Review of Cold Comfort by Len Fulton in Small Press Review Oct-Nov 1997
The Earth that inhabits poet Lifshin and informs her work glides across a universe of big colors and small dramas. She everywhere roots for that new, stripped piece of a life usually her own that yields the bare emotional atom. She never fully exploits an image. She under-uses everything, touches down on some moment of the geography she has been inventing for more than a quarter of a century and is gone. Often you look for more: never wish for less.
You know the story
So opens this very special collection just published by Black Sparrow,
Though Lyn Lifshin is closing in on nearly a hundred books published,
this is apparently the first "definitive work
COLD COMFORT reaches into several of Lifshins favorite and most called upon emotional habitations: herself (autobiography) love and erotica, mothers/ daughters, other people, place, war, and Barbie, Mad Girls, and Lorena and Jesus. This later, of course, traverses the odds and ends of the several avatars which the poet has assigned herself over the past decades. "Barbie" and "Lorena," in particular, slip into worlds of emotionalrisk chaos that the poet eschews for herself directly:
Lorena hears her penis calling for her
Reification is importnat to the Lifshin geography as she pieces a "place" together breath by breath, line by line, image by image. She almost never backs off to pronounce an accumulated wisdom. Its as if
The most published poet in the world today, Lifshin shows here, with this book, what many literary magazines have known for decades: shes a poet of substance, range and invention. And this book by Black Sparrow showcases her work well.