Ann Arbor Review

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Bilall Maliqi
Duane Locke
Eddie Awusi
Silvia Scheibli
Amit Parmessur
Lyn Lifshin
Juan Hongi
Shutta Crum
Peycho Kanev
Fahredin Shehu
Lana Bella
Laszlo Slomovitz
Abdulrahman M Abu-  yaman
Elisavietta Ritchie
Michelle Bailat-Jones
Keith Moul
Aneek Chatterjee

Tom Evans
Robert Nisbet
Paul B. Roth
Alex Ferde
Alan Britt

Richard Gartee
Karyn M. Bruce

Ali Znaidi
Running Cub
John Grey

Jennifer Burd
Fred Wolven

Helen Gyigya


Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2018 Francis Ferde
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida
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AAR history note:  in print 1967 - 1980.  Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.  As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 51 years all together....

------------------------------------------------
staff:
Francis Ferde
Silver Grey Fox
Running Cub
Fred Wolven

 

Submissions via e-mail:

poetfred@att.net

 

 

FROM LIPS, BLUES, BLUE LACE: ON THE OUTSIDE

Born in Russia, my father had many qualities
typical of Vermonters: he was quiet, frugal, taciturn.
Maybe it was that lack of warmth, that withdrawn,
brooding, often depressed mood, a dark coldness
that endeared my father and Robert Frost to each
other.  I used to see Frost wandering around Middle-
bury in baggy green pants, carrying strawberries. He
bought those pants in Lazarus Department Store, my
grandfather’s store, and he would only let my father
wait on him. Afraid to take a creative writing course,
I submitted two of the only poems I’d written and
one was published My father, without telling me,
got a copy of that poem and showed it to Frost who
wrote on it, “Very good sayeth Robert Frost,” and
told my father he liked the striking images and
wanted me to come and visit him, bring him more.

 

THOSE LONG JUNES IN THE LAVENDER ROOM OVER OTTER CREEK

Otter Falls blurring every thing else, I could curl
into the first book of Frost’s my parents got
me. It was years before my icy father who I
never knew what to say to if I ran into him
in the kitchen before it was light, who never
told me I was pretty or loved, brought me
little since a black shaggy dog I don’t
remember except in photographs, suddenly
appeared with my only published poem, with
Frost’s “very good poetry sayeth Robert
Frost very good images–bring me some more,”
like a bracelet from Tiffany’s. Or all the
ungiven kisses and hugs, words I held
carefully as if I was holding the button to
blow up the world. I gazed into the black
whirlpool where a young girl with a baby
plunged to her death. I was already under
Frost’s spell, it was how Vermonters talked, the
rhythms, the plain language. It was those
cold winters, closed in a house with the dark
coming too early. I already knew how he
lived for years without a word to his wife, his
daughter’s suicide. Was it Vermont with so little
bright sun and the wind always blowing that gave
me his sense of doom, that dark wondering if
some other road should have been taken? His
words won me scholarships, grants but even earlier, his
sense of walls, of separation and loss, sadness, the
blackness, how “nothing gold stays,” I line I just
quoted in a poem about the tragic beauty of a race
horse, Ruffian. Was it how everything in the green
mountains seemed miles from anything close?
Did he point that out to me and how in small towns
even death is closer? Like my father, what was
diminished  pulled Frost in and I think I was tagging
along with them, wrapping in the dark they
shared, in the plain language
like an SOS.



THE NIGHT ROBERT FROST DIED

I was riding around Albany
in an always breaking down
sports car, as if I could get
away from those Vermont
doom filled hills, the green
pastures of Frosts coming back
so many years later in my new
book of horse poems, his leaves,
leaves in the first poem I wrote.
I thought as the dry leaves
blew thru out red car how
Frost made himself a part,
hiding behind a face of tearing
words, mourning the agitated
heart. I tried to escape that.
I’ve got a good mask too.
That night I was probably
laughing, looking for a new
place to try to make home.
Part of me never leaves
Middlebury, Robert in his
baggy green pants carrying
strawberries, letting only my
father wait on him in Lazarus
Dept Store. Two cold quiet
men who could sit years
alone in a house of people
never saying a word. Sliding
thru Albany, looking for a
place for a beer, the Boulevard
I was thinking of a first poem
I wrote in 3rd grade and how
my poems have filled with
apple boughs, blossoms,
apple trees, how I’ve lived on
Appletree Lane, Rapple Drive,
had apples on my glasses
and of course apples in
the horse poems. “No joy but
lacks salt that is not dusted
with pain,” Frost said and I see
that staining my poems. Was
it his Cows in Apple Time, the
cider syrup, the sweet fruit after blossoms
or the fruit rotting, the darkness, the ache, the
ice the snow and the snow in each kiss
or lip or finger that hooked me?


 

Lyn Lifshin, Vienna, Virginia and Niskayana, New York

   


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