Harp Music

The famous doctor said you haven’t really lived
till you get a death threat from a guy with a cell phone
just over the state line, someone who maybe read about my  work,

found it sinful, against his principles,shaking the foundations of
whatever it is he called his religion or ideology. But I felt
much better when the cops paid him a visit, and he faded away.

With you, it was the phone calls from a harpist, slight and pale,
ebony-haired, tearful.She looked at you across the wide desk
covered with case files, foolscap pads, ball point pens.

She told you her father had died and her husband had left, wanted
nothing more to do with her. You counseled her to mediate.

When she got home, she phoned the office for hours, starting at midnight,
careening along into dawn. Twenty-five messages on the tape
each more high-pitched and insistent, her voice growing hoarser each time

letting you know just what miseries she’d  visit on you. And yes, she knew
you had children, and she had them, too, in her sights.

A couple drinks later, you stood behind home plate at your son’s little league game,
trying to forget about it, wondering what she thought when the police
hauled her away to the cold hospital room.

You told someone the story, then told someone else, hoping it would amuse.
The police said not to worry. Her psychiatrist said it’s just disordered thinking,

But she wouldn’t give  blood samples, take meds, insisted
the judge come to the hospital, where she  sat, docile, polite,
hands folded, refusing treatment.

Wait another ten years, your friend said, pointing to the ball her son knocked
out of the park into the woods. You’ll laugh about it, you’ll see.

Months, perhaps years later you chanced to see her on stage with her instrument,stroking the harp so gently, pulling sweet tones from the strings,
steel core with wire wrap.

You glanced down at the program, ran your thumbnail under her name,
Wondered that she found her way back from four point restraints,
soft, padded, leaving no marks.

She’s better now, you thought, settling back in your seat,
Closing your eyes, fighting hard to let the music engulf you.

Originally published in The Song Is…

 

It’s National Poetry Month–go hear some live poetry!

I’ll be reading at  these venues, from my new poetry collection, The Glamorganshire Bible, as well as some brand new poems–hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, April 4, 7 PM, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Sunday, April 8, 2 PM, Ferguson Public Library, Stamford, Connecticut -central  

Monday, April 9, 7 PM, Westwood Public Library, Westwood, Massachusetts -main library

Thanks to the “last 14” (2 ordered 2 books each)and all who pre-ordered GlamBible!

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Books will ship on May 18!  If you live near me or will be on Cape Cod  between June 20 and August 31, be in touch–I’d love to sign your book! Reading at Wellfleet Public Library on Wednesday, July 18, 8 PM.

Lynne sig (only)

Making Love to You Was Like Peeling

download-1This poem was published in my 1st  collection, Baltimore Girls.

Ok, so it’s a love/sex poem.

But the real drama, sex , drama and scandal, comes in my forthcoming book, The Glamorganshire Bible. It’s not so much about the bible from Wales and more about the scandals a young woman of twenty  endured, living in Cumberland Maryland in the early 20th century,  and finding herself pregnant (in 1911) and unmarried.

To pre-order–by March 23– go to Finishing Line Press, here.

 

Making Love to You Was Like Peeling

 

Making love to you was like peeling

An onion. I teared up, holding the knife’s edge

Against paper-thin layers, pulled them

Away, one by one by one. I knew I must

Get to the tender parts of you, underneath.

 

Making love to you was like scraping

The hairy root vegetables, bright carrots,

The pale parsnips, the knife blade flat

Against the tubers- I needed strong hands

To hold you, to interlace my fingers with yours

To show you how desperate I was.

 

At night, after sex, I should have been exhausted

But I heard you turn on the shower, call

To me to join you. Afterward, I enfolded you in

A rose-colored towel big enough for two.

It was  like rinsing  tender lettuces in the sink,

Wrapping them in cloth to dry.

 

If you like this, you’ll LOVE the poem in The Glamorganshire Bible. Please pre-order! Thanks,

my signature

Association of Writers and Writing Programs –meeting with our publisher

To order my new poetry collection, The Glamorganshire Bible, from Finishing Line, go to https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-glamorganshire-bible-by-lynne-viti/

To pay by major credit card, check Paypal and that will take you to the VISA and MasterCard portals, as Finishing Line Press uses Paypal to process credit card orders.

 

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Heather Corbally Bryant (L). and me (R) at AWP in Tampa, at the Finishing Line Booth.

“Our Mothers: The Poetry of Lynne Viti & Heather Bryant” in 4th & Sycamore lit mag, today!

Two poets imagine their mothers meeting in the “Fifties and ‘Sixties, even though they never did!

 

https://fourthandsycamore.com/2018/02/28/our-mothers-two-poems-by-lynne-viti-and-heather-corbally-bryant/