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Diane Dec 2017
It's easy to see why you fell in love with him,
It's easy to see why you hoped you found forever
But you didn't.
And that disappointment felt like a death
and you have been trapped between anger and denial
for four years.
You think you must bury him in order to bury your grief.
And convincing others of this too
has become a game
where you sleep and play
inside your litter box.
Now the feces of hatred and revenge
stick to your feet wherever you go.
You must turn him into a monster
by telling anyone who will listen
that he is haunting you—and you really want this to be true
because that would mean he was still interested in your life.
But when you are alone and still…you remember...
coffee and stories, genuine kindness
and you know, his only crime was breaking your heart.

I understand your heartbreak;
you saw your knight in shining armor,
The answer to your loneliness.
Your pathway out of poverty.
His demeanor is gentle,
his quiet, listening face
hears your words with truth and interest;
every sentence is allowed to live its full life
until you are validated and understood.
He is your biggest fan, a loving caregiver.
Children and animals are drawn to him
like a shepherd or a father or a friend.
We both know he gave 8 years to a child,
a paraplegic who wasn’t even his own.
Bathed him, carried him, wiped drool from his chin
and in between all the doctors, made him laugh.
He offers himself to everyone this way, so

I understand why losing him hurt you so wholly
I know this, because I love him too.
But I think you and I define love very differently;
I wouldn’t want someone whom I had to threaten to make him stay.
I wouldn’t derive my identity from an unspoken contract
or imaginary promises that I insisted he owed me.
I wouldn’t try to destroy another human being
for the sole purpose of hiding my own embarrassment.
You see, love would remember his beautiful soul
and love would sincerely want him to be happy

Even if that meant he found happiness without you.
A kind, self-sacrificing, honest man is being slandered because a woman he dated briefly turns rejection into victimization.
Aug 2016 · 2.3k
To Recognize Faces
Diane Aug 2016
Our temporal lobes have neurons whose sole purpose
Is to recognize faces
You see, humans are meant to be connected
Our bodies should vibrate
From the sounds of emotional resonance
We are meant to be seen,
Really seen, delving deeply into streams of running water
Where our vulnerability makes love with our experience
And this need is so great, that day after day, year after year,
We open our mouths with hope
That our words can share a meaning with someone
But mostly, we are left colliding
Or surviving near misses
Driving through relationship guardrails
Over the edge into desperation  
We are left holed up in separate hospital beds  
Isolated by IV drips of disappointment
Until we tell ourselves that true happiness is a myth
And the word “soulmate” was intended for everyone else
This used to be me
And it used to be you

