Kathleen Lynch’s “Impetus”


You must change your life.
– Rilke

Begin anywhere: sleep

on the other side of the bed tonight.



Tomorrow walk as though your head

is filled with helium & your spine

the string that holds it to the earth.





Fill a gallery with something

you have not yet made.

Name your show I Promise.

Buy a large piece of blue

paper. The shade should be vast

and deep and remind you

of nothing. Roll it carefully

and carry it home on the bus

cradled in your arm.

Try not to pretend

it is your child.





Don’t cry, but if you must

don’t stop. Tears

are only water and salt.

You felt this way once before

when you first moved

from fluid into air.



It is no one’s fault

you are more than halfway there.

Surely you know that and are grateful

to have come so far. Just go.

Just keep going.

Kathleen Lynch, Hinge (2006)

Kathleen Lynch read in Ventura 730pm Tuesday Dec. 11 at the Artists Union Gallery, where “C” street meets the sea (330 S. CA St, near the Crowne Plaza and the Aloha Steakhouse) . Students from two Ventura College writing classes read Tuesday 12/11 as well as Tuesday 12/18.

Readings are held every Tuesday, and often have a feature. These events are free and open to the public; an open mic follows the featured reading.

Kathleen Lynch’s collection Hinge (2006) won the Black Zinnias Press National Poetry Book Competition (California Institute of Arts and Letters). Her chapbooks include How to Build an Owl (Select Poet Series Award, Small Poetry Press, 1995), No Spring Chicken (White Eagle Coffee Store Press Award, 2001), Alterations of Rising (Small Poetry Press Select Poet Series, 2001) and Kathleen Lynch – Greatest Hits (Pudding House Publications, 2002). Her work (fiction and poetry) appears in several anthologies. She received the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Choice Award, the Salt Hill Poetry Award, Two Rivers Review Prize, Peregrine and Sow’s Ear prizes, and ten Pushcart nominations. She lives in California.

OTHER POETRY READINGS In the past year, the Ventura Thursday night reading “Train of Thought” moved from the Bell Arts Factory on the avenue to the Selah Cafe by the college to the Coffee Roasting Co downtown to the ArtBarn. The current incarnation is laid back and friendly; I was over there for the Dia de Los Muertos reading and for subsequent readings as well. On these occasions, everyone gathered outside around the fire to read their own work or the work of others in a very informal but respectful way. If the weather dictates, the reading can always move inside the ArtBarn (856 Thompson near Kalorama, behind Kids & Families together).