Monday, March 3, 2014

Lynne Savitt

Layers of meaning and feelings by a writer who makes it look easy.
Images iridescent as seahorses sometimes found among the smells
and clumps of ancient seaweeds washed up on beaches after storms.
Savitt's writng is essentially about love, its pleasures and pain.
karl gallagher.

“6 Meditations Toward an Appreciation of Lynne Savitt”

A recent review by poet and translator Art Beck  

"As the poem progressed, its language seemed to slow and double back on itself. It forced me to pick up each word like a pebble in a trail, something familiar leading me forward in the work. This was poetry as well as sentiment; language coming alive and talking back to her . . . :
…say it wasn’t all
bad those black, humid
nights we traveled to
the planetariums in our
heads exploded with
dirty release & it wasn’t
our last meeting
didn’t go as soft as the
day you asked me to
marry a man who
wasn’t a good father
is something I just
couldn’t we meet some
where dreams touch
& you wake in a sweat
of recognition for something
lost goodbye, michael
at last the tears
3 a.m. months later.

This level of subterranean dialogue . . . [I]ts opacities were still too clear and its emotions too upfront for LangPo or academia. Its metrics were too quirky and un-retro for the Formalists. You could call it Confessional—but there’s a level of control in its wildness, a sense of comfort with its own skin . . .

“One thing that Savitt brings to the discussion of lust is female freedom. Desire and bodily fluids are there for the sharing, but ownership is off the table. Savitt is no stranger to marriage and many of her poems reflect day-to-day domestic life. There are sincere, filial dialogues with parents, children, grandchildren. There are poems about care-giving, illness, accidents, death, and dementia. Savitt is a loyal daughter, and a fiercely loving mother. But domesticity as an institution is viewed guardedly, sardonically:
the tiny lump you discover
under your right breast
while powdering
the perfume line
he’ll nuzzle moments before
the plunge…
Savitt’s romantic forays take place in excursions away from the marriage bed.

The full review can be found here:

Relics of Lust
New and Selected Poems
264 Pages, 5½ x 8½

ISBN:  978-1-935520-82-5

Publication Date:  02/14/2014

Cover Art:  Reflections
by Noelle Crough
talking about college, him
coming from kansas, ex-wives,
husbands, the kids, the time
we’d spent in l.a. & he asked
“what happened to your first husband?”
“a marine, “ i answered, “he died
in vietnam in ’66”
he started to shake & blacked
out, saliva gathering in his mouth,
i turned his head to keep him from
choking, he babbled twenty minutes
about vietnam horrors & when he
came to, said, “i’m sorry, i’d better go.”
i took his hand & led him
to my bedroom where the wars had ended
and a flag lay folded in the drawer.


at 7:03 saturday morning
yr wife called to tell me
you’re dying to see me
unfinished business
haven’t spoken in six
teen years ago you stole
my heart forgot yr voice
once made me crumble
like bleu cheese yr smell
captured me like a pirate
i couldn’t escape my husband
yr wife called to tell me
you’re dying to see me cry
at the sight of you hooked
up to intravenous tubes yr
eyes half closed you whisper
“blonde i can’t forget you
backlit by the brooklyn bridge’’
i take yr hand & yr fingers grasp
mine the way an infant does
instinctively i want to tell you
it wasn’t me by the bridge but
you smile teeth missing trouble
breathing say again, ‘’blonde
i’ll never forget,’’ oh how i
adored you broke my heart
remembers who do you have
me confused with my name
say it i say in my head but not
out loud living & you are going
quietly yr wife enters the room
tells me you’re tired unfinished
business remains i hear you
mutter ‘’backlit blonde’’ as i
leave sunday night 11:14 yr
wife calls, ‘’he’s dead, ‘’ she says
it’s finished but now not for me
on my last afternoon of breathing
i will remember you glistening on
yr norton atlas teeth white
as supermodel chicklets
forearms like a popeye cartoon
you are backlit in bayville
it was you, wasn’t it?
i will say yr name

‘’To love without role, without power plays, is revolution.’’
                                                                          –Rita Mae Brown

i drive the long, dangerous journey
you shower, put on your clean clothes
& wait for us to arrive with books,
sometimes vegetables, depending on
what we can afford this month

i wait on line with all those
other women who work to keep
home together long hours
raise children strong as the
bars in this cold prison

after we’ve walked through
the four electric gates
our men will enter one at
a time we’ll be blossoms
soft and perfumed and
bring them coffee, honey, sandwiches
they will warm the food, set the table

in a blur stealing intimacies
i touch you touch she rubs
he sighs robbing smells textures
to last until the next visit

sometimes i bury your head
in my breasts you find
comfort me in your arms
all is well no roles

in this love, my darling
all the pins have been
pulled from the grenades
no matter how long we
must wait we will
continue the revolution

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