When I awoke this morning
Remnants of our laughter were singing on your pillow  
There are 86 lashes on your right, upper eye lid
I can almost see them listening to me
Conduits for comprehension
As I speak,
You turn your ear so it can graze my lips
I whisper while I stare at your profile
Blinking, gentle smile lines
And my heart lunges toward yours like a magnet
I have crawled inside your pupils
To be covered with wet, black paint shining
From your spirit outward
Opposite of indifferent
Our faces so close that I can taste you breathing
This strange sensation is the absence of fear
I. See. You.
I have always known you
I can pull the IV out of my arm
Because what keeps me alive,
Is that you know me too
Diane Jul 2016
Dear Diary,
As of today, I am officially a registered Republican
Now before you freak out, let me explain…
It’s finally happened!
I am in love! In love!
I can’t stop thinking about her…her rich auburn hair
Sensuous lips, smooth, silky voice…
She is an ambrosial goddess
Ahhhh just to say her name
Michelle…Michelle…
It’s because of her, I have become a Republican
Michelle has opened my eyes to so many things!
For instance, this country really was founded on Christian values!
Separation of church and state…that’s just crazy talk
Oh, and climate change? Forget about it!
But most importantly, Michelle helped me see that ALL lives matter
Michelle is very involved in her community
Why, just yesterday, we handed out boxes
Full of bootstraps to the poor
I gave my Birkenstocks
To Bernie Sanders…
Michelle says that nothing turns her on more than a man who wears crocs
And I am embarrassed to admit this….
I would only tell you, Diary
But She’s really into **** ***,
Michelle says it’s not ****** if it’s a man and a woman
And with her husband’s gay conversion camps, she would know
Come to think of it,
Nothing is a sin for a Republican
As long as you don’t get caught
So, there you have it, I have abandoned my socialist and Jewish roots
Do I have regrets?
Well, maybe sometimes,  
When Michelle talks about cutting veterans benefits
For a fleeting moment I recall how it felt
To take care of each other and to love people unconditionally
But then I think I sound like ******* flake
Twirling crystals and prisms or some stupid ****
I do like the idea of legalizing marijuana, though
But my change of heart and this whole Donald Trump thing is not my fault,
There are a limited number of seats open on this love train
I mean…
let’s be real, ok? Americans want epic battles and
Dad never smites people anymore,
Whatever happened to a good old fashioned smiting?
The way I see it, as long as Michelle doesn’t figure out that I am not white,
She and I are golden.
Anyway, thanks for listening diary,
I gotta go…Michelle and I are getting matching Jesus fish tattoos
I know, the irony, right?
written for a "dear diary" poetry slam
May 2016 · 830
Psychopath Residue
Diane May 2016
His mouth was a nuclear leak
     (he fried his brain when he was 17)
And I can’t get the burning toxins off my skin
     (and that is as far as he ever grew up)
Some of them have seeped in deeper, I can
     (he’s amused by stick figure animation)
Hear them rupture the seams of my insides
     (and the shuffling photos of his obsessions;)
My brain thankfully, is still intact
     (his car, his clothes, his kids…and me)
Fighting this fight heroically
     (my god, to be one of his children)                                      
Anxiously looking over my shoulder
     (he can’t keep a nanny for very long)
Refuting his demeaning accusations
     (no one stays in his life who is not on payroll)
******* Narcissist
     (but even they all quit eventually)
Still forgiving myself for letting it happen
     (oblivious that his entourage disrespects him)
This antithesis-of-me-toxic-bath
     (he is incapable of giving or deserving trust)
Disdained my beliefs and philosophies
     (he still wishes he had his mullet of 1986)
Demanded my selflessness without return
     (and the older woman he ****** in high school)
Reduced me to dismissible arm candy;
     (immature alcoholic tantrums lie just)
The missing feature of his pride
     (below the surface of every conversation)
And I can’t shake this feeling
     (which speak exclusively of himself and his many impulses)
That I have truly met evil face to face
     (or the stupidity of humanity who serve his whims)
Afraid to realize how narrowly I escaped  
     (his highest dream is to own a personal servant)  
Except for the residue
     (explains his demands clearly and concisely)
Adhering like burned on soap ****
     (believes money and a big **** make him a man)
I feel like he will never, ever really be gone
     (his reptilian brain controls every move)
That he will still try to own me or make me
     (“I don’t want to be an *******, I’m just really good at it”)
Pay for refusing to surrender my soul
     (funny, those words almost make me feel sorry for him)
Diane May 2016
Even though it’s new
the wires of your cage door
still rattle.
Cold inside, you demand
a constant 71 degrees.
Pop and techno
hit me in the face
like that puff of air
at the eye doctor:
                  jarring
distracting
                     slightly painful.

Peculiar keepsakes on display;
like that odd family photo
ridiculously large
lunging its welcome
from the foyer wall.
Your plump daughters wearing ringlets
and uncertain smiles
hang between your
arrogant head.
                                         You.
              Everywhere.
A shrine.

We sit outside with mixed drinks
you talk about your neighbor
the sushi king and how
this neighborhood
means you’ve irrevocably arrived.
Meanwhile, I am bored.
                Terribly

                            terribly
bored.  

You keep talking,
although I was not
finished with that
                          sentence
                  yet.

I am watching your words
drop like dead leaves
you point at them with one hand
and cover my mouth
with the other
But getting drunk,
laid, and rich
are not my super powers.
And I can’t dumb
my vocabulary
down
                        any lower.  
              

