Lynne Thompson
    I used to study with Lynne in the same workshop. I always knew of her talent but even so when I read her full book, Beg No Pardon, I was amazed how her work has grown and flowered in recent years. The low-key way she reads out loud should not fool you: these are, often, passionate and emotional poems that delve into difficult areas of race, adoption, womanhood and missing romance; but at the same time the poems don’t shy away from saying and telling (when our old teachers used to tell us to only show), and she speaks her mind, wonders out loud, muses on art and history. An aura of blues and jazz surrounds many of these pieces, but Lynne is not a worshipful follower of music as “the highest art” (as so many artists tacitly are): her primary allegiance is to the poem as an autonomous entity and that’s why her work succeeds in jumping off the page as vibrantly as it does.  I wonder where she is going next with her work—I suspect she doesn’t want to stand still and is already exploring new approaches to her art. I hope that in future years she’ll be back to share many more books with us.   

Short Stack with Switch Monkey

I'm a free wheel. Got no one telling me the can or can't do.
So when this jeans-too-tight-to-breathe strolled into Miz
Willie's Grill, I liked the cut of his kerchief right off. Knew
he knew things I wouldn't know in a lifetime: how to bail
it in, strut in company jewelry, and play the glory hunter.
That's why I wanted him. Him straddled out at counter's end,
nursing a cup o' joe hotter than Yuma's breath, looking neither
left nor right, just talking to Miz Willie who didn't look left
nor right or give a damn about anything he said. But I did.

So I sidled up to the counter, took the stool two stools away
and bought another cup while I listened to him blow smoke.
Listened to his world of slow train, hotshot, piggy-back. Heard
how he'd catch out ahead of the bull, drug runners, and ramblers
with romance on their minds, trying to follow him out past
San Berdu, all the way to Baxter Springs. Listened long enough
to know he'd never tie on to a can or can't do or to me. Finished
my cup o' mud and lit out - full on a cheap pie card, a rail fan
looking for a local load, all smiles from a stack of short love.

2012 and 2013 Lynne Thompson
Lynne Thompson was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the August 2012 and November 2013 Second Sunday Poetry Series