You can hear Dianne read eight of her poems on the Cuyahoga County Public Library's "Writers Reading" Podcast series HERE. Many thanks to Laurie Kincer for her excellent recording skills and for giving Dianne the opportunity to participate in the Podcast series.


Ice Cubes

Friends are ice cubes in the cocktail of life.
We chill together, tinkle and clink our way

out of the shaker and into the glass, mix
with sass and effervescence, irreverence

and unabashed joy; we entertain one long-
pour, united in spirit, no matter the garnish.

Crush us, we stay frosty; swizzle-stir us, we
go with the flow. We get juicy; we get saucy--

we get what it means to melt together as
we age, diluting the bad times, enhancing

the good times, just enough bump and
tumble to let them know we were here.

Friends are ice cubes in the cocktail of life.
This is our celebration. This is our Happy Hour.

--Dianne Borsenik, 02/02/2020


Sitting Next to Paul McCartney in Bomba’s
One Week After the Autumnal Equinox

It’s only been one week since the autumnal equinox,
but the weather has turned chilly enough for jackets.
We’ve just enjoyed a clambake, and I’m thirsty for
an adult beverage. We head to Bomba Tacos and Rum,
where I discover they carry Blackstrap and order a
Painkiller. It’s dreary outside, beginning to rain,

and in walks Paul McCartney. Not the seventy-six
year old Paul McCartney, not the Egypt Station Sir
Paul McCartney, but the scruffy one from 1960, the one
who played skiffle in the German clubs. His hair is long
and shaggy, he’s wearing jeans, and he has a bit of a beard
starting. He sits down on the barstool two seats from me

and orders a beer…a Budweiser, of all things. I sneak
another sidelong look. Yep, it’s him, right here in Cleveland,
all time-traveled and now. He’s heavier in real life than in
photos I’ve seen. But there’s the chin, and the eyes.
He looks weary, though, a little like he might have
an idea what’s coming down the line, along with all

the success. The band’s breakup, Lennon’s death, and
Harrison’s, those are big ones, sure, and the devastation
of Linda’s disease. Good years there, and gone too soon.
But I think I can see other things in his face: maybe it’s
future’s ever-uncertainty: global climate change,
the incivility of politics, a new kind of polio, the everyday
waking to a world blown backward by gales of ignorance.

God knows, it’s hard to walk against that kind of wind.                                                                                                                                                                                                              


Fall Out

As summer slowly fizzles, autumn’s showy waltz
begins its all too brief and duplicitous sway.
Cleveland knows its time is short. Polar vortex
dominates the horizon, a season where wheelbarrow
evolves into snowplow, walking becomes improv.
Forget bare feet and flip-flops; hello, flu.

Goodbyes loom, so this last dance is bittersweet;

hearts grow heavy as a steamy solar romance fades.
Ice and snow will tyrannize for months. Cross-over,
jalopy, sedan, tuner, truck, might as well be umiaq
kiting the Northern waterways. But before leaf-crisp
launches into crust-crunch, fall twirls, pianissimo,
moving across the floor of Ohio, away from the sun.



—after “Hampuy” by Catherine Joslyn
(“Come back to the place where you always belonged”)

where the moon spirals out of control
across a sky smitten with the eyes of time
where leaves mask the intentions of trees
where the serpents transubstantiate
into streamers of celebration
where shadows distill patterns
from the design between breaths
where horizons spill secrets
where your hair brushes my chest
where your hands perform a conjuring
where old walls dissolve into themselves
nothing more than strata of color
where you return, at last, to yourself
come back with me to this place
where you’ve always belonged



—Thursday, October 23, 2014

the eclipse
it slipped
a disc
the sky
and dis-
a solar
will o’
the wisp


Spring Fever

Above,absinthe-chartreuse vernal fuzz,
below,blanket bed of mossy fecundity.
Carried on the breeze, celestial scent of sex
driving biodiversity to deliver the goods, how-
ever or whatever it takes, planned or improv,
farm-fresh or citified. Shy fumblings, amour fou,
guilty pleasures, the casual lay, all called to riot
here in these months of tillage and seeds,

in this season that welcomes the return of solar
juju. Earth, dropping her robes, opens the suq,
kisses her patrons on both cheeks. Come, shop
love in this
moment, she says, and her heart's tattoo
mines the night with little torpedoes of passion.