I turn to look
at the front door behind us
and nearly choke on the
claustrophobia
in my throat.
It’d be a really great offer
               if I didn’t have a soul.
Water from your lawn
runs down
the cul-de-sac
lined with desolate
         cages.
I escape to the driveway
where my gas gauge
is empty
but my wings?
My wings
              are fully extended.
(revised from an earlier version)
May 2016 · 417
To Know Me all Wrong
Diane May 2016
There is a fine line between enabler and friend,
my bed sheets are always covered with ash.
But this story only works for about a month
after that I’m just repeating myself.
My eulogy said I donated my organs
the day I was born, the day and died and…nothing
so she wouldn’t be ashamed of my wretched life.
But I’ve been feeding flies with embalming fluid for years
we’re all born with a death sentence, baby
I am not the first, and at least I made it interesting.
Hidden among chairs filled with the saved
are the tatted, strung out and pierced people
and three angry women in the front row, boldly
Loud enough to tell my mom it’s her fault
Loud enough to tell homophobes that I was bi-******
Loud enough to tell the church that I think god is *******
That preacher talked faster and over them
but I wanted a scene
because if anyone ******* really cared
they would want to know the truth that
my worth was not singularly seen in my art, and
that deathbed conversion was merely fiction.
Funny how my last hurrah on earth was yours, mom
my life story told by the uncle who
dispenses guilt dissolving pellets
and the born again preacher whom I never even met.
While my true friends raged and cried in their seats
waiting for an invitation that never came.
Was that song part of this big distraction?
Half the heads nodded in approval
but the few clenched their fists and shook,
and I love them for that
and for all the times they had my back.
For the time they tried to get me into re-hab
and the time they pulled my car out of the ditch in the rain.
Thank you for not pretending I was something you wanted me to be
for loving the good beneath my ****** scented brilliance
***-up passed out in the bathroom
crawling into strange beds.
Let that preacher say whatever makes you feel better, mom
with the message that talks about Jesus instead of  me.
There was more oxygen in the needle than in your womb
and we both know one air bubble can spell disaster
so save your breath for someone who doesn’t
hang crosses
around
already hung necklines.
Diane Nov 2015
I am shivering and pinned
against the back of the couch.
Sixty watts of failed
compensation for heat.  

My leg aches
from the lack of circulation
but I can’t move
because you are snoring
with my thigh on your cheek.
and my hair in your mouth.

A pitch black drunken fall
found your terror
between my legs,
sedatives and obsessions.
This ethos defines you.

I remain awake, in exhilaration and discomfiture.

No one knows where I am and
we don’t know who we are. Tall grass and wind, far away.
A dark drive for the taste of nicotine and vanilla.
We both breathe a little faster when our hug lasts too long.

Reminiscing perfume of sulfur and hay,
I long for the revolver
with its pretty and its smoking
and the way you tried to hide
your smile watching me.  

Your hand felt warm,
and your words felt soft
as you tried to explain
why you won’t leave
and I tried to explain why I would.

Fear claimed me when you drove
too close to the shoulder
Stirring your words with serrated fury
that I am everything
you have ever wanted
but you cannot control your viper.

I like you better the first half of the bottle
when gentle and uninhibited
are still together.

Convinced that you need it
in order to touch me
but you don’t, really,
touch me that is
and I don’t

because your strange celibate
allegiance
to the her  
leaves me wondering,
what the hell am I doing here?

Persons within you, sane and not
debate aloud;
panic or deliverance?

Desperately pleading
for my comfort
but you won’t look into my eyes
when I hold you.

Yes, you said all those things out loud,
including the two times
you murmured that you love me

The admission I have craved
still, you stayed behind
because recurring paranoia
broken arms and mended promises
are your everyday life.
Nov 2015 · 1.1k
Hurricane Borealis
Diane Nov 2015
Attachments have beckoning powers
Louder in a whisper than the memory of my words
They’ll exchange sleepy smiles in the morning light  
     Who am I to believe I can step into history
     Flutter my wings and change the outcome?
Diane Nov 2015
i am crawling back under the covers
shivering from this injection of reality
the light feels as cold as the air
just close your eyes
make yourself forget
my bones are rubbing against each other
i am sure that something is breaking
Diane Oct 2015
i stood too close to the edge of the portal
silently ******* me into
it
surrounded by ghosts
so much singing a dizzying high
perspective grumbled and wrung me out
saying that dish is not clean
because you did not rinse it before
putting it in the dishwasher
what the hell did you eat anyway?
essence of absorption and deception
i dipped them in truth until they tasted sweet
honey unto my lips
all i could think about was the honey
the ******* desire to be slathered in honey
licking it off my own body
and his
while the wind tickles the fine hairs
inside my ears
can you hear the sound of self
disclosure?
forgetting anything other than captivating madness
that has not happened yet
there are still people around, I know because I
see them, barely
Oct 2015 · 390
The Stories You Didn't Tell
Diane Oct 2015
You can tell me that you love her
and you thought you saw the
soulmate of your youth
while driving around
listening to break up songs
You can tell me that you did not
expect us to feel a telepathic
“i feel the same way”
“how the hell did you know?”
magnetic force of synchronized
brain waves and ferocious fondness

okay, those were my words...

