Diane Kirsten Martin's work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Field, New England Review, Poetry Daily, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, and Narrative. She was awarded second place in the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize competition, judged by B.H. Fairchild, in 2004, and was included in Best New Poets 2005. She has received a Pushcart Special Mention and won the Erskine J. Poetry Prize from Smartish Pace. Her first collection, Conjugated Visits, was published in May 2010 by Dream Horse Press.

I canít translate the blue of wisteria.
There are many things of which we could not speakó

that he held me down to blue carpet, lips crushed
by obdurate teeth, that seven

different purples populate the garden;
itís the blue I need.

It was so cold that winter, he could never warm me.
My lips were blue. We were afraid, I think.

This is not about the color of memory.
I could make up something more true.

My blood. His fingers.
Blood has the salinity of oceans, but is warmer.

Dried lavender smells so blue,
bees will visit the memory.

What is the Portuguese for dreaming?
The purpose of memory?

What of the friend who stops me (blue light, a hallway)
saying, He wants you. Why do you not go to him?

from Conjugated Visits, Dream Horse Press, 2010
first published in New England Review

Conjugated Visits
I love as if it mattered:
a pound of loveís feathers falling
fast as a pound of stone.

You love like a weed, unwanted
taking up residence, calling
it home.

She loves as a snail would:
using him up for sustenance,
leaving a trail.

He loves like the rabbit pulled
from a hat: pedaling,
ambushed by thin air.

We love as the blind see: aware
of insect wings, timbre
the dog hears.

Love dusted treetops,
gutters, and hood ornaments;
she inhaled.

Love contained him
comfortably, a soft shoe;
on firmament he danced.

There would be no way
they could unlove, unspice
the condiment,

uncook the stew, the braised
beast unslaughter, send it
ululating back to the herd.

from Conjugated Visits, Dream Horse Press, 2010
first published in Field      

She writes with lavender ink on cream vellum. A crow
takes roost in the monkey puzzle, is lost

in its formal bracts. It rains; the rivers rise.
Clouds drifting east swell with the monsoon

flooding Thailand;  the woman weeps
as she writes. A cargo liner headed seaward

escapes the tip of a triangle. Fingers of rain
point down. A foghorn declaims the enormity

of ocean, its black fathoms. In a small town
on another coast, a man checks the sky,

puts on his raincoat, opens his mailbox ó galvanized steel,
flag for rural delivery ó inside, an envelope

that he slices with the knife he folds
and pockets before removing her letter.

He will know the spidery purple, the fine cream,
the strokes that slope left, slightly. See, the ink

on the letter is smudged, I just need to know
you are there, the envelope, rain spotted.

from Conjugated Visits, Dream Horse Press, 2010
first published in Nimrod      

Diane K. Martin poet at Moonday Poetry West

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