"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
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