Issue 64 — 

Patricia Garfinkel (ArLiJo #64)
Lyn Lifshin (ArLiJo #64)

Patricia Garfinkel

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 64


You conceal
most of your form
in the deep
leaving us to imagine
your full beauty
like a tall, elegant
woman hidden in
soft folds of white
muslin from head to toe,
a masquerade of force.

Ice sheets, on the other
hand, conquer and imprison
even mountains till only
a bud of summit escapes
their stranglehold. The landscape
is hostage to their stealth cover,
giving up and giving in.

But I sing the song
of the iceberg, its mystery
and somber pose,
as it guards the sea.

Copyright © 2014 by Patricia Garfinkel.

Killer By Nature
Nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize

Frost-flaked air stings
our eyes, freezes
in our nostrils
here at the edge
of Antarctica’s sea ice.

Five of us stand transfixed
by dark water
churning with a pod
of killer whales so close
we can touch them.

They arch their backs
out of the froth to rise
in graceful curves,
then crash in unison
back to the sea.

A scolding shout pulls us
to attention. —Stand back!
They see your shadow and will
grab you for their next meal.
This is not a damned zoo.—

But it is hard to pull
away from death.

Copyright © 2014 by Patricia Garfinkel.

Mount Erebus, Antarctica

She is hot and she is frigid,
a temptress clothed in delicate
ice falls while steam rises
through her body. What man
would not pay high to climb her
limbs and bury his face in the mist
pulsing from her center. Aloof and
beckoning, she taunts his dreams.

Copyright © 2014 by Patricia Garfinkel.


Patricia Garfinkel, a New Yorker by birth, has been a school teacher and most recently retired from the National Science Foundation where she worked as a science policy analyst and speechwriter for four consecutive directors and deputy directors for several years prior to working at the House of Representatives, also as a speech writer.

Many years before she studied with poet Henry Taylor for three years. She has written three books of poetry. Making the Skeleton Dance, (George Braziller, Inc.), is her third book of poetry. Two previous poetry books were published by literary presses. She won a Poetry-in-Public -Places award for New York State, a Moving Words Award for Poetry on the DC Metro. She gave the first-ever poetry reading at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. She was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts as well as President of Washington Writers Publishing House from 1994-1996. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia



Lyn Lifshin

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 64

Lemon Wind

all day
nobody wanted
to talk

the sleeping bags
were still wet
from the storm
in Cholla Vista

Nothing went right.

But later the
wood we
burned had a sweet
unfamiliar smell

and all night
we could taste
lemons in the wind

Copyright © 2014 by Lyn Lifshin.

In Spite of His Dangling Pronoun

He was really her favorite
student, dark and just
back from the army with
hot olive eyes, telling her of
bars and the first
time he got a piece of
ass in Greece or was it
Italy and drunk on some strange
wine and she thought
in spite of his dangling
pronoun (being twenty four and
never screwed but in her
soft nougat thighs) that he
would be a
lovely experience.
So she shaved her legs up high
and when he came
talking of foot notes she
locked him tight in her
snug black file cabinet where
she fed him twice a day and
hardly anyone noticed
how they lived among bluebooks
in the windowless office
rarely coming up for sun or the
change in his pronoun. Or the
rusty creaking chair
or that many years later
they were still going to town in
novels she never had time to finish

Copyright © 2014 by Lyn Lifshin.


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.
I want the club scene that takes
you out all night. Come on,
wouldn’t you, just for an evening 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 rigeur,
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

Copyright © 2014 by Lyn Lifshin.


Lyn Lifshin has published more than 130 books and chapbooks and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her work has appeared in most literary and poetry magazines. She has been included in virtually every major anthology. She has given more than 700 readings across U.S.A and has been Poet in Residence at Rochester, Antioch and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off, Lyn is the subject of the documentary film, just re-released by Lyn Lifshin: Made of Glass.