Category Archives: Love

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Choir! Choir! Choir!… David Byrne… David Bowie… New York City… the Public Theater… So much goodness one place my heart aches.

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NYCNY

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Linda Pastan

To a Daughter Leaving Home
by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

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David Ignatow

For My Daughter
by David Ignatow

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence
together.

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Linda Pastan

Love Poem
by Linda Pastan

I want to write you
a love poem as headlong
as our creek
after thaw
when we stand
on its dangerous
banks and watch it carry
with it every twig
every dry leaf and branch
in its path
every scruple
when we see it
so swollen
with runoff
that even as we watch
we must grab
each other
and step back
we must grab each
other or
get our shoes
soaked we must
grab each other

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Major Jackson

Leave It All Up to Me
by Major Jackson

All we want is to succumb to a single kiss
that will contain us like a marathon
with no finish line, and if so, that we land
like newspapers before sunrise, halcyon
mornings arrived like blue martinis. I am
learning the steps to a foreign song: her mind
was torpedo, and her body was storm,
a kind of Wow. All we want is a metropolis
of Sundays, an empire of hand-holding
and park benches? She says, “Leave it all up to me.”

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Magnet Companies

[click the magnet]
2018 10 14 magnet companies

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October 15, 2018 · 12:54 am

Albrecht Dürer & Jane Yeh

Rhinocerus (1513)
by Albrecht Dürer
The Cleveland Museum of Art
woodcut

AMICO_CL_103803819

The Rhinos
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.

We’re vanishing
As I speak. One by one, we go missing
From the bare savannah.

Above, the high sky.
Our canopy, our heaven.

The New York Review of Books, May 26, 2016

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Frank O’Hara

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

                              I look
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.]

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Walt Whitman

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.

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Patience Lake

“Here Daddy, I made this for you.”  Tan orgulloso.

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William Butler Yeats

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.

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Eleanor Lerman

Small Talk
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

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org?date=2010/09/08

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Jorge Luis Borges

Happiness
by Jorge Luis Borges

Whoever embraces a woman is Adam. The woman is Eve.
Everything happens for the first time.
I saw something white in the sky. They tell me it is the moon, but
What can I do with a word and a mythology.
Trees frighten me a little. They are so beautiful.
The calm animals come closer so that I may tell them their names.
The books in the library have no letters. They spring forth when I open them.
Leafing through the atlas I project the shape of Sumatra.
Whoever lights a match in the dark is inventing fire.
Inside the mirror an Other waits in ambush.
Whoever looks at the ocean sees England.
Whoever utters a line of Liliencron has entered into battle.
I have dreamed Carthage and the legions that destroyed Carthage.
I have dreamed the sword and the scale.
Praise be the love wherein there is no possessor and no possessed, but both surrender.
Praise be the nightmare, which reveals to us that we have the power to
Create hell.
Whoever goes down to a river goes down to the Ganges.
Whoever looks at an hourglass sees the dissolution of an empire.
Whoever plays with a dagger foretells the death of Caesar.
Whoever dreams is every human being.
In the dessert I saw the young Sphinx, which has just been sculpted.
There is nothing else so ancient under the sun.
Everything happens for the first time, but in a way that is eternal.
Whoever reads my words is inventing them.
from Jorge Luis Borges, “Selected Poems, A. Coleman Editor,” Penguin Books, New York, 2000.

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John Masefield

Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

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David Foster Wallace

If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
From the 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address (May 21, 2005) — Thanks, Em.
Update: They made it into a video.

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Filed under Love, Quotes, Subjectivity, Sureness

W. H. Auden

O Tell Me The Truth About Love
by W. H. Auden

Some say that love’s a little boy,
And some say it’s a bird,
Some say it makes the world go round,
And some say that’s absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn’t do.

Does it look like a pair of pajamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does it’s odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It’s quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway-guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
it wasn’t ever there:
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air.
I don’t know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all it’s time at the races,
Or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of it’s own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my shoes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

UPDATE: 9/19/11: a nice reading…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3O2H3bV1eo

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N. Scott Momaday

Nous avons vu la mer
by N. Scott Momaday

We have been lovers,
you and I.
We have been alive
in the clear mornings of Genesis;
in the afternoons,
among the prisms of the air,
our hands have shaped perfect silences.
We have seen the sea;
wonder is well known to us.

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Mary Stewart Hammond

The Big Fish Story
by Mary Stewart Hammond

Late fall and not a soul around for miles.
Just me and my man. And those scallopers
trolling a few hundred feet offshore I’m pointing to
say no, non, nein, nyet, nej,
in every language including body English,
to his idea that we take off all our clothes
smack in the middle of the lawn
in broad daylight and go swimming!
This is the line he throws me: “But, sweetheart,
the young have given up scalloping. Those
are all old men out there. Their eyesight
is terrible.” which explains why
I’m naked in the water off the coast
of Massachusetts on the fourteenth of October
and loving it, the water still summer warm,
feeling like silk, like the feel of his flesh
drawing over my skin when we’re landed
on a bed, so I swim off out of his reach
lolling and rolling, diving and surfacing,
floating on my back for his still good eyes.
I know what he has in mind and what
I have in mind is to play him for a while
for that line I swallowed, delay the moment
I’ll do a slow crawl over to him,
wrap my legs around his waist, and
reel him in – just the fish he was after.

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Robert Hayden

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

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