Poetry by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Read More: A brief interview with Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Suite for Iris
If a (wo)man fears death, (s)he shall be saved by (her)his poems.
—Mark Strand

Iris dreams of a cage

In the locked cage
of Iris’s dream
memories preserved,
but they were not hers
they belonged to someone else
and as she looked closer
seeing through wire mesh
saw that this couple had saved
their shoes (his and hers)
they wore immediately
after a cherished moment,
together
to be preserved forever
like a porcelain figurine
of a couple, frozen
atop a wedding cake
iced in happiness
at least for that moment
of suit and gown
after Mendelssohn’s march
and then placed out of view
collecting dust upon
an unexamined shelf
in the study
of someone else’s life.

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Iris understanding Umbra

Iris watches shadows on a brick wall.
Outside of her body the day is bright
and blissful, yet she in her own mind’s time
still questions the purpose of existence?
Slapped-beat back of baby’s first forced breath
starts the rhythm: inhalations and exhalations
then a series of life-long-beats of breath
until gasped-for last breath of death.
Iris believes dying, the art of breathing; […]


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untitled

Iris reads poetry into the void

Iris, tall stalk before shears.
Rhizome’s roots as heart’s arteries
spread deeply through underground
circuitry pumping life
inside unseen darkness.
Vulnerable dark purples open
soft as velvet
zebra-veins thread through;
lavenders erect
as a high ruffled collar,
tickles air.
Decor of delicate thin yellow hairs,
prickly as beards,
crawl furry caterpillars down
into the throat of the messenger.
At this reading—no one in attendance.
Sick glow of garden light, night […]


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Our rates are variable so that everyone can enjoy outstanding literature.
Access this and all our bi-weekly publications (and submit for free).

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Diane Sahms-Guarnieria native Philadelphian, is the author of four full-length poetry collections, her latest The Handheld Mirror of the Mind(Kelsay Press, July 2018). She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Philadelphia Stories, among others. She was the Winner of Partisan Press’s “Working People’s Poetry Competition” in 2015 for her poem, “Absence.” Currently, she is the poetry editor at North of Oxford, an online literary journal, and works full-time as a Purchasing Agent. Visit her at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/

Read More: A brief interview with Diane Sahms-Guarnieri