Three Poems | by Katharine Diehl

Reasons for buying the house

The house you want is probably haunted.
The house you want costs a million dollars and probably haunted.

The house you want has seven fireplaces, all original.
The house you want has seven crumbling flues.

The house suffered salt, erosion, and flooding.
The house was gutted and built up again.

The house is not emptied of spirit, not a new construction.
The house has aging bones.

The house saw generations fall away.
The house continues to mutter histories to itself.

The house was inhabited but never indwelled.
The house accrues, holds histories to itself.

It is nothing like the house you wanted.
There is a certain presence in the house.




How to begin a year

Would rather not
than otherwise hold
my disgorged heart in my hands.

There was something about my neck I would only discover later,
in a downward-facing position. Something about my hyoid bone
suggesting a rabbit hung from a rafter or beam.

You have to expound
how the heart was crushed
below Eve’s heel and still it beats.
You hangedman, surrender.




A Dictionary of Quantum Hermeneutics

History: a sad black dog, a Catherine wheel.

The future: a quantum spook, a sleepless night, it freaks you out.

Free will: presuming that in slightly fewer than half of all multiverses the Arminians are correct and the Calvinists merely didactic, estimate the number of selves which are:

married; somebody’s mother; kneeling in rice.

Eternal return: Dostoevsky’s Ivan told the story of an unbeliever who after the billions of years spent in the vacuum of space with his arms stubbornly folded, walked an uncountable number of miles in the vacuum of space to see the face of the Savior.

In the story, of course, hell is that very vacuum and cold as opposed to the boiling temperature of space.

It is happening; it will happen again.




Katharine Diehl lives in New Jersey and works in social science research. Her chapbook The Fourth Wave has plenty of jolly poems about outer space priests on their deathbeds, not to mention some revenants. Find her @KElizabetta.






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