Haven’t You Wanted, Sometimes To

By Lyn Lifshin

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


Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books including 3 from Black Sparrow. Recent books:  Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness and The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian. Recent books:  Ballroom, All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially the Lies. Just out, Knife Edge Absinthe: The Tango Poems. NYQ books will publish A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell. Her web site: www.lynlifshin.com and Hitchcock Hotel.

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