Lynne Thompson







Life: An Exhultation, Harryette Mullen

A Trigger, Wanda Coleman


This dream is not a map

you will either surrender, conform, or suck God


You are a ubiquity beyond my minority

fingerprinted, mug shot, numbered




Life, says Levine

Life, responds St. John


I’ve had it with middle age, poetry, my life.

I’ve been recycled seven times and escaped

in a form we have no words for, and live on it.


Later I found the list of duties he’d left each of us

Which made it of course the very definition of love.

Is there any landscape more forbidding?




Nikki G., In Shadows, Whispers


It’s Wednesday night, baby;

no one asked us.

We stand here waiting


like a field;

we make up our faces

and somewhere, a piano is playing.


The f.b.i. came to my house three weeks ago

because I’ve built my tower on the wings of a spider.

I have written a good omelet.


Like my mother and her grandmother

before her, women gather

while planes fly patterns…


there is something,

there is nothing.

It’s a journey…




Apparition Richard Hugo


See that stump of apple tree?

We had to cut it down—

who knows how long

these graves will go on?


But each day is a woman who loves you.


There will be a time when the day goes slack,

a time when you might die

Face the moon—concede—

how can you do less?


If you are fishing, walk away

from the rod, sip a blue stone. So what

if you were loved and cheated? When you die,

leave something large to load on the wagon.











Winner of  2017 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Prize, the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize in 2016, and a Master Artist Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles for 2015-16, poet Lynne Thompson is the author of Start With a Small Guitar and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award.  Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Ecotone, Prairie Schooner, African American Review, Crab Creek Review, and, Poetry, among others.


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