Diane K. Martin

In God’s Intestine and Goner
December 19, 2023 Martin Diane K.

In God’s Intestine

The husband, who has accepted Buddhist precepts,
carefully carries spiders outside in a plastic cup with
beer-coaster lid. I swat flies. I feel bad when they die.
When the dog catches a fly, she wags victorious.


I’m told that everybody may be allergic to strawberries;
some break out in a rash after eating just one, others
must eat a bushel. Is it possible to eat a bushel of
strawberries? Aren’t those hotdog-eating competitions
at the state fair like water boarding at Guantanamo?


My father’s mother told him he was a mistake; his whole
life he hated her. Doesn’t that justify abortion?


Werner Herzog says ask forgiveness, not permission.
Go ahead. You won’t get struck by lightning. Although
once I met someone who was. The bolt went right
through his stomach and left a scar on his back side.


Still, you should measure twice and cut once.


Sylvia Plath wrote in her journal that writing a poem in
the very early morning was like working in God’s intestine.
Take that to conclusion.


Bluebirds built their nest in our birdhouse when Russia
invaded Ukraine. I kept a few blue feathers the feral cat
left on our lawn.





You wouldn’t even know a buck went down in the meadow.
Randi saw it, already hurt, attempting to cross, saw it stumble
and fall. Even so, John, with his binoculars, could hardly
make it out—color of a hill of dirt, camouflaged by winter grass,
the one antler looking just like a twig or branch. We wondered
what got it. Cary and Anna checked it out—their place borders
the meadow where it fell. Cary said there was nothing to be done;
it was a goner. I thought of all the deer that end up roadkill
and those hunted for sport. Two years ago, a big buck—maybe
this one? panicked by lust and asphalt—crashed through the hedge
on our yard. It was rutting season. Now all that muscled yearning
yields to gravity and vultures. But before the vultures, the coyotes,
then the vultures, then the crows.

Diane K. Martin has been published in Plume, American Poetry Review, Field, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Rhino, River Styx, and many other journals and anthologies. One of her poems won a prize from Smartish Pace, another placed second in Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Competition, and another received a Pushcart Special Mention first collection, Conjugated Visits, was a National Poetry Series finalist and was published by Dream Horse Press. Her second collection, Hue & Cry, debuted in spring 2020 from MadHat Press.