When I Lose the Envelope of What Matters

By Lyn Lifshin

those Black Sparrow postcards,

then the card from Bill Press.

How he showed my Black

Sparrow books on cable

TV and I knew I had the

publisher of my dreams,

for a bit. You can’t hold anything

long. The love notes from men

who wrote poem after poem

about me after an hour over coffee.

The one who cared for the hunt

and always, because he had

not caught me, longed to take me

down. Poems, good ones, lost

now. In some landfill, or archives

by mistake. For months, the house,

chaos, but this envelope, safe in a

file with less exciting things

that mattered. But then, like for the

moment we had that seemed

right, seemed they could be, just

space from what’s truly gone



Lyn Lifshin has published  over 130 books and chapbooks including 3 from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It’s Light and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, Lifshin published her prize winning book about the short lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and  Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness.  Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog,  Knife Edge Absinthe: The Tango Poems .  NYQ books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also  just out: For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre.Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle.  And Tangled as the Alphabet,– The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press Just released as well  Malala,   the dvd ofLyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a dvd of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane press

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