You can tell me you just want
to be friends because you have
known her forever
but what is “knowing?”
subdued by candlelight and a
fourth glass of water, i am
tempted to be discouraged but
the truth is

i don’t believe you.
Diane Oct 2015
Tonight,
the full moon was not allowed to delight me
despite my charming and persistent coaxing
she remained quiet behind the clouds
and my wine dripped slowly
on the outside
of its glass
Oct 2015 · 446
This is for some kind of me
Diane Oct 2015
hiding inside a locked gun cabinet
was the voice I hear
when I talk to myself
I could sip a writer's heart
his aromatic words pouring
corkscrew lies next to knives
keys, pens and dollar bills
guardless bold timid steps.

contact.

my breathing increases
to catch up with my heart
the way of not aloneness
in soulspeak
walking me home  
aurora borealis
or is it a normal human being.
Aug 2015 · 935
Some Pick-up Lines
Diane Aug 2015
I suggest you donate the leftovers that
Have spilled on the floor
Where all those names you dropped
Tried to feed your ego.
The people you have met are not you
Their accomplishments are not yours
Any more than I give a **** what kind of
Car you drive
Do you think your status gets me wet?
You should think twice about
Signing your name because
You don’t even know who the hell you are
Diane Aug 2015
Oh heat of summer
Satisfy me
I welcome the sweat on my ******* and stomach
Warm and winding currents of air
Hold that thought and attend to my eyes
Spirits speak here
Surrounding we two
This is where they sell the things
That touch my god
Aug 2015 · 1.2k
Transferred from my Alias
Diane Aug 2015
I was unprepared for your lack of self-awareness
and the way you approach life like a
kid running the wrong way with the ball.
Sometimes I feel like your mother
sending you to your room so you can tantrum.
Other times I feel like your daughter
when you lay out my shoes as if I can’t get them myself.
Talking to you is throwing rocks at a land mine;
There is a difference between creativity and indecision.
There is a difference between sensitivity and overreacting.
You have to find who you are, and stop lifting so many lids.
Your anxious energy is clinging to my calm like a parasite
Eventually, you need to find a calm of your own
take your spinning outside inward, where things are still.
I want to help you
and I want to escape,
because rarely do I feel like your lover
partly because I don’t want to anymore.
I don’t want your touch, I don’t want your kiss
your hands are vexatious, please just let me sleep!
I don’t want to gag and choke on your tongue.
Just rest for a while,
so I can figure out how to do this.
Jul 2015 · 544
It Will Take Some Bravery
Diane Jul 2015
Love is supposed to set you free
I know this
Intellectually, I know
Chasing love stories and songs
Into blissful eternity
Crawling through the rabbit hole
Of my lover’s pale eyes
Puffy eyelids close down
Trapping me in
The moisture of tears
and bulging blood veins
Searching for exits in
Corpus callosum
These thoughts, those words, that smell
Don’t work
Neither does complaining
About who I should be
Generous anger poured over ice
Laughter covers the sound
Of eggshells crunching  
Make it through one more night
On the edge of the bed
Diane Jul 2015
I had forgotten
how sincerely
hard I tried

