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MLC

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New Irish Voices
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Liberty Walks Naked
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Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

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ELLEN SAZZMAN

 

 

 

Ellen Sazzman photoEllen Sazzman is a mother, grandmother, and retired lawyer living in the Washington, D.C. area. Her poetry has recently appeared in Miramar, District Lines, Intima, Moment, Comstock Review, Beltway Quarterly, Common Ground, and CALYX, among others. She was the first place awardee in Poetica’s 2016 Rosenberg competition, a 2016 Moving Words winner, a 2012 Northern Virginia Review outstanding poetry awardee, and a 2012 Pushcart nominee for Bloodroot magazine.

 

 

 

Klimt’s First Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (1907) Neue Galerie, New York City

 

Once upon a gold-leafed tapestry

she poses:

 

The glow of iris’ amber dispels shadows from her face, a black coif

halos her head.

 

She is corseted in a gown of gilded fabric banded with triangles

and the Egyptian god-eye.

 

Our Byzantine Madonna – yet her web of hands clasp not in prayer

but to hide a deformed finger.

 

Her coiled arms carry ghosts, an infant son, two embryos,

their deliverance untimely.

 

A gem-encrusted choker cinches her hinge of neck, tightened

by the husband twice her age, a marriage arranged.

 

Full blown, her rose mouth speaking:

we can only guess.

 

Stripped of a Jew name, spit-shined to a gloss – anonymous

woman in gold displayed by the Third Reich

 

until reclaimed, now rehung among new masters. From a chaise

of filigree, she watches us

 

watching her,

the seducers,

 

voyeurs, vandals – our eyes imbibe her potent luminosity

as we partake in the spoils of mastery.

 

 

©2018 Ellen Sazzman

 

 

Author Links

 

"Tea in the Late Afternoon"

"Plumbing"

"Pumping Gas 1956"

 

 

 

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