the art of writing love poems

Since it’s Happy Heart Day, I thought I’d share this interview with you, four poets discussing the art of the love poem, all of them poet’s who reinvent the subject,

“not as lace and violets but as a shattered display window, “an ache and a kink,” “the black pulse of dominoes,” or “a bird/trapped in the terminal”—anything but what we’ve come to expect.”

How to Write Love Poems by Jeremy Richards

here’s one from me, written some time ago:


I. Jacana
“Sadly, for humans seeking moral examples from avian affairs, the marital habits of birds provide little except a barely controlled licentiousness.” ~from Lords of the Air, Jake Page and Eugene S. Morton. 

Lily Trotter, your lemon-yellow wings
descend into the chestnut detritus of marsh affairs,
the decay of all that—Is it your yellow eye
that tempts their wax wings? For want of splendor
with what hot flesh they descend and walk again
on water lilies and hyacinth.

Whose book or heart allows but one love?

II. Wind
“It came out of nowhere and I thought myself undone.” ~Anonymous 

How many lovers mourn and spill over the moon?
Not you, no used-up bag of light tricks littered with Apollo’s trinkets.

Must I button my blouse and slap away the bed sheet
nearly torn free of clothes pins and wrapped here around my thighs.

Let  the shirt fall from my shoulders, the way you tease my nipples
under the porch light at night makes the loneliness of a city

absurd. You come disguised as a ceiling fan and find me naked
in the heat without a sheet. And leave nothing unkissed.

If I cannot love you then leave me to this weather.

@Susan Austin, Borderlands:Texas Poetry Review, Spring/Summer 2003

penny for your thoughts

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