Linda Lee Harper

Selected Works

My short story "Another Pittsburgh Story" should resonate for anybody familiar with the hills and bus routes of Pittsburgh, or any city really.
The poems in Linda Lee Harper's SMALL WAVES are technically adept and clever, --a pleasure, and that alone would justify the collection. They tell the truth about our lives--presentments of aging, unexpected desires--but tell it appealingly slant as Miss Dickinson suggests.
This is a terrific book of poems... and I am thrilled to be supervising its publication.
--Michael Dumanis, Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center
ď ...a poet of exquisite wit, dark humor and trustworthy insight.Ē
--Susan Ludvigson, author of Everything Winged Must Be Dreaming, To Find the Gold
Two Pushcart Nominations

Kiss Kiss

Final Cut

One small scratch widens,
ulcerates into something
almost beautiful, red and white,
a gorge, chasm, a window
into the body surrendering,
even tape not holding it together.
Stitches? No option that this heart,
frail as papyrus,
can tolerate and survive,
the cutís two bruised lips
futilely migrating
toward each other,
contracting, advancing,
deathís little pucker,
kiss, kiss.


Q. Why does March come in like a lion? Because it comes in with blustering winds, so essential to dry the soil, lest it rot the seeds committed to it.
--The Science of Familiar Things (American Book Co., 1848)

Summer, humid as an old auntís apartment when she boils the fat out of ham, pushes into fall barely breathing, emphysematic. I remember you then as you lay nude on the sand and watched the waters coming and going, weaving and unweaving layers beached seconds before. It was August and Hurricane Irene had just missed us, a frustrated harridan of storm and bluster, we waited out, like we do each other. We argued into fall and typhoons or tsunamiís in the Pacific drowned islands as if they were tenderloins under gravy. Our own gales dwindled, Chinooks deceiving us with their warm embrace, and we believed. Come winter, Tennessee bound us together like two slow pike trapped in a fast overnight freeze as Canadian highs swept down, and the riverís edge tatted up to a selvage of ice. Warmer waters the mill dispenses like questionable advice, released what was left of us to swim toward spring, that swaggering blowhard, dressed like a pimp and full of himself. With unearthly elasticity he licks the back of his own flowery knees, and casts, as if a form of necromancy, willow strands like fishline over these swollen creeks so that anyone watching falls under the spell of his body, its elastic gestures. Nothing subtle here. As satisfied as an excellent whoreís happy customers, we brace for tempests innumerable as excuses from a philanderer. Itís that time of year, my little lamb, my tawdry cat graceful as a crippled goose dancing as twisters darken the horizon, pink and black as a mottled pig rooting for corn.