purchse button"The Alchemy of Desire is an ecstatic collection of poems that literally and metaphorically affirms life and the power to heal and connect with the pulse beating of the world. The poems take you on a journey, from the powerful opening poem "In the Beginning" which ends with the couplet: "It will be my masterpiece, It will be my Genesis./ Everyone will know my name." to the final title poem "The Alchemy of Desire", in which "the power of love/reconstructs the universe"; Dianalee Velie affirms that power over and over again. This is a book that reminds us to cherish and celebrate the people and places we love most and the courage it takes to do that."

- Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina Poet Laureate


"I read Dianalee Velie's The Alchemy of Desire over a long, quiet weekend, and in between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, I went on a journey like none I'd ever been on before; I walked back into a world that was entirely different because I was entirely different. In this rich, juicy, poignant, and sometimes hilarious collection, Velie celebrates what it is to be alive and human and sentient in this troubled and amazing world. At the core of each poem in this collection is the great heart of the poet herself, and what is even more critical than what is included in these poems is what is left out. There is retraint burning in the margins and stanza breaks. Dianalee Velie knows what it means to love and lose, and love and laugh, and walks the fine line between the two with the skill of a poet at the height of her power. Enjoy this beautiful ride!"

- Lisa Starr, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus

 


EXCERPT

Jesus Greets Janis

He waits patiently at the Gates of Heaven
pleased with his sunset-hued, tie-dyed robes.
She stumbles in rubbing bloodshot eyes behind
her rose colored glasses, sure this another
bad trip or a batch of bad bourbon.

Jesus smiles, grabs his guitar and plays
a couple of familiar riffs crooning, take it,
take another little piece of my heart now baby ...
then signals for the angelic chorus to join in,
The seraphim really get down for a wild welcome.

Janis, not one to be denoted, wails back,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz...
After a flying ovation, she realizes
she is not with the Kozmic Blues Band or
Big Brother and the Holding Compnay.

Work me, Lord, she whispers to Jesus,
looking for a stage and her psychedelic Porsche.
Jesus hands her a shot of Southern Comfort,
a drug free zone pin and a golden harp.
She plucks a few strings and sings to the Messiah.

I Need a Man to Love. It's only about love here,
Jesus assures her as wardrope fits her for a halo
and wings. Jesus whips out His Hohner harmonica.
Together, under the big sky dome, they belt out,
You know you got it, if makes you feel good...

- a selection from The Alchemy of Desire, published 2013

 

Upcoming Events

THE JOHN HAY POETRY SOCIETY
Meets the 2nd Monday of the month.
Newbury Library, Newbury, NH

READINGS
February 26, 2017 - 2:30PM
Del Rossi’s. Dublin, NH

March 25, 2017
Gibsons Book Store, Concord, NH

April 5, 2017 - 4-5PM
Colby Sawyer Library

August 3, 2017 - 5PM
The Fells, Newbury, NH

Learn More

  • Ever After

    Ever After

    "Dianalee's insider view of the classic fairy tales is both droll and shrewd. The poems deliver the lowdown on the stories and characters we all know. The wry perspectives are unique; these versions make much real-life sense." -Baron Wormser "Anyone who wants to be entertained and amused and enjoys unbridled wit should read the poems found here. Here is this gifted poet's take on well-known fairy tales after these much loved stories end. This collection is filled with A-list fairy Read More
  • The Alchemy of Desire

    The Alchemy of Desire

    "The Alchemy of Desire is an ecstatic collection of poems that literally and metaphorically affirms life and the power to heal and connect with the pulse beating of the world. The poems take you on a journey, from the powerful opening poem "In the Beginning" which ends with the couplet: "It will be my masterpiece, It will be my Genesis./ Everyone will know my name." to the final title poem "The Alchemy of Desire", in which "the power of love/reconstructs Read More
  • Sole Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls

    Sole Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls

    "In her wonderful new collection, Soul Proprietorship, Dianalee Velie presents us with a series of stories about the places and events in life that our souls attend, memories that "...await us in every closet." Velie writes of "...nondenominational angels," "spunky dogs", and then wonders how one can find their soul when life revolves around everyone else. Join her "jumping into the leaves... pushing off in a snow saucer." Soulmate with her as she relates tragic tales on abortion, death and Read More
  • The Many Roads to Paradise

    The Many Roads to Paradise

    "In Dianalee Velie's poem, "Primary Colors," an old man, at home in his life, says "Here I am and I know." The Many Roads to Paradise is the record of a poet's tenacious desire, here and now - by way of a dog or a fireplace log or Louis Armstrong's recorded voice or a blue-collar cafeteria worker or a hermit thrush or a dying friend or a woman who is stoned to death - to 'know where God is hiding,' to 'sense Read More
  • First Edition

    First Edition

    "Velie's First Edition is a brave book, doing what it must do, making art out of enormous tragedy, painting over grief with '(t)he lemon yellow paint, called joyous..." -Maxine Kumin "These poems are filled with life and all its fragile boundaries. They deal with the paralyzing terror and anger that comes with the unexpected violent loss of those we love. This powerful collection concludes ultimately the only way it can, and must, in the freedom of forgiveness." -Kevin Pilkington "Dianalee Read More
  • Glass House

    Glass House

    "Dianalee Velie writes with grace and in poem after poem, her voice possesses a tender agility in order to travel those difficult paths that make us all uniquely human. These poems are brave in their lucidity, generous, sensual and intelligent celebrations of what it means to be in the world. Read this collection, it will enhance your life." -Kevin Pilkington, Poet / Professor   "The poetry of Dianalee Velie stands squarely at one of poetry's most ancient and powerful crossroads - spirit Read More
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