I am ruminating over past loves and probable loves ... how people become so intimate they effectively create their own language; how easy it is to fall in love with the intangible hopes we project onto strangers; how I make some people irreversibly beautiful in my head while they talk to me about mundane shit like their coffee orders; how I will one day place all the books I've read in my life next to someone else's; how loving hands can build a home, a shared life, even a whole lineage.
I am thinking about the act of loving someone- how simple and ongoing it is- and how the best way for it to manifest is by beginning to place that love inside yourself, towards yourself.
—Frank O'Hara, from “Mayakovsky”
ON SIMPLE LOVE
Wake next to you
bring you coffee
listen to the radio together
welcome your head on my shoulder
stroke your fingers
Love as simple
as good morning
You are here
All is not lost
In front of you
I am ashamed of my despair
—Perishable Poems by Abdellatif Laâbi
ON HAVING A CRUSH; AND A MENTAL ILLNESS
Never mind the distances traveled, the companion
she made of herself. The threadbare twenties not
to be underestimated. A wild depression that ripped
from January into April. And still she sprouts an appetite.
Insisting on edges and cores, when there were none.
Relationships annealed through shared ambivalences.
Pages that steadied her. Books that prowled her
until the hard daybreak, and for months after.
Separating new vows from the old, like laundry whites.
Small losses jammed together so as to gather mass.
Stored generations of filtered quietude.
And some stubbornness. Tangles along the way
the comb-teeth of the mind had to bite through, but for what.
She had trained herself to look for answers at eye level,
but they were lower, they were changing all the time.
—Ongoing by Jenny Xie
ON WATCHING OTHER PEOPLE BE IN LOVE
That is love yesterday
or tomorrow, not
now. Can I eat
what you give me. I
have not earned it. Must
I think of everything
as earned. Now love also
becomes a reward so
remote from me I have
only made it with my mind.
—For Love by Robert Creeley
ON THE 'SAD & SINGLE' TROPE
One in nine of all valentines are sent by people to themselves.
—TV news item, February 14, 2002
Paula did it so others in the office—
who lunch at The Olive Garden together,
don't include her—won't think she is
a loser. On her desktop, it pulsates.
Sam sent himself six in varying sizes
and shades of red and pink. His secretary
(for whom he lusts in his heart and pants)
thinks him much sought after, relents.
Angie did it to signal to her lover she
can't be taken for granted. She signed it
in block letters, black Magic Marker:
LUV YA FOREVER! YOUR ITALIAN STALLION!
Descartes said: I think, therefore I am. I say: I love, therefore I am.
— Mohammed Sebbagh , from “Candles on the road"
ON THE ALL PERVASIVE PERPETUITY OF THE THINGS WE LOVE
"and I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next."
—The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
YOU ONLY REALLY STAY IN LOVE FOR LIKE 3-4 YEARS; THE REST IS EBB AND FLOW
"The human animal seems driven by a tide of feelings that ebb and flow to an internal beat, a rhythm that emerged when our ancestors first descended from the trees of Africa and developed a tempo to their relationships that was in synchrony with their natural breeding cycle—three to four years. Perhaps the brain’s systems for dopamine, vasopressin, oxytocin, and other neurochemicals orchestrate this rhythm, escalating when you fall in love, changing as you begin to feel deep attachment and cosmic union, then eventually becoming desensitized or overloaded, leading to indifference or restlessness that slowly eats your love and leads to separation—a hardship that can trigger the mother of all addictions, addiction to a mate.
—Love Is Like Cocaine by Dr. Helen Fisher
“Everything is inverted. When I say I love you I mean I hope you don’t die today. I don’t say it to myself nearly enough because I no longer believe in words. I believe in their power but not their truth.”
—Meaningness by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
Recommended Listening ~