Diane Wakoski was born in Whittier, California, in 1937. She has published more than forty collections of poems, including the four books,Argonaut Rose (1998), The Emerald City of Las Vegas (1995), Jason the Sailor (1993), and Medea the Sorceress (1991) that constitute her series,The Archaeology of Movies and Books, all published by Black Sparrow Press. Other notable titles include Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987 (1988), which won the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award and The Collected Greed, Parts 1-13 (1984).
The Diamond Dog, Diane Wakoski's 19th collection, calls into being a world where the scientific and the mytho-poetic interact and combine. Here, in her first collection of entirely new work since Argonaut Rose (1998), planets move in the perturbed ellipses of warped, Einsteinian space. Yet too, in the realm of the Diamond Dog, stars still turn in their Ptolemaic spheres. Here, the air can be Linden green, Lorca green, and the stem of a carnation can be the line on an astronomer's spectrograph, the signature of oxygen in some distant star.
A boy in some Dickens school
tipped his inkwell
and poured out a continent
of black sail, lines flapping as
a map crackled
in her luggage. Thrust and parry.
a bud, a parachute,
the crystal still packed into point,
the miniature ship,
lines collapsed, before
it's in the bottle.
a trip to the Azores,
the carnation she found while walking
her dog on the lake,
its stem a green line of oxygen,
the dog's leash a Red Giant,
the fog off the lake that rendered thoughts
none of this relevant to the lost pilot or
the girl visited—
on the beach by Amelia Earhart,
whose navigator went down with her,
but of whom we never speak.
My Diamond Dog, never
on a leash, it's always
is visibly tethered to her,
the Martian line glowing on a foggy beach.