"Your Blazing-World, beyond the Stars mounted higher,
Enlightens all with a Calestial Fier.”
"It was easy; it’s still easy. You simply refuse to answer the woman. You
don’t engage in a dialogue. You let her words, or her pictures die.”
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt
The thieving, venomous old merchant wrenched
the torch from Lady Liberty’s grasp, clenched
her breast in gnashing teeth, and set alight
our Constitution, then our Bill of Rights.
Imprisoned in his tower, bound by shame,
the Empress loosed her tresses, slid to flames
ignited here and there to light her ground
by wretched refuse, tired, poor, huddling clowns.
Majestic head disguised by ragged wrap,
the Poet carries children to the knap,
retreats by shining tracks, and exits by
a crack through golden door. The waves are high
off teeming shore. Instead of lamp are
blazing words—the ones he burned—become stars.
January 29, 2017
St. Petersburg, Russia
Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, has just been awarded first prize at Lunch Ticket’s Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction, and has published work in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, Breath and Shadow, the Willamette Review of the Liberal Arts, Portland Review of Art, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life, Wordgathering, Dodging the Rain, Antiphon, Dark Ink, Gyroscope, Poor Yorick, Rhino, Conclave, Slipstream,Stonecoast Review, Steam Ticket, Pigeonholes, Shantih, Zingara, and The Grief Diaries.
Long-time resident of San Francisco, CA, Maine, USA, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Sansepolcro, Italy, Diane has traveled throughout much of the world. The themes of exile, disability, and displacement pervade her work.