Friday, April 01, 2011

April 1, Poem 1 - how to write a love poem

how to write a love poem

Just today, telling a boy in juvee

how to write a love poem,

I’m stammering over ideas

of detail and unique, trying

to get him not to say happy

or sparkling eyes but to talk

about what is his love’s, only

hers, and no one else’s

like how the first time

I picked up something from

somewhere, a book maybe

a phone, and on the train platform

you smack it straight down

out of my hand and we stare

at each other dead-faced

for a millisecond and then bust

out laughing – like that, I tell

him and he’s cracking up; he’s

dying in this jail, where he doesn’t

know how soon he’ll be out

even though he’s just eighteen

but right now he’s full belly

doubled over and I describe it

to him again and who knows

what this beautiful, tethered young

man has done to forfeit his life

in this place but I remember

again, as he pounds the fused plastic

table how I want sometimes secretly

to hold your head in my hands again

and tell you that a castle of a brownstone

in Brooklyn is yours, that we’ll

be sweet forever, and make

outlandish things from fish and

peppers; and this time I’ll mean

it, except I don’t tell the boy that

part, but he only needs the part

where, when I least expect it,

you’ll slap something out of my

hands and we’ll roll on the floor

laughing and that’s what I want

to remember if you’ll remember

that too, except I worry you don’t

but the boy tells me, still chuckling,

his eyes glassy, that he gets it. I get

it, he says; detail, I get it, yeah

and shows me the part he’s already

written to his girl about how

he’s not mad that a new man

is holding her and how she deserves

that because she is beautiful

and if he was the new dude, he’d

hold her too, and he respects dude

for knowing how deserving she is

and I say yeah, I get it, like that,

you’re on it. You already know

what to do.

To schedule a reading or an appearance please contact Ofer Ziv at Blue Flower Arts at 845-677-8559 or email



Blogger Prathamesh Deshmukh said...

This guide has really helped me to write a love poem. It always perplexes me, the delirium of how to write a love poem for my valentine. Now I guess I should give a shot to write a love poem.

1:21 AM  

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