Dianne

United States

Message from Writer

vienna waits for you :)

Published Work

cheap imitation

I push in 4 quarters and a picture of Lindsey. The machine is like a vending machine that drops cola and stale chips, or one of those picture cubicles that spits out a rectangle of photos. 
I understand why Orpheus looked back in the Underworld.
“Please, stop doing this. It doesn’t help, you come back sadder and worse than before.” My roommate begs me before and after, every time I go. “They’re just a cheap imitation, it’s not her!”
Cheap imitations aren’t always bad. The rip-off candy bars from the rundown university store are my favorite things. You know, Smirks instead of Snickers, that sort of thing. Lindsey scratches at the bridge of her nose, and smiles. She pulls the plaid shirt’s sleeve over her hand and then tucks it under her thigh. 
“Hi.” I want to reach out and cradle her face, or something like that. 
Lindsey looks over her shoulder and starts laughing. At what? The machine makes...

In An Alley

   It wasn't the dark alley surrounded by the murder of crows that told me that my life was on the brink of its existence, but rather the cool press of the blade against my ribs and the vice-like grip the stranger had on my oh so breakable neck. The bones in my neck would break and crumble, like the crackers my mom used to spread peanut butter on after school.
     (The crackers and peanut butter were before, of course, the seances and dried herbs and astrology. I don’t remember any particular snack after that began.) 
     The knife cut into my ribs slightly, but enough to cause a thin stream of blood to slide down my stomach. Maybe it won’t be my neck that kills me after all, maybe I’ll be gutted and left to die in a pool of my own organs. 
     (My mother used to believe the soul was in the liver not the heart because it’s such a...

Dried Lavender

“I left when I was younger. And I don’t want you to make the same mistake.”
Miss Hobbs stares at the ground after her confession. With the eyes that are as dry and purple as dried lavender, the eyes of everyone from around here. It scrapes the insides of our eyelids but at least you can tell who belongs and who doesn’t.
“Well, I just…” I stutter and pick at the biscuit crumbs on my plate. “I need to see new things, and I’ll come back, I swear I’ll come back.” It’s hard to curl my tongue around that lie of returning.
“You don’t understand. You don’t understand what it’s like.” 
Miss Hobb’s oldest son doesn’t have the eyes. She came back and 7 months later had a kid who didn’t have our eyes.
“It’s not even far. And I’m just going to university. I’ll come back and be a doctor and help.” 
Miss Hobbs wrings her hands like they’re...

Plastic Mountains and Bloody Tile

The town has a sky shaped like a dome, like you’re in a snowglobe. On sunny days, the mountains look so 2 dimensional and fake that you can practically reach up and curl your fingers over the flat edge. 
There’s nothing to do here and not a lot happens.
Except for that one time a few years back when that man came down from Tucson. He was on the run for something or other. He took a family hostage but ended up blowing his brains out in their bathroom. My friend pointed out the house to me one time. 
That’s the house we’re going to tonight, me and Eliza.
 Other than that, we are one of the safest places in the US. Our HOA makes sure we stay that way, always vigilant in keeping every house a shade of tan and outlawing chalk drawings on the sidewalk. And treehouses. And basketball hoops, but they haven't sent us a letter demanding...

A Pause

The best conversations we had were when I was alone
and you stayed in my mind like a flower in a vase.
When we’re together, I’m looking for exits and escapes.
Not on purpose, on habit, the way I chew my nails
I waited too long for him to ask 
the specific questions I so badly wanted to answer.
I want to wear blue eyeshadow and never speak again 
Or give speeches to millions and tuck flowers behind my ear.
I’m a confusing person to be and to be around.
So please forget me, 
until you’re all grown up and falling asleep and 
remembering late nights and laughing girls and
the way I curled against you like a comma and a pause

Butterfly Dust


It’s my job to make sure every person in the town sees these flyers. So they’re stapled to telephone poles, tucked into door frames, and some I let fly in the wind until they curl around unsuspecting ankles. 
  They say, “Tired of being a background character? Reclaim your life today! Renowned therapist will help you realize your dreams and potential!” There’s even a picture of a smiling Mr. Henry Morganson, my boss and the renowned therapist, although I’m not exactly sure where he got his credentials. All I know is that on my 18th birthday he fluttered into Willows Peak, Arizona, and I fluttered out with him. 
     When we go to new towns, it’s my job to get the word out and rope in customers. This new town in Nevada is as hot and flat as a skillet for cooking tortillas. People walk hunched over and it’s the type of place you know the TV will be static-y and the...

