February 1999

Linda Lerner


Henry Taylor

Mark Bibbins
  Sharon Cumberland
  Philip Dacey
  Daniela Gioseffi
  Brent Goodman
  Mark Halperin
  Ben Howard
  Stellasue Lee
Linda Lerner
  John McKernan
  DeWayne Rail
  David Rigsbee
  Peter Robinson
  Terry Savoie
  Joseph Stanton
  Mary Winters

David Grayson

Lloyd Schwartz

Rosa Shand
  Daniela Gioseffi

Linda Lerner Linda Lerner was born and educated in New York City.  Her work has appeared in several journals such as New York Quarterly, Bouillabaisse, Christian Science Monitor, Slipstream, Home Planet News, Chiron Review, Atom Mind, Maverick Press. Her books include New & Selected Poems, She's Back, No-One's-People, City Girl.  
imagine the sound of one hand clapping?
can you?    Click to hear in realaudio

when my lover packed up
did what i asked
and left, it was very quiet
even when the radio & TV were on
quiet was the loudest sound
in the house
drowned out any other;
i didn't think it could
ever get any quieter than that
till the day i visited my mother
in the nursing home and
asked if she wanted
to sit in front of the TV;
she was complaining about
the head nurse, said
I am very quiet
i mistook for not being
any trouble; she looked
into my eyes, voice barely audible

you don't know what it feels like
not to hear the sound
of your own voice

i recalled how as a child
i lay in bed one night
trying to imagine what it was like
to be dead   so frightened
i wanted to cry out for help
but couldn't utter a sound/
not one sound

what is it about    Click to hear in realaudio

the word still, when someone asks
am i still, wants to know
same anything...apartment/job
makes me want to slam it against a wall:
still doing the usual, eating at the same diner,
watching the news: 10:00 pm/11:00,
are you still, alone/together
complaining about it   still...
decide to skip out:
another address, further than moving
from Brooklyn to Manhattan
flying west, than some can imagine:
why?   what happened?
as though i had announced a death
any death...
don't they know
i'm not still living here
not the person who moved in,
am still the woman who can't
let her man go, who isn't still
the one she fell in love with
and is, always will be,
make them see
the utter ridiculousness of
this hunt for a myth / still



Linda Lerner: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SixThe Cortland Review