Lament for Mariupol. a poem by Jack J. B. Hutchens

Jack Hutchins

Lament for Mariupol

It is impossible to get lost in flattened ruins
as grainy char will always point you towards hell,
and tall buildings wavering in the hazy Slavic evening 
no longer obstruct violent red horizons.

This long-forgotten place, squeezed between the wide 
European plain and the cold deep of the Azov Sea,
is now the stuff of hagiographies recorded on dry
bits of ancient, stained paper falling apart at the seams.

Even the saints regard this jagged martyrdom with awe,
stunned by the brutal pain of concrete brick draping bodies, 
their own amateurish suffering a pale analogue soft and dim 
against the bright souls of victims shining in afternoon dust. 

The rain brings nothing new, falling in heavy gray drops that flood open mouths,
while ash and bone drain into the encroaching sea along with the dreams of the dead.

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Jack J. B. Hutchens is a lecturer of Polish literature and culture at Loyola University Chicago. His academic work has appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture¸ The Toronto Slavic Quarterly, and Canadian Slavonic Papers. He is the author of a monograph, Queer Transgressions in Twentieth-Century Polish Fiction. His creative work has appeared in The Bangalore Review, Flint Hills Review, Aurora, Sobotka, and others. He has authored a chapbook of poetry entitled There/Here: Poems of Journey and Home. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife Amanda and their daughter Harriet.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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