Note to self

“Love is raw as freshly cut meat, mean as a beetle on the track of dung”
~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason

mention love but try not to add anything
think of a summer’s day by all means
but stay well away from sonnets
waffle,  cliches, hackneyed phrases
prose painted purple

mention love but not in the same breath
as roses, sanguine and fresh as meat
that gesture can go either way
girls go astray, someone’s bound to draw blood
or turn bitter

mention love as adversary, the unwelcome guest
the sudden, involuntary reflex
those terrible tears and heaving hearts
the way it tracks down the dung of our never-agains
and up-cycles them for another pull on the petals

mention love where it’s most expected
and mean it – in the midst of lust, childbirth
the thousand natural shocks we know by rote*
prayers to an invisible God and if there is a heaven’s gate
admit to love

[*of course Prince Hamlet made an appearance here]

I can try some poetry out on most things but love is the hardest of all. Still I love Jilly’s picks of Jim Harrison quotes as poetry prompts and am joining her on Day 20 of 28 Days of Unreason

24 thoughts on “Note to self

  1. I won’t mention love when I talk about this poem and, in fact, all of your poetry this month. I’ll stay far from glowing remarks about your style and how you dance with raw meat and six-legged creatures and manage to pull on my poet-strings by making allusions to Danes and theories of human behavior. Even in the same breath as all of this that I haven’t said, I have managed to not say any four-letter words that might be misconstrued as passion. (How’s that?) 😉

    1. But I must mention you in despatches for the most fulsome (in the sense of generous) feedback – it should be framed!

  2. Love ain’t for the faint of heart! I love your take on this…. you didn’t hold back on its sting. Wise advice at the end. Good job!

    1. It cracks us up and spits us out a whole lot softer – thank you for your kind comment Vivian

  3. You are definitely ‘in flow’, Laura – be that quiet running river, or venting volcano. Or like the Corn Mothers slashing all before them with their scythes. The swift cut and cut. We hardly felt it happen. Phew! And that would be yet another BRAVO!

    1. Many thanks for bolstering my confidence Tish not least because I wondered if this one was not much more than a dribble. There is something of the master’s samurai sword stroke in your description.
      [Ps totally off topic but tuned into the mention of swift since it is Swift awareness week and I see Ludlow are very pro-active]

      1. I’d missed hearing about the Ludlow swift enthusiasm. Was only there last week. It’s the sort of place where lots of ‘good egg’ activities go on.

  4. Brava, dear poet! But must that accursed word suffer such ill repute. Did none ever come under love’s sway and come away better for it? (And by that I don’t mean did anyone gain from it, for love gives… takers aren’t lovers, save for self.) Sorry. I wax faux Elizabethan; blame that royal named, strangely, after the generic term for a small town.

    Your poem was well within the intent of Harrison’s words, and speaks well to those who come bleeding from something named love. Perhaps it is merely me reading too much into your words, but I see a double meaning in your use of “admit” at the end.

    I ramble. It’s probably just the heat here.

    1. I surmise that the unscathed in love never talk of it – we small town lovers must perforce wax lyrical and perchance to dream
      Your so called ramble really cheered – and full marks for spotting admission/admittance.

    1. What a lovely thing to say & Jilly’s soirée is a great description – I like its cosy intimacy

  5. I really like “prayers to an invisible God and if there is a heaven’s gate”! But what about waffles? I love waffles. We can’t say waffles anymore, is it like smoking or not recycling?

    1. to waffle is much the worst of the bad habits – if you do you are going to have to eat words like circumlocute

  6. It is enlightening to see someone face the uncomfortable proposition that perhaps the unsearchable Billy Shakespeare did not have everything to say about love. Stay away from sonnets indeed, although as my own relationship with the love of my life transforms in painful ways because of my own inevitable transformations, I must say I have a penchant or a weakness to take comfort in wispy questions that start with “that time of year thou mayest in me behold…” But gossamer such as this does not get to the fleshy painful bloody (I am American so I am not cursing hehe) mess that comes from love. If the stakes were not high in regards to the impact on and very way that love grinds out the rounded edges of the self, we could perhaps not call it love. I also am impressed on the insight of love’s touch infiltrating daily corporeal life. Here you show the same coin as Cartwright:

    but with the added dimension that all this hot mess just might also crack open heaven’s gate. Sorry if this was too much of a perambulatory circumlocution, if I broke rules of brevity, pronounce a swift sentence. 💜 this.

    1. I have no rules on brevity only waffle averse and personal comments that are not feedback – I’ vet approved yours because you relate to the two -so thank you for your additions here and not least for the Cartwright poem – new to me and a perfect match

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