SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL (i – iv) Poems by Lyn Lifshin.

SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL ALMOST SUICIDAL
 
how it glazes,
seals what’s a stain
in like dirt under poly
so each foot print upstairs
glides over scars. The
cold drifts, makes a
maze of walks, tunnels
where knives could be
pointed like icicles over
the door way. No ballet
dancer with electric
pointed shoes, or a tutu
of fleece could warm
her. So slippery, her ankle
snaps while in the night
diesel trucks collide
with over turned 12
wheelers under her hair,
their undersides twitching
in smoke like zapped wasps
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
gerrymandering what’s slippery into space she can’t
avoid, every part of her’s a junkie going
cold turkey, starved for heat. She shakes, a
blue spreads over her. She dreams
of bougainvillea, gardenia, figs. White’s
the color bandages, diapers, feet of the dead.
She wants jades, tourmalines, sapphires, rubies
jags of flame and teal, a gypsy swirl, castanets.
No more colorless dirge of snow burying, disguising,
but heat, a jungle rain where skin smells like
skin and locusts hum toward dawn, a gladiolus
wind, thighs luminous as bones dipped in
tinsel and glitter
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
fangs of ice, too cold
for even blues to breathe.
White suffocates, a town
buried behind her wrists.
Roofs collapse, cars under
mounds like bodies the
ground was too hard to dig
into left on battlefields.
Ice crystals freeze in the air,
a halo of edges, a tilt to one
side, a falling into the daze,
into the flare of light as
glass splatters, could
blind her for good
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
possibilities, freeze dried,
zapped, trapped like crystals
poisonous as HIV virus twisted
to a halo. She moves and it
moves with her, a too heavy
cologne heavy as guilt. Ease,
already frayed, freezes in the
shape of splinters. She feels
that brittle, feels herself running
toward a fire only her feet are
glued to glass. She’s a spun glass
rose bud vase in the car for days
hot water is poured into and
she cracks
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
isolates, a moat of
colorlessness, barb
wire of ice. She tried
to pull from the house
of cold, but the cold
seers, burns where
she’s pressed. Scars.
The snow terrifies.
Where she stands,
too slippery to hold
her and the roof’s
about to bury her in
bed, catch her screams
like lips in lava

 
 
GROLIER BOOK STORE, CAMBRIDGE MASS
 
 
Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women’s writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years. She has several books from Black Sparrow books. Her web site, www.lynlifshin.com shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness to recent books about dance: Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe: The Tango Poems. Other new books include For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet: The Istanbul Poems. Also just out: Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle; Malala and Luminous Women: Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti. web site: www.lynlifshin.com
 
 
 
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Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
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Little Dancer — The Degas Poems by Lyn Lifshin

Little Dancer — The Degas Poems

by Lyn Lifshin

Paperback, 40 pages, $14.00 (list)
ISBN: 0989310671

Available at Amazon

Publisher: NightBallet Press

To receive a copy by mail and to view special offers please visit
NightBallet Press

Femme Eterna

Introduction:

The newest poem from Lyn Lifshin, imagines and explores the world of Marie Van Goethem, the “Little Dancer” sculpted by Edgar Degas. The Degas Poems contains 29 poems.

Now loved, Degas’ original wax version of the little dancer was hated,though his paintings had been greeted enthusiastically.  His sculpture of The Little Dancer, Aged 14, was considered shocking and unsettling, like a little monkey.  It is said one father cried, ‘God forbid my daughter should become a dancer.’  Many were shocked by her pose and the material used: human hair, beeswax, silk.  Degas loved the opera and ballet but this statue was called ‘repulsive’ and ‘vicious,’ a threat to society.  It forced viewers to look at the seamy side of life since most of the young girls came from very poor slums and working class families.  Others were horrified that she seemed to champion ugliness and depravity.  Degas never again exhibited the sculpture.  And, though he painted ballerinas all his life, The Little Dancer was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered with dozens of other sculptures.  His fascination with making sculpture was little know in his lifetime, unlike his portraits, history paintings, scenes from modern life, the world of horse racig, and the theater and ballet.


Christina Zawadiwsky,

“We now recognize The Little Dancer sculpture by Degas as arresting and compelling, but there was a time when she was considered scandalous and disturbing.  Lyn Lifshin’s poems celebrate her creation as a symbol of so many young and impoverished French female dancers who attempted to fill our world with grace, energy, and beauty.  And Lifshin’s insightful and incisive Little Dancer poems remind us to remember her name, Marie Van Goethem, so that she will never fade into obscurity.”

—Christina Zawadiwsky, author of The Hand On The Head Of Lazarus and recipient of the National Endowment Award.


