I Was Diane DiPrima In Another Life


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 put 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 curl, churn and blaze--

Goddess of destruction, purveyor of mercy.


In actuality, I am 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 full of old memories,

Packed high in the garage, after the divorce.


Oh, Diane--

All I got is Muskrat Love on the Legion Hall jukebox,

Christmas music in October.

Paralysis by analysis.


My brain a thick concrete brick,

A dank mud-filled swamp.

The letters and syllables buried with old tires,

Rusty license plates, and plastic six pack rings--

And visions of what I could have been had I been born thirty years earlier.


Nobody’s done it this way before

But fuck it, that’s what I’m doing,

I’m going to risk it.


It’s not too late, Diane, right?

Susan Cossette

Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up (2017), she is a two-time recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust and Moth, Adelaide, Clockwise Cat, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Scarecrow, The Amethyst Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.  By day, she is the Director of Annual Giving at Breck School in Golden Valley, MN, where she secretly wishes she was a member of the English Department.

Her poetry collection Peggy Sue Messed Up and other poems is available at Amazon

Direct Amazon Link



  1. my time and my kind of work. wish to see more.

  2. a true breath of fresh air and it's needed in an art world that has forgotten the past because it's too busy trying to predict the future. screw computers, remember the people.

    1. So kind, Abbie. I wrote this the day she passed away. Allen Ginsberg was a professor of mine at City U in NYC back in the 90s... always had a love of the beat poets. You may want to look at ruth weiss as well. We lost her this year too. Peace.

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