The Poetry Storehouse

great contemporary poems for creative remix

Lennart Lundh – poems

19 October 2014

1. Lady Be Good (April 1943)
2. Jazz Me
3. Sur le Pont d’Avignon
4. ’57 T-bird, Highway 36
5. Rouen, 30 mai 1431

19 January 2014

1. Arbor and Winepress (with audio)
2. Elegy (with audio)
…. - Video remix by Marc Neys (aka Swoon)
…. - Video remix by Paul Broderick
3. Sandburg and Photograph (with audio)
…. - Video remix by Nic Sebastian
4. Snow White Speaks in the Confessional (with audio)
5. To Grandmother’s House (with audio)

Lady Be Good (April 1943)
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audio
(Read by Leixyl Kaye Emmerson)
download audio
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio
The men you carried once
might be on Broadway
for all the good it would do.
Benghazi is, in real terms,
no closer than that gray desert.

They’ve set off across hills and
plains of sand instead of the sea
they thought waited below the dark.
Given a week their trek will be
complete for infinity’s hours.

Eventually, as it must,
the desert will finish
you as well, as you
finished your final flight
on its deceptive waves.

The slide into not being
will take as long as
the slide between low dunes,
though one is measured in years
and one eternity’s seconds.

Rust won’t do it. Left long enough,
you’ll be blasted to atomic thinness
by your carpet carried on the air.
The truths within your mystery,
your memory, alone remain behind.

back to top

Jazz Me
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audio
(Read by Leixyl Kaye Emmerson)
download audio
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio
start me deep with jungle rhythms add sugar cane and soils containing languages we’ll learn to soon discard give me baptism by fires in the darkest of the night and then escape with me while our others wallow while our others follow missionary tracts and black motes noted on white sheets we will fix on fusion we will find the star stuff in each free improvisation I will riff your body with my fingers bring forth emanations with my lips while you pluck counter notes and melodies to see us off this stage beyond percussive endings deep in god

back to top

Sur le Pont d’Avignon
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audio
(Read by Leixyl Kaye Emmerson)
download audio
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio
We danced under parking lot lights.
It seemed the place, it seemed the moment
to hold each other in a two-step,
to whisper as our lips brushed of our love.

This is how we lived:
Dancing without invitation or warning
at a local food store grand opening.
It’s what we felt like.

I wore a poodle skirt, peasant blouse, Mary Janes.
You wore Bermudas, t-shirt, boat shoes.
We wore our love like night lights on our sleeves.
This is how we lived.

People smiled. People clapped.
Some seemed embarrassed. None joined in.
Brief weeks later, you were gone.
It’s never not the place, not the moment.

back to top

’57 T-bird, Highway 36
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audio
(Read by Leixyl Kaye Emmerson)
download audio
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio
The car burns on the side of the road.
Smoke a million shades of gray joins
henna and bottle-blonde yellow flames,
making faces in the autumn afternoon.

Once polished powder blue,
the paint is blistered and smoked
to some different color entirely.
A small crowd barely watches the end.

It’s now of a certain kind with the
pocked spotted wrinkled mottled
skin of an old man once noticed:
Too many miles. No longer collectable.

back to top

Rouen, 30 mai 1431
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audio
(Read by Leixyl Kaye Emmerson)
download audio
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio
Joan is so terribly tired.
She’s been at war too long,
been hearing God-sent voices
guide her future even longer.

Her countrymen have turned away,
for now no longer needing her.
The English, less trusting of God,
want her removed from the scales.

The charge is heresy, so death by fire.
There will be no strangulation,
no relative mercy from the executioner.
She has no money for friends’ sachets.

Joan longs to weep upon the stake
like an exhausted lover mourning
the loss of innocence, but stands tall.
She won’t add self-treason to the charge.

Rising from the smoke of obscurity,
she will fall obscured by smoke.
Once entered by the fiery light of saints,
she will make her exit in the light of fire.

back to top

Arbor and Winepress
(after a landscape by Fra Bartolommeo)
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio

This is where you brought me when we wed:
I, fifteen, and not yet quick with child
though filled with longings
passed down by my mother and her own.
You, eighteen, and poorly educated to a life
not set before you in the halls
your father brought the tutors to.

The copse of trees is thinner now,
as is my life these years alone.
The room in back, where first we took each other
with an innocent savagery bordering rape,
is mine alone: A shrine
holding memories that end with you.

At the gate, our oldest son and his son;
a tom that came to clear the mice
and stayed when they were done;
a winepress calling forth the joy of life.
The missed grape is as fruitless
as imagined lives without this place.

- First read publicly at Lewis University in 2013

back to top

(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audioDig the small grave
and place the smaller body so,
just so. The chill May rain
and the warm human tears
falling on her head
will serve for the ritual
washing of this pup,
barely two days old.

Some future digger after truth,
alien or human, kneeling with
trowel and brush at this grave,
will note in clear, careful script
the wonder that a people would
be so deliberate with the smallest
of their gods’ creatures,
and so careless of themselves.

- First read publicly at Lewis University in 2013

Video remix by Marc Neys (aka Swoon)

Process notes by Marc Neys

Video remix by Paul Broderick

Visit Vimeo to view video (WARNING: Graphic content.)

back to top

Sandburg and Photograph
(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audioI am sitting on the floor
and you are reading Sandburg.

Ten months from now,
I will recall this
against my better judgment.

And later I will listen
to a photograph of you.

This is two years before
my wife will tell me
of your liaison with drink,
and the death by fire
of your children.

- First published in Thunderclap in 2010

Video remix by Nic Sebastian

Video process note can be read here.

back to top

Snow White Speaks in the Confessional
(Read by Siddartha Beth Pierce)
download audio

We made my father’s witch-wife dance
inside the stone-dry wood’s fire.
It’s how we dealt with treason then.
My heart so filled with hate,
I thought nothing of it, but felt proud
to throw a fagot at her feet.
Now brothers and mendicant friars say
I must repent, regret, remorse.

Truly, I understand forgiveness,
but how can I let go
what I cannot forget?
I, not they, dream at night
of sweet, wet fruit besmirched
to carry me near Death’s dull path.

Father, forgive me,
for I have sinned.
And, Father, please forgive me,
but I know not what I’ve done.

- First published in The Binnacle in 2013

back to top

To Grandmother’s House
(Read by Lennart Lundh)
download audioThrough the Lilac crossroads
into Keys Canyon
and across the San Luis Rey River bridge
(a flat, dry riverbed),
and nearby an old woman
with the sun in her skin
sells oranges.

-First published in Other Poetry in 2011

back to top

About Lennart:

Lennart Lundh is a poet, short-fiction author, historian, and photographer. His work has appeared internationally since 1965. Len and his wife Lin live in northern Illinois, where he currently manages text acquisitions for a university. He can be reached at, and can be found on Facebook and Google.

Single Post Navigation

6 thoughts on “Lennart Lundh – poems

  1. Pingback: New additions – 22 Jan 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  2. Pingback: New additions – 3 Feb 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  3. Pingback: ‘Sandburg and Photograph’ – process notes for a video remix | Very Like A Whale

  4. Pingback: Sandburg and Photograph by Lennart Lundh | Moving Poems

  5. Pingback: New additions – 11 March 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  6. Pingback: “We relinquish control the moment we agree to publish our work”: an interview with Lennart Lundh | Moving Poems Forum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers