17 November 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 3


Hummingbird            wing-spread in crucifixion.

The whole weekend has been going nowhere:        will arrive soon:

a cliff like that Icarus leapt from

tried to fly    but ended in jade ocean.

Sky teal

with a hole

as a soul shot thru.

My tongue freezes on syllables        then starts stammering

the way a hand does, trembling on a doorjamb.

Shove kitchen door open

pressure of body on brass & glass swings the thing:            Snowfall coming.


Irony put iron into a backbone.

Glass-blue    air heals behind me like a French door            similar to water knitting.

How many loads for the dark laundry?

A dark mood to put thru the wash:          That only.

Miniature, cruciform, black angel    you're the    creature I would be

& was back in that androgynous time:

        boy-thin, strengthened by torsion    before my voice changed.

About the author:

Lynn Strongin was raised in New York and in various parts of the South during World War II. A Russian and Romanian-Jewish heritage provided a home life rich in all the arts, and early studies in musical composition opened later into studies of literature and writing. Denise Levertov, for whom Lynn worked in Berkeley in the '60s, first encouraged publication. Now Lynn has seven published books, as well as poems in thirty anthologies and about fifty journals. She has received one NEA and two PEN grants. Her anthology, The Sorrow Psalms: A Book of Twentieth-Century Elegy (University of Iowa Press), is forthcoming in April, 2006, and two chapbooks are also appearing in the year, The Birds of the Past Are Singing (Cross-Cultural Currents) and Dovey & Me (Solo Press). She lives in Canada.

Lynn has poems forthcoming online at Pemmican and Terrain.org as well as a portion of her memoir Indigo at VerbSap. She can be reached online at http://members.shaw.ca/stronginweb.

"Stutter," in 42opus v5.3, is taken from a cycle called The Lincoln Poems. A cluster of The Lincoln Poems will soon appear in an upcoming issue of Verse Libre Quarterly.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 3, where "Stutter" ran on November 17, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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