Three Poems — Poetry by Diana Sharp

Derrida’s Dilemma

Over the course of our certain attachment, I suppose the attraction was …

that I saw you as a text to be read

Your story was a book I couldn’t put down for want of sleep

Written in the romantic era before the communist came, full of influence

Your grammar was layered, didactic and dative

You always gave the definitions—the ones the definers dictated

And I was a student, aware of the sun and the moon, like an astronomer, always watching

Trying to glean the principles that allowed the stars to keep their place in the sky

I was never your fool; the narratives never matched the drapes—catch the meaning

False names all whispered in quatrains delivered against the base of my neck

Tell me thy name! Poet? Scholar? Musician? Artist?

The name has already passed from you to me, heart to heart

You’re a Czech gypsy on a perpetual stroll

Now at the end

No more recitations in darkened doorways

Wild Apples

Seeds in our sack

Turning over soil

Reading aloud as though we were in Pamona’s parlour



The family names

The confluence of Thoreau and Strummer

The parable of the sower is that he was trying to make us drunk in his Samaritanism

Was he really a revolutionary—on same path that we travelled?

I tried to make my words flow like hard cider off my tongue

I thought I was seducing you with the same promise found high in bent branches

The orchard would be our special province, or so I thought

Wild apples left to hang

Absorbing all the qualities of the weather

Harsh and crabbed to taste,


November’s last gleaning at Ohio’s crest

I watch the sinking sun over the pink horizon

Akua’s Child, or the Potency of Names

On moonlit nights I sit underneath the willow tree and I weep for thee

I know your name though my tongue remains silent

Duality is your nature, Clay vessels

Hands bound, one dead in deed and one alive in action

You are Akua’s child

She need only hold up the right instruments to pry your mouth open and break your jaw

She’ll tempt your senses and you will awaken and scream a sound to destroy this curse

Once upon a time, childless and barren, your mother carried you home

Like an Akuaba figure, she hid you in her clothing

Renaming you, deceiving you, disguising you; disfiguring you to ward off evil spirits

She hid your scars with an ebony veneer, blinding you

Confusing and shaming you

Blood flows

I turn and I turn, gathering your dismembered parts

Her good intention has torn you apart

I cut off my thumb as I call out your name

Obsidian knife lain aside, I work the bone needle

the wind carries my cry to resurrect thee

© Diana Sharp

Diana Sharp lives in a place she affectionately refers to as the Republic of South Leesville in North Central Ohio. Her home is at the headwaters of the Sandusky River that flows all the way down the watershed emptying into Lake Erie. She works as an editor and journalist in both print and digital media.

Sharp holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Women’s Gender Studies with a minor in Film from the University of Toledo. She is influenced by Essentialism, Post and Neo Colonialism, Post Modern Philosophy, Feminist and Queer Theories. She is an admirer of the works by George Orwell, Dorothy Allison, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Gayatri Spivack, Edward Said and more. She has been stoned by the poetry of Theodore Roethke, Audre Lorde, Nguyen Chi Thien and Dorothy Parker.

In addition to writing, Diana has worked in mixed media arts. She is influenced by the street art of Margaret Kilgallen and Swoon.  In college, she worked as a member of the production crew for a film entitled Blue Nails Directed by Elspeth Kydd. In 2008, Sharp was the recipient of the Women’s Equity Action League Essay Award. In 2009, she was a presenter at the American Pop Cultural Association Conference. One may follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Write her at


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