Poems from Little Dancer—The Degas Poems

THE LITTLE DANCER,

was Degas in love with her?
Obsessed? Driven? Her
hair bound in probably
stolen ribbons. Not one image
but four. Her hands behind
her as if cuffed, a prisoner
of her poverty, exchanging
her body on stage or in
some rich patron’s bed,
offering a fantasy of ideal
femininity under the
sheets or on pointe on
the stage. And did Degas,
so fascinated by her, want
to know in every way,
what was inside her?

FLOWER OF THE GUTTER

a winged urchin,
gamin aile, the little dancer must
have hypnotized Degas.
Unlike most ballerinas who
never talked, Marie was
feisty, not afraid to
speak her mind. She and
Degas must have bickered.
Could she have imagined all
the statues of her that
would be replicated, after
Degas’ death, at the family’s
request, in bronze. She
couldn’t know there’d be
only one of her in wax, the
only one he’d actually
put his hands on, dressed
in a silk tutu with real
human hair and linen slippers,
maybe her own slippers.
her own DNA

JOLIE-LAIDE

Not pretty or ugly but a
look that not only combines
attributes of both but suggests
a deeper sense of conflict between
appearance and inner life.

The little dancer,
Degas’ little rat
from the slums of Paris.
Fascinated by the street
urchin, Degas wrote a sonnet
about such a girl, that she
might have a good life
without losing the “race of
the street.” Unlike white
marble, something to
admire, brown wax invited
something to be studied,
dissected and penetrated, in
all its implications. Surly,
a mix of arrogance and fear
the little dancer, mysterious
and somehow challenging
men to fantasize that
whatever they do to her body
they can’t have or know her

 

 

 

Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women’s writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years. She has several books from Black Sparrow books. Her web site, www.lynlifshin.com shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness to recent books about dance: Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe: The Tango Poems. Other new books include For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet: The Istanbul Poems. Also just out: Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle Malala and Luminous Women: Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti.

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Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop

goodreads.com/author/show/Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
https://www.amazon.com/author/robinouzmanhislop

Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle by Lyn Lifshin

ON A NIGHT HERONS WERE DIVING THRU THE WAVES OF NIGHT
 
up in the forties weeks
past heavy February snow.
Geese on the pond. Bleak,
drizzly. Black mist over
Meadow Farm. Grass
flattened, matted as in
hours straw will be in the
foaling shed, a dark rose
spreading under the mare’s
heaving sighs
 
WET GRASS DARKENING
 
the walk past the barn
as blood would matted
straw before it was
light again. Two figures
cross the lawn, the
wildness of geese in the
distance. The men
get in a car. One bulb
hangs in the foaling shed.
Under the almost
jade slopes roots are
growing. The mare
calms herself with groan
songs as milk begins
to wax, pearls on
her nipples like
a bud opening
 
THRU MIST, ONE LIGHT IN THE FOALING BARN
 
the drizzle, close to freezing.
In barn 17 A, the brood
mare, Somethingroyal,
carries the last foal of Bold
Ruler, dying in Kentucky.
Milk on her nipples. if
the rafters. If rafters could
talk they would be singing
soon he will be yours and
you must take care of
what you’ve been given
 
THRU DAMP FIELDS PERFUMED WITH OAK LEAVES
 
the men moved thru drizzle
to barn 17 A, moved over
gravel in grey fog, moved
toward the one light. The
mare was breathing fast.
she was warm and sweaty,
edgy. She was circling
as if caged. Then she was
lying on her side. Then it
was just a heart beat before
the tip of a foot burst into
flower, the first petal of
what would flower
 
MARCH 30, JUST PAST MIDNIGHT
 
She was warm and her
nostrils, wild. Ready,
nearly ready. Only
the mare’s breath like
a silence you could
understand. The mare
on straw on her side
and just past midnight
the tip of one foot.
Then, gently as some
one kissing eyes that
are crying, the foaling
man reached in to ease
a folded leg out of the
birth canal
 
ONCE THE SHOULDER EMERGED
 
the men moved closer in the
long blue damp wind. Blood
on the warm straw. The mare’s
body opening. The men pull
gently. Slosh of water and
then the foal’ s slippery body,
iodine and the smell of birth
in the wind the minutes
after midnight. “A wooper,”
some. ” “white feet, a lovely
colt,” in Secretariat’s record
fan book. “Lovely,” was
underlined twice.
 
