Thursday Dec 07

MartinDianeK Diane Kirsten Martin’s work has appeared in Field, Poetry Daily, Zyzzyva, Harvard Review, Narrative, Plume, Rhino, and many other journals and anthologies. She was included in Best New Poets 2005, has received a Pushcart Special Mention, and won the Erskine J. Poetry Prize from Smartish Pace. Her poetry collection, Conjugated Visits, a National Poetry Series finalist, was published in May 2010 by Dream Horse Press. Her newest manuscript, Hue and Cry, is seeking a publisher.


Self-Help Dream of the Yellow Canvas

She’d never worked in oils, but she pictured
the canvas luscious and slick, an oily yolk
of luxurious yellow, a radiant swath
of glorious gold. The square surface
measured two meters, and she covered it
thickly, with even, horizontal strokes,
a wide brush diffusing the viscosity,
spreading the butter to morning.
She kept on looking down at her hands,
expecting flecks of sunlight under her nails.
The path she took was transformed.

Cause / Effect

What if some guy died because of her,
in the juxtaposition of sex and history?
That morning as he put on his pants

he said he was late for his appointment
to get a deferment. It was after her breakup
and three weeks of not leaving her room.

She wore green slacks and platform shoes,
her hair blown out like Farrah Fawcett, and sat
in a bar with Jack Daniels until she got

his attention. It wasn’t difficult. She took
him back where she was staying. They
didn’t attempt conversation. He

took off his jeans and shirt. She took
off the shoes and green pants. She
noticed that he was maybe younger

than she’d made him out to be in the dark
of the bar and the bourbon and later recalled
the fine gold hairs at the small of his back.