I Was Diane DiPrima in Another Life by Susan Cossette

I Was Diane DiPrima in Another Life

I was one of the boys.
I dropped acid with Timothy Leary.
Ginsberg hit me up for weed,
Kerouac for wine and typing paper.

I sewed stars in my hair,
spoke golden truths from other planets.
Buddhist monks chanted my poems like sacred wisdom.

I wanted every electric experience,
the eternal wisdom of peyote and Shiva,
my words to churn and blaze.
Goddess of destruction, purveyor of mercy.

I am really a middle-aged refugee from New York,
living semi-anonymously in the Midwest.
I have a mortgage, a day job, and landscapers.
Two cats, two dogs, and boxes of old memories
packed high in the garage, after the divorce.

Diane, all I have for you tonight
is Muskrat Love on the Legion Hall jukebox,
Christmas music in October,
and monolithic credit card debt.

My brain a thick concrete brick,
dank mud-filled swamp.
Paralysis by analysis.

The letters and syllables buried with old tires,
rusty license plates, plastic six pack rings,
and visions of what I could have been
had I been born thirty years earlier.

It’s not too late, Diane, right?


Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Vita Brevis, ONE ART, As it Ought to Be, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.

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