Poem by Lyn Lifshin

"Skipper" © Sally Deskins

 

Haven’t You Wanted, Sometimes to

walk into some painting, start a new
life? The quiet blues of Monet would
soothe but I don’t know how long I’d
want to stay there. Today I’m in the
mood for something more lively,
say Lautrec’s Demimonde. I want
that glitter, heavy sequin nights.
You take the yellow sunshine for
tonight. I want the club scene
that takes you out all night. Come
on, wouldn’t you, just for a night or
two? Gaslights and absinthe, even
the queasy night after dawn. Wouldn’t
you like to walk into Montmartre
where everything you did or
imagined doing was de rigueur,
pre-Aids with the drinkers and
artists and whores? Don’t be so P.C.,
so righteous you’d tell me you haven’t
imagined this? Give me the Circus
Fernando, streets where getting stoned
was easy and dancing girls kick high.
It’s just the other side of the canvas,
the thug life, a little lust. It was good
enough for Van Gogh and Lautrec,
Picasso. Can’t you hear Satie on the
piano? You won’t be able to miss
Toulouse, bulbous lips, drool. Could
you turn down a night where glee
and strangeness is wide open? Think
of Bob Dylan leaving Hibbing. A little
decadence can’t hurt. I want the swirl
of cloth under changing colored lights,
nothing square, nothing safe, want to
can can thru Paris, parting animal
nights, knees you can’t wait
to taste flashing

 

“Skipper” © Sally Deskins

 

Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books and chapbooks including 3 from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It’s Light and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, Lifshin published her prize winning book about the short lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog, Knife Edge & Absinthe: The Tango Poems. NYQ Books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out: For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre. Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle. And Tangled as the Alphabet-The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press Just released as well Malala, the dvd of Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a dvd of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane Press, Paintings and Poems, from Tangerine Press (just out) and The Silk Road from Night Ballet, alivelikealoadedgun from Transcendent Zero Press Just Out

Sally Deskins is an artist and writer focusing on perspectives of women including her own. She’s been published internationally and exhibited nationally and has curated several exhibitions and books.