Lynn Strongin

HOW DARE we ask ecstasy

Make death a low bow
Curtsy? Standing before the IV’s, the input chart tray of brusht metal.

Don’t mutilate a fraction
Of faith or bone in the body of my little sister

She handed in a legal brief Monday
Then saw oncologist & plastic surgeon

Then walked with her husband home
Past rings & wedding gowns in window

To that brown dog to bed
Barking his head off in their absence in the lost hotel room.



The largest handkerchief in the world couldn't parachute from this grief

Pentimento occurs when one illness masks another,
the shield drawn forth
the primary
A palette knife scrapes the dust from our rooms.
Like a cape, we pull drawstring to rooms about our shoulders
waves of paper
breaking upon shores
of bone:
we know this box
of breath,
the brutal animal of body
beating knuckles up against
yet unaware it is an orange
from the south
a tarty
longlimbed, spaghetti boned
angel we may entertain.




Notre plus grand mouchoir

After the great dust up
where are you sweet dark thing?
I look for you between passing trains
in glass
New York to Connecticut
is apples
sweet thunder
dusk. We hold our silence down under the table like a dark secret, an apron, a prayer. Swanny, help me thru, speak of air quality control:
but we are at the ocean where the largest handkercheif stand on the counter:
the dry socket
won’t cause too much pain, hopefully. Sweetheart went shopping two days ago for a friend’s sister in Quebec, Jocko of the too brand dongers:
big boobs
small body
little partridge
her Rhenish sisters searches with sweetheart
but after the hack up with feather duster
            I trust more
your switching trains past midnight, the breath held at the station, passion’s low lion-roar.




I've waited for sky to open

paint to peel
wound to heal
waiting still
We kept a low profile
now are moving into the darkness of mountains
gandering over Christmas toys
blue-jeans fastened by safety pin:
old young love
turning in the door
mere outline
waiting to be told that you’ve made it across.
            When I remember prison light
                        is it not the ward I am returning
                        to its place on the shelf
            like a glass of coppers
                        in Dutch sun
                        like Vermeer’s soiled yellow silk shawl with tatty ermine
                        to the woman-child in the painting? Seventeenth century just as the bone drill, the seesaw of
mood swings, the cure-all maps are modern.




Buy a bicycle in Amsterdam


count chimney pot cranes
on red
carry coals to Newcastle.
Ferry me home
journeying from Dubrovnik on the Adriatic to Ben Nevis, Scotland
pedaling across Dutch countryside
I began counting windows in Manhattan
remembered light
blown on my eye ball
slick tires
mauve drizzle. Without the shelter of a bridge, text, script known by heart without blame for leaving home
I slept in the spill of frost
from moon & windows
altogether surprised.
Serendipity, the surreal, the magical opened the crack in the universe
thru which light shone:
& shook me by the shoulders
dazzled by two gray eyes.