Since 1996 Volume XXIII

                                   Lynne Knight

Lynne Knight has published six poetry collections and five chapbooks. Her awards include a Poetry Society of America award, a RATTLE Poetry Prize, and an NEA grant. I Know (Je sais), her translation with Ito Naga of his Je sais, appeared in 2013 from Sixteen Rivers Press.

In March of 2018, she became a permanent resident of Canada, where she lives on Vancouver Island.


The Maubert Market



When I went to the Maubert market

with my string bag & rehearsed phrases,

I looked at Provençal tablecloths,


yellow rich as sunflowers splashed

with olives black like the sea at night,

but I didn’t know if it was authentic

Provençal or a cheap rip-off.


My instincts said rip-off, but what

was the French word for rip-off? This

happened before you could look up a word

on your phone, so I smiled & said


nothing, moving on to the scarves, where

a man who resembled my father stood,

bored, & when I touched the first one,


he leaned close to tell me in English

that it was fine quality. I said I preferred

to speak French, having come to Paris

to practice. Practice away, he said, still


in English, & I was back on the sofa

with the slide rule in hand, my father

telling me it was easy, easy, any fool


could do logarithms if she put her mind

to it, & my speechlessness then

was my speechlessness now, so without

buying anything, not the scarf or the lettuce


or fig bread & cheese I’d come for

& that I did know how to ask for,

I slunk back to the flat on the Île St Louis

where I made tea, speaking all the French


words I could muster, shaking them out

like a tablecloth, like wet lettuce,

biting into them like bread & cheese.



Traveling after a Death



That night in Venice, as darkness

seeped into the water, the two women

hired a gondola. The oarsman dipped quickly

until they slipped away from the Grand Canal.

Then he slowed, following the watery labyrinth.


Ghostly shadows rose

from old stone walls. The oarsman sang at first

but then stayed silent, as the two of them were silent:

only the plash of the dipping, the roll of water

closing behind the hull.


There are moments so beautiful

the body has no means to contain them.

What did it matter that they, too, would die?

The night was theirs, was no one’s, the boat

moving so quietly it seemed not there.







The Origin of the Phenomenon
Known as Forgetting



Every year, when the cherry trees bloomed,

a bird began to sing deep in their branches.

The villagers woke hearing the song and ran outside

to see the bird, but no matter where they went

among the trees, they could never spot it. It sang

like the wind sometimes, and sometimes like water

rushing over rocks. A beautiful song, but strange

for a bird, not the high melodic notes of usual,

just wind and water. Sometimes wind through pines

although the pines were too far on the mountains

to hear; sometimes the water of a wide river

though the nearest river was a day’s long walk.


By now the trees were dense with blossom, little silk

parasols, and the days so warm that the villagers

often lay down to sleep in their shade. The bird

kept quiet then, but when the villagers woke, there it was,

singing wind, singing water. What kind of bird is this?

they asked every traveler, but no one could say.


Then the blossoms drifted to the ground, soft snow

of late spring, and the villagers took to their fields,

forgetting the bird, forgetting their need to know

if they were dreaming, if the quiet days were real.







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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan