"There Is No San Lenín" by Chip Livingston

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November 10, 2022 
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There Is No San Lenín

Chip Livingston

i know there’s no blue prince
like the beast of the apocalypse removed

separated by mountain chains      lenín
is my revolution*      my destination

into the clouds     of his name
an all-ism forcing me into exile

lenín is thirst and craving
is the human man made true

        /\         /\         /\         /\

and what fat chance this
cumulus sundry sums a bold thing lofty

enough to break regimen      situated 
in the garden of theoretical significance

the gocho is wearing an unusual hat
el timotocuica is bright and shy

*because of his revolutionary activities
lenín is exempt from sainthood

Copyright © 2022 by Chip Livingston. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 10, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“‘There Is No San Lenín’ completes a series of poems I wrote, Saints of the Republic, combining the researched biographies of various saints with the lives of real or imagined lovers—in this case a real one, a guapo Gocho/Timotocuica from the Andes of what is now Venezuela.”
Chip Livingston

Chip Livingston

Chip Livingston is a mixed-blood Creek poet and the author of Saints of the Republic, forthcoming in 2023 from Spuyten Duyvil. A mentor in the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he lives in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Saints of the Republic
Saints of the Republic
(Spuyten Duyvil, 2023)

“Mira pushes aside the mountain you are climbing” by Purvi Shah
read more
“A Reading from the Book of Exile” by Pádraig Ó Tuama
read more

Thanks to Jake Skeets, author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed, 2019), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Read or listen to a Q&A about Skeets’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
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