Tried

She tried to forget him, but never could.
The boy who pushed her in 3rd grade so her knees scraped up with gravel and dirt. It formed a scab, the criss-cross kind that only appears on kids’ knees and elbows. The teacher made him apologize, which he did with his hands hanging loosely and his eyes looking at her feet. Dusty light and the smell of bleach and tile, and a half-formed, half-forced apology that dipped like a carousel. 
That’s what she remembered when she saw him on the news. 
The cereal was cold and tasted like cardboard and the boy, the same little boy who had placed two hands on her shoulder blades and pushed, had placed a gun to his lover’s head and pushed the trigger. All this was typed up across the bottom of the news. The news made her want to throw up, but she wiped off milk from the tile counter instead. How stupid it...

Open Prompt

goodnightiloveyou

Hand curled against my cheek but
it’s just my own
Candy wrappers and a world fizzy like coca-cola
(drunken on the floor cross legged)
My confession:
When he says he’s not doing so well
I feel sorry but not and then sorry I’m not
Hell and everyone waits for me
"Hey, I make the stupidest decisions out of the both of us
don’t I?"
Yes, but everyone thinks you’re a genius!
Scrunched up face and a fist full of mistakes
"Please don’t think I’m stupid, you’re going to think I’m stupid"
You always say that! 
And always before I close the door
Thrown out, like trash out a car window
goodnightiloveyou

Not-so-forgotten


I made sure my life could fit into a suitcase
Folded up like the not-so-forgotten love letter of my junk drawer
(you can care, but not too much)
People kept at laugh’s length
The game I play when I wait, balanced on one foot
If I left now, what would I take?
What t-shirts? What phone numbers?
What (and who) would I choose to remember?
Rose lotion and old postcards
When I leave, or before,
I hope he finds someone as sweet as strawberry ice-cream

Moms and Pearls

Octopus lay threads of pearly eggs and die taking care of them. Mermaids do the same thing, I imagine, under salty waves and away from the selfishness of land. The selfishness that makes me shut my door and shut my mother out, who hadn’t died for me but had also never had a string of pearls. When I hear her walk by, I hope the steps don’t end at my door. I hope I don’t become the person I don’t like very much, who’s selfish and obstinate and says things for reactions. 
The gods we believe in are very different, and most likely they fight as much as we do. I use the word escape too much, and she spits back in my face “Oh, you’ll escape from all of us, and then you’ll be happy, isn’t that right?” I scream back yes, exactly, now you understand. And I think to myself, away from this house and the God that...

Replaced

Arizona replaced blood long ago
The rough gravel of the desert
tumbles in my veins
instead of blood
Cactus thorns and scorpion stings 
scrape my beating heart from the inside
I find hot sunshine whenever I can
habit, like checking before crossing the street
home is the one thing that won't leave
No matter how many times I denounce it
"I'm leaving as soon as I can"
And it's true, I will someday
But I'm bitter as a mesquite pod
sweet as an ocotillo flower
unforgiving as the sliced sun 
The desert doesn't much care 
whether I stay or leave or breathe or don't 
Do I stay or leave or breathe or don't?

 

Open Prompt

goodnightiloveyou

Hand curled against my cheek but
it’s just my own
Candy wrappers and a world fizzy like coca-cola
(drunken on the floor cross legged)
My confession:
When he says he’s not doing so well
I feel sorry but not and then sorry I’m not
Hell and everyone waits for me
Hey I make the stupidest decisions out of the both of us
Don’t I?
Yes, but everyone thinks you’re a genius!
Scrunched up face and a fist full of mistakes
Please don’t think I’m stupid, you’re going to think I’m stupid
-You always say that! 
And always before I close the door
Thrown out, like trash out a car window
goodnightiloveyou

Open Prompt

goodnightiloveyou

Hand curled against my cheek but
it’s just my own
Candy wrappers and a world fizzy like coca-cola
(drunken on the floor cross legged)
My confession:
When he says he’s not doing so well
I feel sorry but not and then sorry I’m not
Hell and everyone waits for me
Hey I make the stupidest decisions out of the both of us
Don’t I?
Yes, but everyone thinks you’re a genius!
Scrunched up face and a fist full of mistakes
Please don’t think I’m stupid, you’re going to think I’m stupid
-You always say that! 
And always before I close the door
Thrown out, like trash out a car window
goodnightiloveyou

Open Prompt

goodnightiloveyou

Hand curled against my cheek but
it’s just my own
Candy wrappers and a world fizzy like coca-cola
(drunken on the floor cross legged)
My confession:
When he says he’s not doing so well
I feel sorry but not and then sorry I’m not
Hell and everyone waits for me
Hey I make the stupidest decisions out of the both of us
Don’t I?
Yes, but everyone thinks you’re a genius!
Scrunched up face and a fist full of mistakes
Please don’t think I’m stupid, you’re going to think I’m stupid
-You always say that! 
And always before I close the door
Thrown out, like trash out a car window
goodnightiloveyou!