Category Archives: Love
by Albrecht Dürer
The Cleveland Museum of Art
by Jane Yeh
We meet under the stars, touch noses
In the dark. Our secret greeting.
Our nocturnal meetings are brief, but friendly.
Sometimes I pretend to be asleep.
We really aren’t
The loners you think. We snort and cluck
When we’re together. Our private conversation.
The enchilada of Africa—the whole
Kalahari—is our kitchen.
I’m only interesting to smaller males.
We’re not in a hurry
To copulate. I swing my head from side to side,
Then run away. It’s called flirting.
Our dusty hides are thick, but sensitive.
I capture bugs by accident in my teeth.
By day we don’t gather,
Just do our own thing. I poke my nose
In a mud hole, splash around in my piss.
I’d rather not have a bath
If I can help it. My powerful smell.
As I speak. One by one, we go missing
From the bare savannah.
Above, the high sky.
Our canopy, our heaven.
Having a Coke with You
by Frank O’Hara
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it
[Nicely illustrated here by Nathan Gelgud.]
Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner (1893)
by William Butler Yeats
Although I shelter from the rain
Under a broken tree
My chair was nearest to the fire
In every company
That talked of love or politics,
Ere Time transfigured me.
Though lads are making pikes again
For some conspiracy,
And crazy rascals rage their fill
At human tyranny,
My contemplations are of Time
That has transfigured me.
There’s not a woman turns her face
Upon a broken tree,
And yet the beauties that I loved
Are in my memory;
I spit into the face of Time
That has transfigured me.
by Eleanor Lerman
It is a mild day in the suburbs
Windy, a little gray. If there is
sunlight, it enters through the
kitchen window and spreads
itself, thin as a napkin, beside
the coffee cup, pie on a plate
What am I describing?
I am describing a dream
in which nobody has died
These are our mothers:
your mother and mine
It is an empty day; everyone
else is gone. Our mothers
are sitting in red chairs
that look like metal hearts
and they are smoking
Your mother is wearing
sandals and a skirt. My
mother is thinking about
dinner. The bread, the meat
Later, there will be
no reason to remember
this, so remember it
now: a safe day. Time
passes into dim history.
And we are their babies
sleeping in the folds of
the wind. Whatever our
chances, these are the
women. Such small talk
before life begins