“More Dangerous for All of Us”

This poem started out as an account of animal sounds we heard late at night, coming from somewhere outside our bedroom window this past  spring. It turned into something else, along the way…and the final version appears in the Spring 2017  Central Michigan University’s lit mag, Temenos.  This issue is entitled Coyote Dreams: A Prayer Manual.

 

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Two new poems of mine, in a new anthology, “I Come From the World”

I’m thrilled to be part of this new venture–and to have my poem alongside that of fellow Baltimorean and distinguished  poet Baron Wormser!

Read two of my poems , “The Glamorganshire Bible” and “The Kid: Cumberland 1923”–here:

https://icomefromtheworld.org/the-glamorganshire-bible-the-kid-cumberland-1923/

Finishing Line Press to Publish “The Glamorganshire Bible”

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Note from Finishing Line Press editor and New Women’s Voices contest reader, Leah Maines

I’m very happy to announce that my second poetry chapbook, The Glamorganshire Bible,  has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. Stay tuned for details.

Thanks to my readers–those who know me and those who know me through my writing–for your support!

The Shadow of the Lost Object Falls Across the Ego

My poem appears in the new issue of In-Flight Literary Magazine.

 

A faint image, so vague you hardly know
if what you miss so much was there to begin with.
Other times, what once seemed so present
sucks the breath away, you gasp for air—
but only for a second.  You don’t die, not yet, anyway—
that’s a long way off, though at this moment there’s
darkness, the tight grip on the belly, the dank sheets,
the narrow bed traded for the old, accommodating one.
This wave of absence edges out hunger, and the need
to stand under the pelting water
of the morning shower. Nothing is as it should be, or
as it was. Freud, who got almost nothing right,
explained it: The ego bends under the weight of loss,
flattened, wanting to sink into stink and hunger.
This is all insupportable. You take a decision,
climb out of your sweat-soaked bed,
plod down wooden stairs in slippers,
pretend there’s something to get up for,
if only a nod from the man who every trash day
combs the overflowing barrels.

“November Sunset: 4:14 PM,” in Bear Review

I wrote this poem, a broken sonnet,  as part of a poem-a-day series I did last fall,  on the approach of the winter solstice. It appears online (and in print)  in Bear Review, out of St. Louis, Issue 3, Spring 2017.

November Sunset: 4:14 PM

As I cut the skinny branches of the smokebush
I hear a loud rattle in the sky. A black helicopter
descends, disappears. The noise of the chopper
carries from the playground at the end of the block.
I snip branches into small pieces, toss them
into the leaf bag with the rosebush clippings.
A woman walking by with her young daughters
tells me the helicopter med-vac’d someone,
deposited the accident victim with the EMTS.
The afterschool director ran out to investigate.
I drag the last leaf bag to lean against the retaining wall.
All that’s left alive: the rosemary, hellebore, a lone red cabbage.
The solstice approaches, a fixed point in the middle distance.
Inside, the black night shows itself in tall kitchen windows.

 

 

“Rye Middle School,” in Silver Birch Press’ My First JOB series

I’m pleased  that my poem appears in Silver Birch’s My First JOB  series, and  wonder if a few of my former  Rye Middle School students  might stumble across this reminiscence…

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/rye-middle-school-poem-by-lynne-viti-my-first-job-poetry-and-prose-series/

“Late Afternoons,” for EveryWoman who’s ever been hit on at work by her boss…

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I finished my degree, found a teaching post
at a good university, my chairman, a tall, broad
Iowa-bred guy of sixty with big hands, big feet,
Told big stories about flying in the bombing raids
On Dresden during the war. He seemed kind,
Jovial, devoted to the work.
He made sure I met all the right people at conferences,
encouraged me to publish more, he raved
in his observation reports about my classes.
He shared details of his
grown children’s good news, he praised his wife.
But one late afternoon in his office, when everyone else
Had gone home, when we were talking about plans
For summer school courses, when we had finished
Talking, when I had glanced at the bits of peanut shells
And husks on his desk, he suddenly rose from his chair,
The heavy green metal desk no longer between us,
Came at me fast, a strong arm swept around me, he
Began to pull me close. He said he’d
“earned the right to do this.”  Stunned,
I leaned away, he pulled me in tighter.  I ducked out
of this bear’s embrace, grabbed
my coat and book bag, ran upstairs to the lobby,
my heart thumping. The night custodian
slowly pushed his wide dust mop across the floor.
Shy,  a man of few words, he smiled weakly at me,
Told me it was time to go home, his usual farewell.
When I got to my car my hand shook
as I tried the key in the ignition switch.
I didn’t tell anyone for years.

Yes, yes, my mother schooled me well,
said if this ever happens,
Kick him in the privates, or use
Your knee to the groin—as hard as you can.
I trusted this oaf, mistook him for a mentor.
Now I see it was all training me for that moment,
when students had disappeared to their dorms,
Faculty had packed up their lecture notes, headed home.
He had handled me as he would a feral cat,
slowly brought from the wild into his sphere of influence
With bits of food, kind words, shelter from weather.

It’s been decades. He’s dead now, or
I’d have a few words with that
sonofabitch.

~Lynne Viti

Reprinted from Bad Hombres and Nasty Women,  The Raving Press, 2017