Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi



Haven't you wanted, sometimes, to
walk into some painting, start a new
life?  The quiet blues of Monet would
soothe but I don't know how long I'd
want to stay there.  Today I'm in the
mood for something more lively,
say Lautrec's Demimonde.  I want
that glitter, heavy sequin nights.
You take the yellow sunshine for
tonight.  I want the club scene
that takes you out all night.  Come
on, wouldn't you, just for a night or
two?  Gaslights and absinthe, even
the queasy night after dawn.  Wouldn't
you like to walk into Montmartre
where everything you did or
imagined doing was de rigueur,
pre-Aids with the drinkers and
artists and whores?  Don't be so P.C.,
so righteous you'd tell me you haven't
imagined this?  Give me the Circus
Fernando, streets where getting stoned
was easy and dancing girls kick high.
It's just the other side of the canvas,
the thug life, a little lust.  It was good
enough for Van Gogh and Lautrec,
Picasso.  Can't you hear Satie on the
piano?  You won't be able to miss
Toulouse, bulbous lips, drool.  Could
you turn down a night where glee
and strangeness is wide open?  Think
of Bob Dylan leaving Hibbing.  A little
decadence can't hurt.  I want the swirl
of cloth under changing colored lights,
nothing square, nothing safe, want to
can can thru Paris, parting animal
nights, knees you can't wait
to taste flashing.


Nothing would be less shall we call it what it is, a cliché,
than April in Paris.  But this poem got started with some
thing I don't think I could do but it reminded me of
Aprils and then three magazines came with Paris
on the cover.  Sometimes I'm amazed at all the places
I'm not, lets say Paris since actually it's only March
but in the magazines they are at outdoor cafes which
must be quite chilly now.  And I forgot the cigarette
smoke, until I see many in the photographs are holding
what I'm sure isn't a pen.  I wondered how they can
always be eating, biting and licking something sweet
and still have the most gorgeous bodies.  I wonder too
how my friend, once an actress, so maybe that's a
clue, could dress up in scanty, naughty, as she puts it,
clothes for her husband while I am sitting here in
baggy jeans and torn sweatshirts.  I'm wondering if it's
because he's lost his job and she is trying to cheer him up.
I began thinking of Paris when she described the umbrella
she decorated with drops of rain, how she just wore
a garter belt under it.  I thought of tear shaped drops of
rain I made for the Junior Prom's April in Paris,
long before I felt the wind thru my hair on Pont Neuf.
It's there in the photograph which I hope is more
original than the idea of the photograph because
I plan to use it on my next book.  I wish I could feel
what she must, dolled up, trying to soothe this
man and getting off on it.  As for me, only
imagining you, the one with fingers on me,
holding me on the page of a book
could make me as excited.



who could figure out
love?  Not the old
blues men with
their whiskey and women,
women who've changed
the lock on the door.
Not Robert Johnson,
busted and poisoned.
Blues all around the bed,
the blues dogging,
dusting his broom.
How could some old
words make me remember?
Baby, won't you follow
me down.  Old words.
No words.  Even before I
started thinking of
him I knew if he
read this it was way
too late.


the other day made it
hard not to think of
you reading in rooms
with strange light
and magical ceilings
so with water crashing

near the bed and a
green wind biting
the glass I wanted
to send you in the
damned poem.  You
could press it
against a small cut,
it could make prisms

in your window spin
ivy into 12 slices
of the room.  My
Swedish ivy is
dying, I forget
what you said it
needed, but not
the rest


Lyn Lifshin, Vienna, Virginia
                     Niskayuna, New York



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