lyn lifshin | rose | writer's conference brochure | fashion city


when it’s behind my knees
you’d have to fall to the
floor, lower your whole
body like horses in a field
to smell it. White Rose,
Bulgarian rose. I think of
sheets I’ve left my scent in
as if to stake a claim for
someone who could never
care for anything alive.
This Bulgarian rose,
spicy, pungent, rose as my
16th birthday party dress,
rose lips, nipples. If you
won’t fall to your knees, at
least, please, nuzzle like those
horses, these roses, somewhere


Sunny in the new flyer.
Everybody’s smiling,
writing under the trees.
It doesn’t rain, there are
no black flies. Flowers in
bloom. No one can see
the poet who will black
ball you when you’re
not interested in his bed.
Pine smell and night birds
camouflage the novelist
who packs in the night,
moans, “if I don’t get out
of here I’ll become an
alcoholic or gay.” In the
photographs, the giddy
cradle their paper babies.
It’s like a Christmas card
letter of the Happy Family
before what’s really
going on leaks out


Have you ever dressed up in those
tawdry clothes? I’m asking because
tho I ear tight low jeans, ultra
sexy VS, find mini skirts superb
for running after a train, but I’ve
never been in one of those stores
with fur G strings and lace panties
with the crotch cut out. How com-
fortable can they be? Or clean? I
know garter belts are supposed to
be sexy, especially with silk hose
and nothing else. Even a fake
cigarette in a black rhinestone
holder might add to the look. But
today I’m seeing the fish net and
push up black bra, the little apron
with nothing covering behind
not as vulgar but something else:
my friend’s husband is not well.
She’s crying, even at tap and ballet.
What you and even I might see
as sleazy, she is squeezing into,
pulling on with her fingers shaking
out of love. This isn’t about yelping
Fuck you with the finger, but more
like a horse soothing somebody
scared, a mother cradling a feverish
infant. She is in what sounds to
me like something I’d have trouble
wriggling in or out of out of love,
she hooks and smoothes to make him,
after the diagnosis, forget what
could be ahead

Much more on Lyn Lifshin can be found on her web page by clicking here…

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