Saturday, March 08, 2014

Lynne Savitt Relics of Lust New and Selected Poems

Lynne Savitt
Relics of Lust
New and Selected Poems
NYQ Books
New York, NY
© Copyright 2014 by Lynne Savitt
Softbound, $18.95, 256 pages

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

Sex. Forty or more years of it.  One would think there’s too much of it.  Forget the thought. There’s not enough!  Lynne Savitt, as the blurbs say, has been writing poetry since the early seventies, mostly about women and their sexuality.  In this book, as well-known poet A.D. Winans states, “Savitt is the queen of sensual poetry, with a sense of humor second to none.”   He must have been reading Everything I Know About Life.

Everything I Know About Life

can be summed up
in just one sentence

he forces her legs
open with his knee
and before she can
fantasize about tahiti
it’s over

Or, if you prefer something a bit different, perhaps from someone who is a bit more mature and doesn’t particularly consider herself a cougar but still sexy in a poem try this one:

Your Lover Is Too Young For You If

he puts your pantyhose on his head
doesn’t know the words to You Made Me Love You”
thinks Jack Nicholson is old
drinks any light beer
uses inexpensive condoms
lass as long as you do
was born the same year as your son

Savitt’s view of writing is also a bit different than some might expect, but leaves the reader with plenty to fantasize about, in fact it goes the reader something to write about.


my friend leo says
it’s okay to get
old & fat
to be remembered
as a blonde
dream carrying a rose
a pink velvet
ass bent over
a car fender
a warm mouth
wet as the tropics
all you need
to write, he says,
is the memory
he continues through
the phone wire
as you put yr
fingers under
the elastic of my
mauve lace panties
memory blazes
poems poems poems

There are also poems entitled “For My Pals, Penises, Poets & Penitents Who’ve Passed In The Nineties,” “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,”  and many more whose titles belie the serious aspects of her poems.  Take for example

What Do I Tell My Granddaughters
About The Movies & Real Life

husbands punch their wives after beers
with the boys losing at cards or racetrack
the come home smelling like sachet from
lingerie drawer not yours checkbook lost while
kayaking glue themselves to their glasses
cheaters, brutes, idiots, sissies they kiss
or beat the crap out of their respective
spouses who are all unfaithful blondes
with great tits & ass acting cool as blue
plastic ice cube trays or brunettes in
pale pink cashmere & nylon stockings
cheeks peaches as produce from augusta

get grade A education love your limbs like
branches of the weep willow write poems
in linen clouds dance like a vengeful rain
hump like sweet bunnies paint canvases big
as arizona canyons travel the world ten times
over paint yr lips 7 cheeks with pomegranate
kiss the lover back of any human who shares
yr joyful pain & macro photography don’t ever
care what others think of yourselves as warrior
princesses deserving of the universe & own it

Undoubtedly there are those who will (or do) not like Savitt’s poems, but I for one have become a fan of someone who can mix the serious with humor and make sex into the kind of something we can experience through her.  Men are the all-conquering heroes of their sex while Savitt bares the truth.  Her poems can be funny or touching. Playful or serious.  You don’t last some forty years successfully publishing poems unless you have something say.

Zvi A. Sesling
Reviewer for Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene
Author, King of the Jungle and  Across Stones of Bad Dreams
Publisher, Muddy River Books
Editor, Muddy River Poetry Review
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthologies 7& 8

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