what they have to say...

/ Tuesday, January 24, 2012 /

is what I intend to talk about today, too. 



Open Letter to Eros
by Simone Muench

I want a love that is imprecise, one
that sprawls over the bed, spills out windows,
disrupting churchgoers as they stroll
across the green glow of mowed lawns. I want
a love that commandeers the world, a bone-
clanking, hydrant-splashing, dog-
salivating affair. The ravaged and
the ravenous — those lycanthropes of lust.

No candy hearts or delicacies
of language. Do not ask me
to be demure, clean or to go
with the flow. I am electric.
I sprinkle poison
in the bird feeder, watch blue jays
fall like insatiable kisses.

I want fuck and prick
and cunt. Those delicious monosyllables
of want. I want you in a chair
handcuffed and desiring me so badly
even your feet are on fire. I want
love that is black as a highway
on a starless night, black as madness, sable
smooth and impenetrable. I want love
to write a love poem to me
with bad intentions.

Love is my nemesis,
my neurosurgeon, the unruly
child, the car that won’t steer
straight, the boy on a skateboard
carving the street
into attraction and repulsion.

I want a love that is contradictory, indelible
and edible, a love that relishes
imperfections and requisitions the moon.
A love that isn’t afraid of grief, sadness,
the small crimes we commit
against ourselves; love as cool
as a bruise, sensitive as skin
on eyelids, nipples and ears.

I want a love that listens:
to rain a half mile
before it hits the house; to the feather
brushing sound of morning glories as they close
their petals for rain’s arrival; the soft
shuffle of beetles as they begin a slow
crawl across the orchard into the sweet
red bellies of fallen apples.

How am I doing, really? 
by Jane Yolen

You do not want me to answer that,
for it would mean peeling back my skin
splitting open my chest bones,
revealing a heart that still beats
though it is half the size it once was.
It would mean sawing off the top of my skull
and shaking out pieces of my brain
which hardly functions right, left
are memories, the latest ones first,
like daguerreotypes nestled in a velvet lining,
you dead on the bed, your head to one side,
mouth open, an image that is with me always.

How am I doing, really? Really well
on the outside, so that everyone seeing me
murmurs, “So brave, so astonishing,”
while inside I am climbing onto that last bed,
spooning my body around yours,
and dying even more slowly than you did.

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I usually say, in the end, okay, it’s love and it’s work — what else could there possibly be? -- Maira Kalman

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