Lynne Thompson on Poets Cafe

The following interview of Lynne Thompson by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission).



Biographical Information—Lynne Thompson

Lynne Thompson is the author of three chapbooks as well as of the collections Start With a Small Guitar and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award. In 2018, she was awarded Honorable Mention for Cave Canem’s Toi Derricote/Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize as well as the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize for her manuscript, Fretwork (2019). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, Ecotone, Barrow Street, Pleiades, diode poetry journal, New England Review as well as the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Thompson is Reviews & Essays Editor for the journal, Spillway.

My Body Leaning Into

You might expect a display of
West Indian Village With Figures

Dancing. Instead, my immigrant
parents buy a European imitation,

hang Bal du Moulin de la Galette
in our vestibule. All I can ask is

are these the women you both pray
I will be? It’s impossible to tell where

each partner’s shadow begins. Me? I
like Archibald Motley’s Saturday Night

with its scarlet-clad heroine, her brown
arms unfolding from her body, her body

leaning into the rag & swing, one balding
man wishing he wasn’t wishing, a shot of

bourbon & soda, bop & jive & jive & jive.
To stun Mother I say: see the sommelier?—

how far he’s willing to back-bend, cock-
tails listing to such risky angles just so

he can wallow in the woman’s satisfaction
in simply being the center of everything?


From Fretwork.