to make it feel true

Complete passion exists
in the poems I kept hidden
Jul 2015 · 383
Yes, This is Real
Diane Jul 2015
I have three clocks on three different walls
They tick in alternating rhythms
Unified, yet...not
Occasional cars in the distance
My old cat’s tiny snores
My floor boards creak even when I walk on tip toes
This space is as alive as my silhouette in the window
As my stomach rising to yoga breaths
As the stiffness in my neck distracting my comfort
Each sensation is peace nestled in my ribs
My body is held together by the pressure of air
I know the stuff of stars are within my veins
And are watching me through the branches
Over the rooftops
Into my window
Becoming my clothes
Growth and life await my free form
In this instant I emerge, and have been
Still, even wearing armor
Wisdom is not the same thing as protection
Return, return to the foundation of me
The songbirds sing every morning
Mar 2015 · 781
Alrescha
Diane Mar 2015
the stars you swallowed
have turned into
a brain full of people
and own the sky
harmonious jealously  
ardent decrescent  
half -held constellation
Nov 2014 · 1.5k
The Park By The Bus Station
Diane Nov 2014
Red lights hit her face
Like a slap from
A cold hand
Mocking  
Silent
Unrushed
Two drunk teens
Dying from
A prom night
Car crash
Tragedy according to the news
Because they were honor students
In love
College bound
But tonight, this scene
Of street lovers
College drop outs
Killing themselves with needles
Is just another
Trash-pick-up-by-ambulance
Not newsworthy without
A garbage strike
She was the only one who knew
About the ****
That taught him
To value ******
More than himself
Uncle Frank
Was everyone’s favorite
Started failing classes
A solid shame –
Couldn’t go back home now
They talked late at night
About the government
Guess they won’t get their
Student loan money back
She wore his coat
While he shivered
Her poetry made him weep
She wrote it with a sharpie
On the sides of buses
Hoping someone
Would read it on their way
To real life
And hear how some people
Sleeping on the street
Are philosophers and dreamers
And love one another
The ambulance driver
Would not let her inside
She thought about cutting herself
So they’d have to take her
They just shut their doors
And drove away
Red lights
Absent
Her prom night car
Crashed
Without a sound
Oct 2014 · 506
An Understanding Between Us
Diane Oct 2014
we both like to go
where we last felt the sun
because eventually, it will return
Oct 2014 · 616
Contentment Non
Diane Oct 2014
The hobby is distraction itself
Aligning physical space with
Awareness
Four inches closer to
Goal number three
When the walking stops
Does it all become dull?
Even then would I construct
Another reason, if
There they were
The prints of your beautiful feet
Diane Sep 2014
The jungle of green betwixt our houses
Pulse with crickets lush with lullabies
I lie awake wondering why I lie awake
The gravel in my eyes beg for dreaming
At my feet, the body of my feline
Warm and purring, weighty
In this light my mind sails to places
Of dark skies
Those with blackness so heavy
You cannot feel your equilibrium
I hear thundering waves licking the skyline
Bold stars lunging towards me
The only hope that I will not be swallowed whole
I have hands to pull plastic bags off faces
That didn't even know they were there
I am convinced that my cat is bilingual
Recurring existentialism
Gives me reasons to awaken
Jul 2014 · 1.4k
Number 642
Diane Jul 2014
not every poem is about beauty
too caught we are in the moment to write about it
that is what makes it beautiful
pain clings long beyond instants
prolongs and window reflections
engulfing our bones
masticating our stomachs
from slow drip bile coffeemakers in our chest
the line from that one song starts the burning
and the eyes of a stranger flavored with reminders
i wish i could tell him i finally got to ____
my blood is chunked with tomato slices
acidic clots and stagnant passions
float me in melancholy perplexities
a minute of oddity where emotions
are unidentifiable
Jun 2014 · 775
Mangled
Diane Jun 2014
my voice has no freedom
thoughts rammed down
a lion's throat, my
roars rattle like a spoon
in the garbage disposal
Apr 2014 · 1.1k
Contained
Diane Apr 2014
In the transition between water and ice
I spoke my words inside an air pocket
and let it freeze over
Diane Apr 2014
Glistening coffee eyes deeply
peering through mounds of rich, bearded head
disarmingly kind, evoking trust
the look of a sorrowful past, he
graciously smiled and unhurriedly spoke
taken aback, taking me seriously
“No one has ever asked for that song
it has never been recorded
I am surprised you even know it.”
For a few seconds we looked, but said nothing
for this moment felt somehow large
maybe they could play it the next time in town
a song of his brother’s fight to stay alive
we could not have known that in  
the months to follow,
“cures” would shear the head
of this Lamb too
and I would send his own words
back to him for courage:
“Pay no mind to the vultures
and the vultures will fly off again”
I wonder, if, upon hearing the news
he recalled this exchange at a bar in MN
and it gave him chills like it did to me
I learned today that Dave has passed away...the intense communion that he and has band mate and lover shared was of such beauty and inspiration, I cannot imagine her loss right now. There was something extraordinary about him. I am hit with heavy sadness, I knew something was wrong that day.....so sad.