PAST WILLOWS ON THE MOST WESTERN EDGE OF THE FARM
 
The mare’s udder swells
with milk, something
wax like drying on her
nipples like the just
polished swirls of wood.
After her wild breath,
the heaving, the blood,
three feet and a star,
dark flowers of his hair
against the drained mare
falling back easily as
the wind rising up
from North Anna’s
River
 
RIVETED TO SECRETARIAT’S BURSTING FORTH
 
those easing him from
Somethingroyal’s body
said he was on his feet
in twenty minutes, in
45 he was nursing. “Big
strong, male foal with
plenty of bone.” Warm
breath of horses, Carolina
Riverwind. In her log,
Elizabeth Ham the farm
secretary wrote “well
made colt, good straight
hind legs, good shoulders,
good quarters: you
have to like him.”
 
IN PENNY CHENNERY’S NOTEBOOK AFTER THE NIGHT OF DRIZZLE, RAIN
 
as the river settled
and willow leaves
yellowed: one
word: Wow
 
WHEN A LEGGY FOAL COMES INTO THE WORLD
 
and cherry boughs are
swelling, hope flowers
like these buds. When
the foal seems different,
unlike others, who
doesn’t dream it can
go the distance, that a
“miracle has arrived”
 
HE WAS DIFFERENT
 
someone who was around
Secretariat from the time
of his birth said he was
different. Just walking
the horse in the paddock
it was as if the wind
tongued the cups of his
ears and he a flash, if the
handler lost focus, the
horse knew it
and was gone
 
JUST WALKING THE HORSE TO THE PADDOCK
 
a bruiser some
one said bigger than
the other foals his age.
His legs barely
touched the ground
under the shiny trees.
He could cuff the other
foals, bite and
kick . He was playing.
Licked by his
mare, not only at
birth but long after
with everyone touching
and holding him he
grew bolder,
confident
 
HE HAD A MIND OF HIS OWN
 
wild for something
deep in the bodies of
trees. He’d bolt in
a breathbeat. “A very
aggressive type colt.”
Jazz in the air. Ghostly,
magical. A loop thru his
halter to keep him in
check
 
ON THAT FIRST DAY WAS SOMETHING ROYAL
 
his mare panting?
puzzled? Those huge
shoulders. Something
she couldn’t see
quivering thru her.
The mare had foaled
easily before but
this time, even with
her feet on the dirt floor,
easier footing than
cement but this time
with the foal’s fore leg
folded like a petal
before it opens,
someone following
the mare’s contractions
gently eased him out of
the birth canal. Beautiful
the vet remembered,
his legs were perfect,
he had a beautiful
head and was
red as fire

 
Lyn_at_horse_museum_close_small
Lyn Lifshin at the Horse Museum
 
Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women’s writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years. She has several books from Black Sparrow books. Her web site, www.lynlifshin.com shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness to recent books about dance: Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe: The Tango Poems. Other new books include For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet: The Istanbul Poems. Also just out: Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle Malala and Luminous Women: Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti. web site:www.lynlifshin.com

 

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RUSHING TO THE METRO ALREADY A LITTLE LATE ON MY WAY TO BALLET I NEARLY SKID ON ACORNS, CATCH MYSELF. A Poem by Lyn Lifshin

Introduction:
 
Malala Yousafzai is a teenager from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the Taliban banned girls from attending school. Known for her education and women’s rights activism, Malala, then fifteen, was shot in the head and neck by a Taliban gunman while returning home on a school bus on October 9, 2012. She survived. She has written an autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. In 2013, at sixteen, she became the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. and this year she won it.

 
Malala
 
RUSHING TO THE METRO ALREADY A LITTLE LATE ON MY WAY TO BALLET I NEARLY SKID ON ACORNS, CATCH MYSELF
 
I think of Malala, maybe rushing, never
wanting to think her name means “grief
stricken,” as I’ve written a poem about
becoming what you’re called. Maybe
she was humming a song she heard once
on TV before the Taliban made it a crime.
Or she was watching leaves drift from the bus
or giggling with girl friends. Maybe
she was thinking of being a doctor and
coming back to treat young children
in her region, her swat. Or maybe she
was hoping to see a certain boy with
licorice eyes and a smile who always
made her giggle. No longer able to wear
school uniforms, told to wear plain
clothes, Malala wrote in her blog,
“Instead, I decided to wear my favorite
pink dress.” Maybe the last beautiful
thing she saw as the bullet entered her
mahogany curls until later she woke
up in the hospital’s cone of light.

 
 
GROLIER BOOK STORE, CAMBRIDGE MASS
 
 
Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women’s writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years. She has several books from Black Sparrow books. Her web site, www.lynlifshin.com shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness to recent books about dance: Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe: The Tango Poems. Other new books include For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet: The Istanbul Poems. Also just out: Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle; Malala and Luminous Women: Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti. web site: www.lynlifshin.com
 
 
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