Lynne Thompson, a Pushcart Prize nominee, is author of two chapbooks, We Arrive By Accumulation and Through A Window.  Her first full-length manuscript, Beg No Pardon, won the Perugia Press Book Award as well as the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award.  A frequent reader on the local and national scene, her alma mater, Scripps College, and Emory University, have commissioned her to write new work to complement a work of sculpture and a dance project, respectively. Recent work has appeared in numerous journals including Ploughshares, Sou’Wester, Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review and Spillway, where she serves as Reviews & Essays Editor. You can get insight into her creative process through recent interviews that can be found at and  Thompson’s latest manuscript, Start with a Small Guitar, will be published by the Los Angeles collective, What Books Press, in the fall of 2013.


Three poems from Start with a Small Guitar:


—last night, I dreamed I was Frida Kahlo

star-tips and tight earth,
beaver, pond, blue veronica.
I wasn’t Frida but I was
just as unfathomable
being roots & thistle & blood,
bulb of green earth, womb
of some wingéd web-weaver,
deep lover, quite still, still
stone. In morning’s indigo,
in the steam and sun of it all,
I was supplicant before oceans,
apatite, ideas and lantern-
light, unhooked and needle-
fine, copper-red, a cosmos—


More than a rhythm section, 

I want a band.
I want a band
that low-tones
in smoky bars.
I want a band
that highbrows
with hot cats
in the uptown—
there is a rose
in Spanish Harlem—
of lamp-lit lofts.
I want
but they say
money’s tight
and what about
a baby and you
can’t have it all.
But I want rests & scales
and a tenor voice to
sing softly to me
and musicians who sit
where woodwinds
and brass sit and when
the best is yet to come
I want my man
to tuba me,
trombone me
and flare my bells,
to oboe and O baby
love me `til I swing low
who will buy
this wonderful feelin’?


The Sweet Blind

Upon my body—perhaps
the other way around?
your four-leaf clover.

This argument—elegant—geometric—
assumes its own heat.
It is grander or more

reduced than desire or this chalice of
one day we will leave abruptly,
forget: nail of one lover’s

middle toe scraping the other lover’s
inner thoughts; their imaginations
indistinct, impossible

to separate. Or maybe this is only a season’s
back-story, given context; quite rare
in…shall we call it late summer?

And even as I tell you that every season
is rare, you, my pretty—well, let’s just say
your response is as deliberate as

an artist’s duplicity; subtle as the melodic Sweet Blindness,
thunderous in its rebuke of our conspiracy,
of our bodies, inflamed, and astonished—


Lynne Thompson at Moonday East



2013 Lynne Thompson


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