The bearded head and song lyrics belong to David Lamb of Brown Bird, who has been fighting Leukemia for nearly a year.  This is the song: http://www.npr.org/event/music/160606867/brown-bird-folks-tattooed-troubadours
Apr 2014 · 754
The Human Condition
Diane Apr 2014
you are waiting
waiting
waiting
suited up in your spirit of self-loathing,
eating a full helping of anxiety every day for lunch
mucking your ears with the wax of negative self-voice
making it hard to hear the whisper in stillness
as for me, I will live
live
live
even on those days when you can’t come along
I won’t wait for spring and every dream I’ve ever had
to happen before my heart can be light
before I can sing and exude sunshine
and if my warmth can open your tightly
closed bud, I will shine until we bring forth color
this exact moment will never happen again
our closets could be filled with maps
books and autographed vinyls
but if you put a picture in a ziplock bag
remember
the life in that bag already ran out of air
whether waiting for tomorrow or wishing for to-day
the only heart that’s beating strong is right now
Mar 2014 · 523
Of Love Spiritual Making
Diane Mar 2014
you have formed me
into ribbons of notes
sound waves flowing
more gracefully than liquid
becoming so large
i have swallowed myself
and nothing is left
of me,
but feeling
metaphysical transformation
emerging to float
levitation so light,
it transcends the weight of air
symbiosis, in hunger
and purity
set free
ambient auras transfiguring
our ephemeral realm,
cupped in its palm
reflections in the window
show not our clinging bodies,
for you and i have become vapors
translucent existence
taken over by our spirits
this, my love
is what i have been waiting for
Diane Mar 2014
A picture dangling from a tree branch
balancing me on the arm of a chair
I wince and want to look away
but sometimes force myself to see
a simple philosopher of gentle lifestyle
imploring, beseeching, under Broca’s collapse
can't you read the words in my eyes?
wait! please wait, for me to say it!
unceasing enlightenment worth telling
finally, he starts to cry, but he is smiling
and holding me, and he still smells like him
I read “Things I Learned From My Dad”
which is everything that has made me human
expected the whole world to think his way,
but it doesn’t, and he can’t talk anymore
#5, “bonds are built through conversation”
only, we speak with hugs and tears now
my arm around him, I read slowly, he nods
but does he understand? Explanations are
swirling dust in sunlight, silent fog attacks
my voice, why have I been gone so long?
I still look away from this picture, though I  
cherish its everlasting, like every word
he has ever spoken, and the sound of his
infectious laughter
Mar 2014 · 681
I Awake, Young and Old
Diane Mar 2014
I would not trade one year of my life.
Not those requiring great caverns of energy
simply to rise and meet the day
nor those from which pain has burrowed
deeply in the delicate fiber of my psyche.
For every decision by me and others, each
grouping of words that have passed between mouths
every face that has touched or met my gaze
have left tiny autographs for me to read and interpret.
And I like who I have become,
observation, trial, success and error
all training my intuition,
I see her and trust her with implicit acceptance!
Guided by glory alive in sun and soil
knowing thyself is my greatest feat
I create my own creed with which to live by
a truth that is mine, and mine alone
no one can steal it, but contribute quietly
my teachers come in many forms
surrounding me in ways only I can understand
For I will live true to my genuine self!
recognize my gifts and use them for good
have intimate, meaningful and loving relationships
value human beings and bestow demonstration
learn always, my mind remained open
develop my character with un-tethered honesty
impact humanity in positive ways
embracing the present, in fullness and experience
because there is beauty every way we turn.
That I am alive in this moment is greatness
and wisdom begins with this realization.

“Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.”  --Walt Whitman
Mar 2014 · 664
Meow
Diane Mar 2014
Two cats were we, tangled together in the sunlight
drowsing in awareness of peace
and its war rising, with the proximity of our bodies
Mar 2014 · 896
Apartment # 123
Diane Mar 2014
Her face wears anger, daring you
to look into her eyes and offer “hello”
the only things left to lift her to standing
are guilt and tears held in place daily
by repeated phone calls to her children

Neighbors are uncertain what to say
everything changed when her husband died
tinnitus of lonely continually ring
guilty for feeling angry that he left her
she always drinks alone now

I brought her some dinner on cafeteria china
unbreaded fish that she wanted for lent
She thinks people are laughing at her.
her eyes are brown and mostly terrified
crying out for someone to see her

