Words & Pictures East Coast, LLC

[Home] [Bookstore] [Gallery] [Poets/Artists] [Fun Stuff] [Vital Links] [Contact]


Art Gallery

Poetry & Humor
Lots of Poetry
Featured poem
Humor/Light Verse

Professional Services
About us
Writing Services
Art Services
Web Services

Visual Artists

Local Events

Fun Stuff
Free Samples
Free Art Lesson
Experimental Stuff

Vital Links
Writing Links
Art Links
WEB Info Links

Email & Address Info

[Return to Guest Poets Page]

Linda Lerner

LINDA LERNER was born and educated in New York City.

Eight collections of her poetry have been published; the most recent, A KOAN FOR SAMSARA (Ibbetson Street Press, 2003); GREATEST HITS (1989-2002) Pudding House publications; NO EARTHLY SENSE GETS IT RIGHT (Lummox Press), Feb.2000, a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2001 (second printing); ANYTIMEBLUES,1999; NEW & SELECTED POEMS (1998) (Ye Olde Font Shoppe Press, both Small Press Reviews’ picks of the month.


Linda Lerner & Andrew Gettler founded POETS on the line in 1995, the first poetry anthology available on the Net. (http://www.echonyc.com/~poets) For Nos. 6&7 (1997/98) the Vietnam Veterans / Poets issue she received a 1997 Puffin Foundations Grant & Ludwig Vogelstein Grant. POETS on the line will be kept permanently on the Net, though it ceased publication with the Millennium issue, (9&10). Her interview with Hayden Carruth appeared in the 50th issue of THE NEW YORK QUARTERLY ; one with Robert Peters is in the 51st issue of CHIRON REVIEW, Summer, 1997. Linda Lerner has reviewed books for HOME PLANET NEWS, SMALL PRESS REVIEW, CHIRON REVIEW, BLACK BEAR REVIEW, et al.

In the last few years she has given readings throughout the the tri state & New England area, (the Knitting Factory in NYC, Stone Soup Poets in Boston, The Barron Arts Center in N.J.) as well as in New Mexico, San Francisco (Above Paradise), New Orleans (Maple Leaf Bar), Colorado (The Penny Lane), Seattle (B&N), & at the Cherry Valley Arts Festival in 1998, a 30 year tribute to Beat & Bohemian influence. June (2000) she read at the North Beach Fair in S.F. & gave several readings in LA, including one at Beyond Baroque, Chicago (Dole Branch Library, River Oak Arts, Oak Park, Coffee Chicago, Gourmand Coffee); June 2002 read at Robins bookstore in Philadelphia & at B&N in Bryn Mawr.

In July, 2003 she read at The Colony in Woodstock; in August she gave five readings in Boston, including one for Stone Soup Poets, and two on Cable TV in the Boston area..

She does NOT relate well to authority figures.

Send email to Linda Lerner

In Soldier Slang

For Andrew

“...and i took
the kiss
you wanted...”
(Andrew Gettler)

the flash-to-bang time
must be quick,
old soldier of many wars
you knew better than anyone...
first intimation:
coughed out in Pall Mall smoke,
not here     not yet...

Thirty years back      Vietnam:
my eyes burned holes
thru the jungle,
looking for death, hoping
to see it before
it saw me...

followed you to California;
you kicked it off
in shivering cold dark
and returned home:
urban street violence
didn’t frighten you
or much of anything now,
let down your guard
and it sprang out of
uncorked Bronx nights
almost drowning you in 100 proof years;
dried off over two decades.
You got into the habit of
thinking alive,
comfortable with the concept
of your own mortality

BANG       through
your right arm chest
BANG      ambush lasted
three chilled days before
you grabbed hold of me
and broke free.
How many lovemaking times
did you die in my arms trusting
you’d come back and again...

The last two years
we homed naked in cyber space
your mind fleshed through
my everyday       got me through
each tedious battle

the futility of anyone         my mother
outliving her mind
gave you a way
to speak of it
sparing me       us.
In all the selfless
selfishness of great love,
I gave you the time I wanted.

footnote: * Andrew Gettler (letter--March, 2000)

found unresponsive: 7/25/’02

named who to call in case of
by a man I barely knew
trying to find another way out
of his homelessness       the shelter
a few days      nights...
nobody just wants a few anything...

told the long distance medical examiner
I couldn’t help him when
he told me what I learned in that
small SF hotel room I reserved for
the same reason that man came:
there are many ways of not being alive homeless

                                     found unresponsive
the doctor said of my mother,
his instruments not fine tuned enough
to pick up death’s breath
her last year in the nursing home,
grown mind deaf she
played with her food,
looking up at me puzzled:
          I’m your daughter
          do you know me

I wrote...

he gave 10:50 pm      day after her birthday,
same as the man’s who
gave me second birth.. the official time...

no one said the words
I heard anyway those
teenage grassy years I tried with
some boy to be nobody’s daughter
couldn’t and tried year after year...

nobody uses them now
after the man who broke through layers of dead
set my body pulse-eyed throbbing
every minute of our life together

only there was no     or
even when...

was found unresponsive
one July night
in a New York City hospital

it was

Ivy leagues new age woman
a rock diva pulling guitar strings
against old time anything

midriffs skin for ID silver chains
necklace skulls bones

it was 2nd in her class free thinking artist
blowing smoke rings around older us

21st century lady’s new corrective vision’s miracle
story tripping on boyfriend...school swim champion
it was      boyfriend....knots

in the rings...the rope I saw
when she said I’ll probably end up teaching
heard end up fall like a thud

it was Hester Prynne      Emma Bovary
every doomed heroine risen victorious
accused witch of Salem outwitting the hangman

US it is all of us
as no one else had every been
will be again


Copyright © 2004. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
Last updated: December 5, 2003