Iowa City, Iowa: School of Letters and the Graduate
College of the University of Iowa, 1970- .
Call Number: AP4 .I55x
The Iowa Review, another midwestern literary magazine,
has also published Firer's work. "My Coat of Flowers" appeared in the winter
1995 issue and "Lilacs" in the summer 1996 issue.
The rebellion toward joy . . .
Before his doctor cut into his
7th cervical disk,
like an old Swede's goat he clumped
climbed the black garage roof next door
thump thump to throw
down on me the lightest, most
fragrant bunches of lilacs. I lusted
for the perfervid lilacs, the drunk
lilacs, the purple flabellum,
spodumene, sumptuous benedictional lilacs,
the Nerudian excessive lilacs.
(Neruda's desk came to him from a wave
off Isla Negra.) "Matilde! Matilde!
My desk! My desk!" he yelled,
spotting the wood in the ocean.
Together Matilde and Neruda
"went down to the beach and sat
on the sand, waiting for a wave
to wash up the wood. . . ."
Neruda placed the wood ocean view
in front of a window and placed
a photo of young Whitman on it &
a photo of old Whitman on it.
How Whitman loved lilacs. You can
smell lilacs when you read Whitman.
Breathing lilacs our house falls dark
around us, drops like night clothing,
days' faces. Convalescent hearted
lilac pilgrims cannot stop breathing
the wet dark lilac nights.
. . .
From The Iowa Review (1996). Used with permission of the author.
WOMEN OF SPIRIT