92 Rapple Drive

In this latest book, Lyn Lifshin, Ms. Total Story has become tantalizingly fragmentary, never quite telling it all but just giving the reader enough to get the outlines of the vision she's working with: "I was sure it was him/ flying up from the thicket// drunk on a new poem./ Someone heard him// scrounging for lasagna. This is the part of/ the poem that's true, the/ night wind, his// howling, his lostness./ Let him call it/love. Think of wolves/ and moons. Think of me// morning after mourning/ arranging the myths/ I trapped myself in." ("On Rapple," p. 41)

A significant step in a new direction on Lifshin's part. Instead of somewhat straight narrative now we are being treated to a new experimental, avant-garde style that is similar to other high-art Lyns like Lynne Savitt and Lynn Strongin

The irony is that the sketchy nature of the reality that Lifshin presents is as (or even more) moving than full-narrative. You move inside the tortured soul of the poet directly into her edge-of-explicitness feelings and find the same sorts of fractured worlds inside yourself. If Freud had been a Rimbaud-influenced poet…

By Lyn Lifshin
2008: 78 pp; Pa. Coatlism
Press, coatlism@gmail.come or

Small Press Review vol. 40. Nos. 9-11

Review by Hugh Fox

Last updated: December 19, 2009