Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Claudine Nash and Lynne S. Viti

A while back Claudine Nash sent me two poems from her recent book Parts per Trillion.  I hope that you will enjoy them!   "Permission Slip" is especially appropriate during this hectic spring semester.

"Permission Slip"

Today I permit myself to
forget what I know of gravity,
to awaken inattentive to mass
and weight and feel no force
other than the speed of promise.
I will allow this sensation to
propel me upwards with such
velocity that liftoff will
shake my doubtful features
unrecognizable to the side
of me that seeks to reunite
my bones with Earth.

I wish to remain airborne
as long as possible.  I grant
myself  permission to stuff
my ears with wind and answer
only to my truest name,  to snub
the voices that shout out the
physics and trajectories of me,
that scold “you get down this
very instant,  this place is a mess
and soaring time is over.”

(First appeared in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine)

“Certain Words”

There are certain words you
would wait a lifetime to hear.
Like, “you didn’t ruin a
thing,” or “the ground between
us never turned to dust.”
Better still, “look, here’s a

stack of old envelopes
made out to you” and upon
inspecting their odd postmarks
and stamps, feel love leak
from their folds or read

scribbled between the lines of
the onionskin sheets within,
the explanation you’ve always
wanted interwoven with
the phrase “You were only
briefly forgotten.”

But mostly, you would
forfeit the scent of oncoming
rain or abandon the sight of
the swollen red moon just
to be told, “Please listen now,
there’s something I’m ready
to say.”

First appeared in The Problem with Loving Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2014)

Claudine Nash’s collections include her full-length poetry book Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) and her chapbook The Problem with Loving Ghosts  (Finishing Line Press, 2014). She also recently edited the collection  In So Many Words: Interviews and Poetry from Today’s Poets (Madness Muse Press, 2016) with Adam Levon Brown.  Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal and Yellow Chair Review amongst others. She is also
a practicing psychologist. Website: www.claudinenashpoetry.com.

Recently Lynne S. Viti (who served as a judge for the summer/fall 2016 contest) published a chapbook, Baltimore Girls, with Finishing Line Press.   I am thrilled to publish Sam Cornish's review here.

Baltimore Girls

Baltimore Girls is a brief collection of poems that examines the poet’s early life in the 1960s and the culture in which she grew up. It is personal history -- tales of a small group of young women who lived in the segregated city of my youth. The poems are mini-memoirs, snapshots of young women who had determined they were bound for greater things: “we were in a hurry to get out of town, out of state, through school, to a job...”

Although Viti tells us she “left as fast as she could,” her memories of people, places and her hometown culture remain vivid and sharp, filled with the manners and rituals of the era. She recounts a teen-age date as“a talisman of my life to come” because they spent the time talking “about the war, about Yeats...” This collection is significant for its realism, its honesty and its attention to detail. The poems are specific and descriptive, reminiscent of the lyric realism of James T. Farrell. This book establishes Viti as a poet of the memoir and local history. Her memories of time and place will resonate with many readers.

— Sam Cornish

If you'd like to read some of Lynne's poems, here is a link to some I published in August 2015:  http://thesongis.blogspot.com/2015/08/lynne-viti.html

To buy her wonderful book (which I encourage),  email Lynne at lviti@wellesley.edu for pricing details and to place an order. Proceeds will go to support Mercy High School Baltimore scholarship funds.

Lynne also added the following about an upcoming reading:  "I'm reading at Bird in Hand Books & Coffee on November 7, 2017 at 7 PM, in the Readings with Ralphie series. 11 E 33rd St, Baltimore, MD 21218."

Please spread the word!!!

Now for tonight's music.  I think I'll start with another song by Larry Young from an earlier album.  His "Of Love and Peace" does sound like flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZOKMGe1nAI

Here is his version of "Seven Steps to Heaven": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVGq-GQgVBU

I'll finish with his "Plaza del Toros," which is a little more conventional and bouncy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGB_fNG0R94  Grant Green plays on it as well.


  1. Valuable information which you have providing about the musics song i really appreciate it and really enjoy it.
    Kendrick Lamar

  2. Permission Slip made me cry. I've started listening to old jazz masters so I can work my way up to the more modern pieces you post.