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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Five Nov-Dec 2023.
In my Daybook, poems by Lynne Thompson.
In My Daybook
some pages are yellow, some are torn
My hunting knives are drawn and on display
as I write God
no more strangely than any other poser—
not Allah, not the Upper & lower case gods, not black Jesus,
now that skies have gone full Basquiat & seas bank Sarah Vaughn
Now that Drake’s warned sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry
and Miles’ Kind of Blue aquamarines, navies, bluebonnets
under a blue moon
Since order has been re-ordered, I can only scribble:
now is lightning and sea urchin
now that we know the world was never easier than
Now that language has new powers to rend us, this is how now nows:
with terra mater melting
her grasses on fire while I write I
finally taste like honey & my body has earned its space
now that don’t you remember is a fast car plus my seasons
of scotch whiskey plus all that I have chased away, I write
orbit & longitude & unexpected encounters of uncommon kinds
Ode to the Lorde Line I am you in
your most deeply cherished nightmare—
I will move into a grand mansion in the
shadow of your beloved white oak tree.
I will feed your children a dinner of ribs,
cornbread & greens, with bread pudding
for dessert. I will run outside, barefoot &
brown, right in front of your husband;
I will lay by our pool, my body oiled with
shea butter, in front of your second wife.
I will welcome you into my office for
an interview for that job you have always
wanted. My son will report that he saw
you buying cannabis at the local liquor store.
Why won’t you accept our invitation for a
shrimp & grits supper, a round of dominoes?
Why won’t you acknowledge us in the
Church where we all pray to be mo’ better?
When my friend, Bertha, speaks of her
love of her Gullah people, why do you bow
your head? Do you know I sleep soundly—no
delusion or dream, just your most cherished?
This isn’t global warming —
just great shreds of Klamath River lamprey,
an orange light someone once named sun.
No longer seduced by any half-shell with
its near blood and little mate, we crowd
under umbrellas, knee deep in sediment,
waiting for religion in the wake of flaked
mica. We are silent and stumped; a herd
squat on the village handkerchief, under
weeks of fractured moons, longing for signs
of harvest, return of the oyster or Appaloosa.
© Lynne Thompson
Lynne Thompson was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as Los Angeles’ 2021-22 Poet Laureate and she is a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets. The author of three collections of poetry, Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Press and Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award; Start With A Small Guitar; Fretwork, winner of the 2019 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize selected by Jane Hirshfield, her newest collection, Blue on a Blue Palette, will be published by BOA Editions in Spring 2024.
An attorney by training, Thompson sits on the Boards of The Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. In June of 2022, she completed her four-year service as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College, and she continues her service to the Board as a Trustee. Thompson’s recent work can be found or is forthcoming in the literary journals Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Common, The Massachusetts Review, and Copper Nickel, and the anthology In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy, among others.