February 8, 2021

Lola Haskins

THE DISCOVERY

On walking, in my seventies, down a leafy street
behind two women in their early forties who 
are chatting to each other as companionably 
as birds on a limb, and having thought, with 
happy anticipation, ah, I’ll be their age soon!
it occurs to me that I’ve lost my mind—but 
just then the clouds evanesce and light pours 
through the oaks and ash, to form lace on 
the pavement lovely enough to be sewn 
into dresses, and I see that time is as 
random as the patterns the sun makes on 
any given day as it filters through leaves, 
and as illusory as a baby being born, and 
as strange as the years of our lives that
go by without returning, and as equal as 
the one friend’s auburn hair and the red leaf 
she steps over, which the wind has abandoned 
for love of her. And now, having finally 
seen that the world is every minute new, 
I realize that I’m only a little younger than 
those women after all, and I step between 
them, and we speak as we walk, and by 
the time we part, each of us in her own way 
has told the others how lucky she is, 
to have been alive in such a beautiful place.

from Rattle #70, Winter 2020

__________

Lola Haskins: “Poems, other people’s, and when I get really lucky, mine, have connected me with sisters, brothers, and angels, more deeply than I have ever been connected by blood to anyone. Besides, the high of finally getting myself clear on the page’s field is so addictive I can’t imagine ever stopping trying. In other words, it doesn’t matter how frustrating it is when it doesn’t work because it’s so sublime when it does. All of you out there who write will know what I mean.” (web)

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March 10, 2020

Lola Haskins

HALFWAY DOWN THE BLOCK, YOUR FATHER

Stops. It’s just congestion, he says.
I have congestion, not naming it—
his lungs as gauzy as a party dress—
explaining instead how the medic
at the VA had told him his heart
was as strong as any fullback’s.
We wait while he musters the air for
the next few steps, refusing the car,
with the stubbled pride of an old man
whose frayed shirt collar has been
turned by his dead wife, and, having
no third side, cannot be turned again

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
Tribute to the Best of Rattle

__________

Lola Haskins: “Poems, other people’s, and when I get really lucky, mine, have connected me with sisters, brothers and angels, more deeply than I have ever been connected by blood to anyone. Besides, the high of finally getting myself clear on the page’s field is so addictive I can’t imagine ever stopping trying. In other words, it doesn’t matter how frustrating it is when it doesn’t work because it’s so sublime when it does. All of you out there who write will know what I mean.” (web)

 

Lola Haskins is the guest on episode #32 of the Rattlecast! Click here to tune in live or archived …

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June 5, 2017

Lola Haskins

THREE PROMINENT PEOPLE

1

A man from Chicago collected documents so he could tell you how old they were and how many he had. The man invited a professor of medieval history to dinner. “My collection is so interesting it deserves an exhibit,” he said, and the professor agreed. But before the exhibit could be mounted, the man’s oldest document emptied the man’s bank account, and moved to Buenos Aires, the capital of South America.

2

She put on a tight black dress and boots. She painted her lips Fatal Apple, and her eyebrows Midnight. After that, she practiced tossing her copper hair picturesquely over one shoulder. She knew if she spoke in a husky enough voice and paused long enough in strategic places, women would resent her and men desire her or vice versa, but in either case, no one would notice the poems.

3

He deserved to win. Not everyone can sing out of three holes at once, especially not in harmony, and especially not the Star Spangled Banner.

from Rattle #55, Spring 2017

__________

Lola Haskins: “When I was in sixth grade, I had a teacher named Mrs. Robinson who let me memorize ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred, Lord Noyes (at the time I thought ‘Lord’ was his middle name) for parents’ night. Everything I’ve written since has, I think, been for her.” (website)

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July 6, 2015

Lola Haskins

MORTALITY

Every thrown stone falls.
But there is a moment first
as it hangs in the air

 

that the blurred hand
that tossed it will not come again,
thinks the stone as it flies.

from Rattle #47, Spring 2015

__________

Lola Haskins: “Poems for me work like flashlights in a cave; they’re a way to explore the dark without dying. Also, because other poets over the years have given me such beauty, to the point of changing my life, I’d like to give something back, if I can.” (website)

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July 12, 2012

Lola Haskins

CREEK LIGHT

runs along the underside of an overhanging ash
a finger tracing an inner arm
above me, long pale leaves are trembling
my small boat is no one on this water

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011
Tribute to Buddhist Poets

__________

Lola Haskins: “I belong to the swamp and to the high moors. I like to watch clouds quietly.” (web)

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December 29, 2010


Lola Haskins

THE FRUIT DETECTIVE

On the table, there are traces of orange blood. There is also a
straight mark, probably made by some kind of knife. The
detective suspects that by now the orange has been sectioned,
but there is always hope until you’re sure. He takes samples.
Valencia. This year’s crop. Dum-de-dum-dum.
          The detective puts out an APB. Someone with a grudge
against fruit. Suspect is armed and should be considered
dangerous. He cruises the orchards. Nothing turns up except a
few bruised individuals, probably died of falls.
A week passes. There are front page pictures of the orange.
          No one has seen it. They try putting up posters around town.
Still nothing. The detective’s phone rings. Yes, he says. And Yes,
thanks. I’ll be right over
. Another orange. This time they find
the peel. It was brutally torn and tossed in a wastebasket.
Probably never knew what hit it, says the detective, looking
sadly at the remains.
          There is a third killing and a fourth. People are keeping
their oranges indoors. There is fear about, that with oranges
off the streets the killer may turn to apples or bananas. The
detective needs a breakthrough. The phone rings. If you want
to know who killed the oranges, come to the phone booth at the
corner of 4th and Market
, says the voice.
          The detective hurries on his coat. When he gets to the
booth, the phone is already ringing. It is the egg. I did it, says
the egg, and I’ll do it again. The detective is not surprised. No
one else could have been so hard-boiled.

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010
Tribute to Humor

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