October 7-13, 2019: Poetry from Lynne Viti and Linda Imbler

Lynne Viti and Linda Imbler

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Lynne Viti

Bio (auto)

Lynne Viti, a faculty emerita at Wellesley College, is the author of two poetry chapbooks,  Baltimore Girls (2017), and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018).  She received Honorable Mentions in the Glimmer Train Short Fiction Contest, the WOMR/Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest, and Grey Borders Wanted Works.  Her debut short story collection, Going Too Fast, is set for publication in 2020. She lives  in Westwood and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Visit Lynne on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Lynne Viti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


White girl, born in the city, raised near the county line.
Catholic school, navy jumper, nuns in round starched collars.
Negroes, only saw them when we went downtown,
on the streetcar— past North Avenue when you looked around,

hardly any white faces. When the school day was done
the bus filled up with teenagers heading deeper into the city,
their school books in the crooks of their arms..
The boys gave their seats to the girls.

I breathed the air of segregation, taking it in,
hardly knowing why or how it worked, in this border state city
of unstated rules, takeout only, segregated pools,
separate schools, public or private, secular or parochial—

separate movie theaters, separate stores. I graduated from saying
colored people to Negroes— still, everything stayed separate.
Brown-skinned bus drivers, trash men, busboys, day cleaning ladies.
White teachers, doctors, priests, Girl Scout leaders, hairdressers.

My black-and-white TV world:
Carmen McRae, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt,
figures with big, rich voices coming from our Sylvania.
They looked so small.

That was the air we took into our lymphatic vessels,
our blood, our reproductive organs, it was our field vision.
It would be years before we’d awake –or refuse—
to see the system behind the screen.



Linda Imbler

Bio (auto)

Linda Imbler has four published poetry collections and one hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry.  Her newest collection will be released in late September by Soma Publishing. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. More information can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Linda Imbler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ensorcelled Within the Moonlit Eyes of P’aqo

Her silly putty face worn,
the dowager’s palm was greased
as the lightning strikes the beast.
Rivulets of blood seep from sacred dogs.

The starry-eyed loon,
the wild-eyed child
running through the streets,
stopping the second before those dogs pounce.

Smelling the tears, she in the childhood tent
feels the old hocus-pocus,
from outside, the hiss and blast of truth.

But the shaman has not lost his grip,
much quieter next time,
the fight much less painful.

Just tell the truth.
Give no hypnotic promises,
no serpentine ballet
woven between real and false.

She thinks, she feels,
he promises,
I’ll create the moon tonight
he does, he does.

Never Seen So Many Records On One Wall
(Johnny Cash Museum)

Influential centerpiece of country,
the once unsatisfied outlaw.
After the penitent tumult,
after the fearful swallow
of drugs and booze-
a daily threat to take him apart, note by note,
he gained therapeutic command
over his demons,
and found his own celestial guide.

He discovered ripples of kindness within,
He, one of the prodigals.
Enjoyed a dreamy joining with June.

He built his ring of bone:
Able to bear up under
the weight of stardom.

When he began to fade,
plunking sour notes
from his lowest guitar,
those whom he had inspired
came to prop him up,
gave him a stage sendoff
for the ages.

No ring of fire will ever touch him.


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