Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Feature: Dianne Borsenik Day 3


You undress me
without my consent.
You find the heart of me,
that naked part of me
that I want to hide from you,
and you lick it to arousal,
you bring it to orgasm,
and you expose it
to the world.
I hate you for that.
But I can't help myself.

You undress me,
assess me, brand me, scar me
with your helldark eyes,
as if I were some
kind of property,
meat for the taking,
marking me
as your possession.

You disembowel me
with vowels and consonants
and nouns and dizzy adverbs;
your filthy words,
promises of sweat and passion,
those promises
you never meant
to keep.

You undress me,
and thrust your poetry
down my throat;
you choke me
with your hard words...
but I swallow, all the same,
and I hate myself
for loving it.

© Dianne Borsenik
via HardDrive/SoftWear chapbook
Question for the Author:

How did your love of Vampires lead you to meeting Jonathan Frid (Barnabas) of Dark Shadows?


I've always had a weakness for old vampire movies-- Dracula with Bela Lugosi, the Hammer films... and then, when I was eleven years old, the television show Dark Shadows debuted. A year in, after the first episode with tortured and tormented vampire "Barnabas Collins", the show was never the same. I wallowed in the vampire mythology and characterizations they interwove through the seasons. Barnabas, played by Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, was undisputedly my favorite character on the show.

As I wrote in response to the first interview question here on Mnemosyne, poetry is the way I filter and interpret everything I experience-- so, naturally, I began to write "vampire poetry". But, influenced by Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology, I also wrote a series of poems in the "voice" of each one of the Dark Shadows characters.

Many years later-- in the eighties- these were picked up and published on a regular basis by editor Dale Clark, who published the Dark Shadows fanzine "Inside The Old House". At one point, he published a beautifully illustrated DS chapbook with my and another poet's work.

Then, Jonathan Frid decided to put together a one-man play of sorts called "Genesis of Evil", and had discovered my vampire/Dark Shadows poetry in the 'zines. He wrote a letter to me, totally out of the blue, and asked my permission to use three of them in his program. I was so excited!

Although I never got to see his show on tour, he did record it for me on cassette tape, which I still have. And when he visited Cleveland a couple years later, we arranged to meet after a convention appearance (we were still in correspondence at that time). He was gracious and charming, and it was one of the high points of my writing career. Through my poetry, I had met one of my favorite people and fulfilled a childhood fantasy.


  1. I love knowing this sort of thing about people... A little bit of their history, what their early inspirations and passions are. Thank you for sharing this Dianne. It's really very, very interesting..

    And your poem, "Undressed", is a really good one.

  2. By the way, Dark Shadows was a big favorite of mine when I was young too. But I had a thing for Quentin instead... :-) I even have a vinyl LP of his songs... "Quentin's Theme"...

  3. Dark Shadows is a fav of mine as well... I love anything "vampire". Dianne, this poem is sexy as hell. :-)

  4. One of my favorite Dianne poems!

    At one point we considered titling her chapbook Undressed - that was before she wrote the poem "HardDrive/SoftWear."

  5. words in the hands of LADY D
    makes poetry sing(e)