Drive and Goose River Press will publish Nutley Pond.  For interviews, photographs, more bio material, reviews, interviews, prose, samples of work and more, her web site is



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A CLOSER LOOK: Marianne Boruch

Liz Abrams-Morley

C.B. Anderson

E.C. Belli

Therese Broderick

Mary Buchinger

Edward Byrne

Jenn Blair Campbell

Norma Chapman

Antonia Clark

Robert Farnsworth

Roger Fogelman

James Grabill

Catherine Harnett

Marc Harshman

Michael F. Hogan

Kathryn Jacobs

Dan Johnson

Susan A. Katz

Judy Kronenfeld

Lyn Lifshin

Diane Lockward reviews Barbara Crooker.

Judith McCombs

Bettie Mikosinski

Mayuku Omeresanine

Scott Owens

Roger Pfingston

Les Prescott

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