Standing there, in her soft, white sweater
head drenched in tears and apologies
anger exchanged for compassion
I hugged her tightly for a good long time
so she would know that I meant it
Diane Feb 2014
Wading through the mire and sinkholes of contingencies
I move gingerly, quietly, gasps merely whispered
upholding propriety and pragmatics of
housing association bylaws
enough to make me consider mowing my own lawn
but humans are human, co-exist as they say
And although I detest your husband's cigarettes
I am quite sure blowing smoke back
down the air vent would not be as effective
as your decibel oblivious obnoxious self, imitating my lustful voice
I am a reasonable woman, truly a lady, preferring mature consultation
But the fact is, honey, if you imitate me again
when summer air re-invents lingerie season
the two of you might want to go outside for that smoke
because you haven’t heard anything yet
Diane Feb 2014
He told me that his father had been murdered
I picked the wine with the purple bird
and a beak shaped like a cork *****
ran into an old boyfriend at the liquor store
because life can be random with our emotions
his beard was already taking shape
one year of mourning marked by his son
it felt like a social gathering, looking out of
my window, how I had the best view in town
then, how the hospital below was excruciating
how his shirt had been covered in his father's blood
how he had not been able to talk to anyone
because he needed to be strong for them
how Dad had tried to bargain with his killer
and that image was giving him nightmares
he just wanted everything to feel normal again
a friend and neighbor
one glass of red
shoveling dirt until the casket was covered
his buddies were waiting at some guy's apartment
a helplessly sad hug goodbye
he smelled like Aveda, although I didn't mention it
how humans can walk and talk while dreaming nightmares
subliminal messages between the living and the dead
Feb 2014 · 451
Kindreds
Diane Feb 2014
The sun was shining and I was free and warm,
chasing little yellow butterflies
alongside the garden where my mother was working,
a source of food for our family
along with factory pay and Saturday night band gigs
with bare feet and lilacs I rose above it,
watching myself, a small child caught up in her world,
thoughts and music floating with purpose
uninterrupted wondering if there was another
version of me doing the exact same thing
at that exact same moment,
in China, in India, in Africa,
although I did not know the names of such places,
I knew the pictures of dark skin and brightly colored
clothing, from the Encyclopedia Britannica's
prominently positioned in the
bookshelf, center of our living room
and it seemed that I could feel the other “me’s”
that we knew each other and spoke via the
sound tunnels created by earth worms
and the encyclopedia girls seemed happy too,
simply to be alive, dancing to their songs  
yet there seemed to me another, quasi Diane,
this one not so different, nor so far away,
but she was beyond my grasp, and unable to hear me,
and I felt a vivid, deep longing for her,
eventually, after minutes of chasing, the butterflies
could no longer be found, remembering reality
I was sad for a moment, but I imagined that
one must have fluttered off
to that other little girl
through the hole in the air that I could not see
and I smiled, hoping she would be able to catch it.
It occurred to me only after writing and then reading this poem, that this experience occurred (around age 5), before some childhood trauma and it reads back to me that I had sent a yellow butterfly to my future self as a reminder of innocence and happiness. This is both chilling and comforting.
Feb 2014 · 453
Prophetic Utterances
Diane Feb 2014
Glistening coffee eyes deeply
peering through mounds of rich, bearded head
disarmingly kind, evoking trust
the look of a sorrowful past, he
graciously smiled and unhurriedly spoke
taken aback, taking me seriously
“No one has ever asked for that song
it has never been recorded
I am surprised you even know it.”
For a few seconds we looked, but said nothing
for this moment felt somehow large
maybe they could play it the next time in town
a song of his brother’s fight to stay alive
we could not have known that in  
the months to follow,
“cures” would shear the head
of this Lamb too
and I would send his own words
back to him for courage:
“Pay no mind to the vultures
and the vultures will fly off again”
I wonder, if, upon hearing the news
he recalled this exchange at a bar in MN
and it gave him chills like it did to me
The bearded head and song lyrics belong to David Lamb of Brown Bird, who has been fighting Leukemia for nearly a year.  This is the song: http://www.npr.org/event/music/160606867/brown-bird-folks-tattooed-troubadours

