Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Diverting Angels by Deborah Diemont

Diverting Angels
by Deborah Diemont
Copyright 2012 by Dos Madres Press inc.
Dos Madres Press
Loveland OH 45140
Softbound, 43 pages, no price
ISBN 978-1-933675-75-6

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

For those of us who live in New England Deborah Diemont seems a candidate to replace “Wrong Way Corrigan.” She spends winters in Syracuse NY, with its lake effect snow and summers in Mexico. So being bi-lingual, one would expect the poems in Diverting Angels to be in English and Spanish. However, it is all English, which is a benefit to many of us.

The books is one of sonnets, broken into different construction: 14 lines, the standard sonnet, 4-4-6, 4-4-4-2, 4-4-3-3 and of course 8-6.

These are fascinating poems telling stories about people places, things that keep you into each one through the fourteen lines. Take for example Housemate a bittersweet, humorous verse in which we learn that furniture and jealousy make a bad combination:

The walls loomed a metallic oyster gray.
The lamps, Tiffany roses upside-down
bloomed to themselves. Stray artifacts broke ground
in dusty corners where the baby played.

For less than half the rent – the room in back –
I shared the lap dance of another’s life,
cast iron rusted with soap, a hobbled bike,
a garden overgrown with Grickle-grass

Perhaps we’d be friends now if I hadn’t paired
my shaky antique chairs with missing screws
and her deco table, showing too much wear
before I stained with my mug. Nor stared,
discreetly, at her new boyfriend’s tattoo,
a butterfly that straws fermented air.

Ms. Diemont has intriguing titles such as A Modest Blindness, Mountain and Spine, Face Book, The Last Time I Read People, The Poet in Victoria’s Secret™, Photos in Newsweek. All the poems live up to my expectations. They provide insight into a poet whose views ultimately coordinate with life, all types of people and of course, the reader.

In Mountain and Spine

I like the mountain, I adore your spine,
the way you stand as if pulled by a string
toward the sky, palms turned out by your hips.
And how you steeple, arch, curve down to dive.
How emptiness exacts a transformation –
dog-to-cat, child-to-warrior, a tree
where right foot meets the left thigh easily.
Your toes dig in like roots, and your frustration
powers down, with knees and chest and chin
against the floor. I like best when you clasp
your hands in prayer, right at the end, akin
to someone who believes. Roll up your mat –
crave nicotine, pour coffee. We’re aligned,
my tree, my mountain. I adore your spine.

If find her poems compelling in that they don’t go where I expect them to go, like Grandmother, which begins one way and end another is typical of Diemont’s verse.
In To Dye Or Henna a whole lifetime passes in fourteen lines, an explanation of a woman’s thoughts and her history.

This is a book of poetry I savored and which I believe you will as well.

Zvi A. Sesling
Reviewer, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Author, King of the Jungle and Across Stones of Bad Dreams
Editor, Muddy River Poetry Review
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthology 7
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthology 8

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