Diane Wiener



Listen to the audio version.

My first cane included a protein shake,
knowing some day I may limp nonstop, with needed nutrients.
So obvious that being in the company of poets is impetus to write,
which is partly where you come from, Golem.
Nobody saves anybody, but finding a seemingly steady place to store the changing envelopes is a good plan.
Storage here needs no illusion of creased permanence.
You're no phony.
Me neither.

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

Believing I was gone,
remembering my own life,
lightning flashed back, and
I thought the day I was in the middle of having
was a dialed in jukebox
of the day that already had been.
I was in the next life,
an adjacent shelf,
a filmy overlay,
both plain and majestic.
My body was maybe warning me
of terrors to come,
foreshadowing backwards,
an upside down mind
craving special nothing.
Golem, the lightning was you.

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

Sometimes, Golem rises,
music swimming in her mind,
knows dreams spread on bread
left some indentations on the cushion,
the now absent music beside them, floats.
Sometimes, riding on the bus,
Golem listens to change clanking in the gumball machine,
where you pay, Yiddish is spoken,
always with eye contact, regardless of sight.
Two kinds of double cataracts separate these landforms from green violinists,
crescents airborne over that ever-present roof.
We travel to the top,
take our seats, swing, look down,
no longer count the stories.

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

You have given me, Golem
more than safe haven
clean forks
return trips
tight buttons.

We think together about things besides
unfurled caterpillars
sick plants
rescued worms
approaching sand.

These are not just lists
affirming strategic refusal
verbs being nouns
double meanings
plaid stamps
fear plays
or even arteries.

I'm done
with hiding places,
preferring refuge.

You move my chin under the word spigot,
the widening faucet washer won't be replaced.

I don't have to be told twice to drink up.


*Previously published in Nine Mile.


Diane R. Wiener has written poetry since she was seven. She self-identifies as a poet and writer, and as an educator, social worker, advocate, singer, acoustic-electric bassist, and artist, among other roles. Diane is the full-time Director of the Syracuse University Disability Cultural Center; she teaches part-time for the Renée Crown University Honors Program, also at S.U. The poems in this issue of Wordgathering are selections from Diane's first full-length poetry manuscript, The Golem Verses (forthcoming, Nine Mile).