Scientists have discovered a geometric object
at the heart of quantum physics that questions
time and space as components of reality.

What is time, but an amber jewel
at the heart of a lonesome moon,

and what is space, but a hand
that anchors the moon in its place?

Scientists have no word for the color
of orgasm, or for the look of birds

arranged like musical notes on wires.
They have no memory of luminous

mysteries, only answers
to questions about reality

that I'd never thought to ask.


When You Read the Poems of the Dead

When you read the poems of the dead,

don’t call us dead, commemorated, worth
having, a responsibility, the hardcover collection,
a selection of ghosts, an appropriate prayer–

when you read the poems of the dead,

find the process necessary, remember, marvel
at the staggering array; we are just away, the latest
fascination, crossing the boundary between—

When you read the poems of the dead,

call us powerful, meaningful, what we are
to each other, inaugural, living, a radical art form,
the perfect distillation, a special breathtaking.


Sometimes, Ordinary

Sometimes, ordinary
isn't near enough.
Sometimes, you need
a breath of whimsy,
a brush of the macabre,
to make you feel alive.
Sometimes, you need
to pluck out your glass eye,

roll it around on the table,
get it pinstriped by Von Hot Rod
just for the hell of it,
just because you can,
just because it's there.


make incense from the flowers
dance naked in the light
weave a blanket
fringed with stars
to cover you at night
breathe kisses to the morning
braid songs into your hair
blow wishes
on the feathered spores
that surf the curls of air
and if a storm should hurt you
pour honey on the pain
chase the clouds
and catch them
then laugh
and drink the rain

sit you down
on my laptop, baby
make love to my
fondle my mouse
with your slim fingers
make my internet cry
"oh, lord!"

plug me into your
USB hub
juice me up with
your anti-spy
come, applicate me
Facebook and make me
scream! when
the cybersparks fly

then link to me
with your hard drive,
baby, fill my inbox
with spurts of spam
IM me, befriend me
CD-rom, ram and
send me
with kicks
from your naughty

then download

Into my android, baby
lick and remix me
make my pixel
count climb
you know you
excite me
when you
megabyte me
so, Google me



She spent too many decades defined by edges-
now, she's taking a metaphorical bath, soaking,
melting away the corners, feeling all fuzzy
and edgeless.  She imagines losing the edges
in her life is a lot like going braless: 
there's that dizzying snap of freedom, gravity
tugging at the sudden softness, the tingle
of unexpected stimuli, the shift in physical

awareness.  There's the feeling of breaking
with what's expected of her, breaking habits,

the exhilaration of defying convention,
embracing  informality, thumbing her nose

at the status quo.  No more edges!  She's done
with angles, borders, bulwarks.

From now on, she'll be all curves and arches,
graceful loops, swooping curls, calligraphy.


Developing a Refined Palate

Developing a refined palate isn’t as
Easy as it sounds. Many of us are
Victims of our upbringing, forced to
Eat plain veggies-meat-and-potatoes all our childhood
Lives. We grew up and never stepped out and
Over the cultural/socioeconomic lines; we constructed
Prisons for our taste buds. I want to break out,
I want to introduce myself to some
New and exciting culinary delicacies,
Go where no palate has gone before!
Along these lines, I’ve instituted an expansion of my
Restaurant choices, knowing that
Education wins over inexperience. I know what

Fromager and sommelier are now;
I have experienced
crème brulée and salade
içoise, steak au poivre et ses pommes frites,
Elixir avec jasmine sorbet, confit
De canard avec ses champignons sauvages au risotto,  

Parisian Mule and Maple Vieux cocktails.
All I need to continue my dedicated pursuit, my
Labor of love, my gastronomic quest into the pleasures
And piquancy of palate, is one little thing. I need
The refined money to be able to continue to
Eat in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed.


1 comment:

  1. your words always resonate beautifully dianne. perfect!