Night in the City

By Lyn Lifshin

I think of her deciding to retire,

wild for stillness, an

escape from the crowds,

needing to go inside

herself. She couldn’t just

sing the same songs,

the thrill of fame

tarnishing, being a

traveling lady

losing its glow. She

must have been tired of so

many places to come

from, places to

go and wanted to get

out and meet people, not

be like a bird in a

cage with a

spotlight on her.

She wanted to take off, run

laughing with no one

to meet, wanted

music spilling into the

street, in Europe,

in France, Spain and

Greece, dulcimers

in the night breeze instead

of strangers clapping


Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books and chapbooks including three 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. The Miracle and Tangled as the Alphabet—The Istanbul Poems from Night Ballet Press. Just released as well: Malala. 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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