Update 4-1-14 David has been intubated, put on a ventilator and began dialysis. He has been stable since then, but remains in critical condition.  :(
Feb 2014 · 990
The Sun Is Shining For Her
Diane Feb 2014
I told the man
from the cremation society
yes, you can use the front door
Miss Mary was a lady
and a lady does not
slink out the back
as if dying were
something of shame
Feb 2014 · 1.2k
Rehearsal Space
Diane Feb 2014
Resting on a stack of
original vinyl’s
a cowboy hat of black felt
the dresser was blonde with gold handles
a collection common in the 1960’s
a small turn table, red handkerchiefs
harmonica, guitar picks and cigarette papers
a diorama of his life
as kids, we would pull out the blue song folder
and sing Your Cheatin’ Heart
into an empty microphone stand
the aroma of rosin and pipe tobacco
guitar cases and Fender amps we dare not touch
when the babysitter’s boyfriend, one night
played Hey Good Lookin’ on the record player
I shot after him like a bear cub
my heart racing in my throat
saying I’m going to tell my Daddy!
a picture I drew found its place by
his fiddle, the one that
sits in my closet today, someday,
I will learn to play Lovesick Blues
because every time I hear that song
my dad is wearing his hat
tapping his feet
and singing like ol’ Hank Williams
Feb 2014 · 869
Remains of Scent
Diane Feb 2014
I am the mistress of time
sneaking away
to our meeting places
urgently luring calm
inconsiderate of responsibility
burning our fragrances
on each other's flesh
leaving something
to taste until
our next rendezvous
Diane Feb 2014
Question marks
tucked safely in their beds
this dancing in my eardrums
is disconcerting
collapsed into a light socket
smallness becomes smaller
vitality shrunk to a keychain pendant
time leaves track marks on my body
doors crack open,
watching me think
(please, turn off the light)
laborious trains of thought
off their tracks
shrink wrap over my nose and mouth
if I knew why
I would tell you
Feb 2014 · 669
Color My Melody
Diane Feb 2014
Some love can never
be destroyed
its color clings
to the backdrop
of our hearts
notes of its song
beneath a layer of paint
Diane Feb 2014
My aunt Ruth wore red hair
a deep smokers voice
and matte lipstick.
She would implore me
for a hug
at frequent family gatherings
where the women were loud
so I stayed with my dad.
One day, the women coerced me
to embrace, by scolding me
for being rude.
My young brain could not connect
my fear with her voice,
but Ruth knew. She also
knew she was dying;
you don’t say “lung cancer”
in front of the children.
If it weren’t for the voice,
I think I would have liked her  
because most people in my life
told me to go away.
A tale of two people desperately needing to know that their lives mattered.
Diane Feb 2014
Sunday morning
Light, warm and golden
One glass of wine, and Tori
Removing much more than clothing
Inhibitions, self consciousness
Falling to the floor
Dressed in empowerment  
The strength of woman
Long time family friend
Memorize my totality
Enshrouded in flesh
One morning, in May
Feb 2014 · 591
Of Heat and Sundresses
Diane Feb 2014
There are streets and alleys
downtown Minneapolis
where force of wind
refuse me another step
lascivious, storming breezes hot,
syrupy, and summer-like,
plastered dress against bare thighs
gods of sun and moon
insist
their weight upon my body
and make love
wildly
throughout my soul
Diane Jan 2014
From whence this identity comes
Malts, hops, father’s approval  
What he holds in his arms
Is of no surprise
‘Just missing’ each other
Not likely coincidental
Star couplings, mishap earthlings
Persons never to be known
Crossed streets to  
Strange neighborhoods
Lawn games… how odd
In quiet hours on the highway
Gripping, understood, elusive and all wrong
Remembering, but more forgotten
Ring passed over luminescent waters
Love, not enigmatically magical
Autumn hues in baby fine hair
Righting the nightmares
Nothing mattered more than this.
Diane Jan 2014
An earnest, sad face standing before me
guitar in hand, at last
I hear the words of a song
written one year before, but never sung
whose score on pages had been let go
to be caught up in the wind
and played almost imperceptibly
in the rustling and swooning of tree tops
Had he said these words to me
I would have known
I would not have been buried
beneath a doubt so heavy
that I was unable to sit upright
fears and insecurities sowing seeds of destruction
aware that all our laughs and smiles
were nervously reaching, like wandering vines
grasping for a place to climb and grow
Leaving meant his feelings could not bind him
so music and lyrics were given
although he burst into tears
and could not finish its entirety
lips tremors speaking “this is not goodbye”
But I knew it was
and I was stunned. Paralyzed. In disbelief
standing barefoot in my driveway
watching his sobbing face through the windshield
without enough sorrow to make him stay
I honestly thought he could not go without me
But I was wrong, I was left
numb, a walking zombie
hearing myself speak
feeling my face smile
moving about as if I were still alive
through the changing of seasons, workdays and holidays
until gradually I belonged to my body again
For years, this remembrance hemorrhaged
with tears from a cancer ridden heart
But now I exist  
on the other side
This was another of Nat's assignments!
Diane Jan 2014
Piercing my belly button
before I passed out,
a tattoo artist told me
that piercings are ******
I am reminded of this
in my surprising discovery
that pricking one’s own finger
is also ******,
in a slightly demented,
***** sort of way
Diane Jan 2014
he is the common denominator
between this circle of friends
who reveal absurd ideas
offer unspoken loyalty and
place secrets in one another's vaults
his NY apartment stands tall at HP
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