Writing About Love, Day 3

What follows is not a good poem. In fact, I haven’t looked at it since i made one attempt at a second draft in November 2005. (I eventually stole parts of it for another poem.) But it’s an interesting poem, I think, because of what it’s trying to get at—that there is an element of possession to love. We want to both possess and be possessed. That there is something somewhat cannibalistic about love, in how much we want to not only hold the beloved, but we want to have them inside of us, woven into the very fabric of our DNA. Of course, if we’re relatively sane, we don’t act on that deep desire. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s taboo to talk about, but we all have a whiff of the obsessive about us, particularly when it comes to love. In the case of this poem, the beloved in question is my mother, who I’ve now figured out was actually standing in for both of my parents. Two people I wanted desperately to possess. Two people who could never figure out how to possess me.

I should also say that the poem is dark, and I find myself resisting that darkness sometimes. It feels wrong to have so much fun being twisted, and I don’t want anyone to think I am actually this extreme. But as all great crime fiction writers know (at least the ones who write for the BBC), sometimes you have to push things to the extreme to get to the very ordinary human truth.

Eating Mother (second draft)

There is a certain desire toward
cannibalism of the beloved mother.
It asks an act of violence,
this sacrament of love.

I love you so much mother
I will wear your heart
hanging from my lips,
the best stick parts
gouged out. When

you expelled me. When
you threw me out
from between your legs,
didn’t you smell the grief?
What else is blood but mourning
for what has been broken?

Now I see your teats are a substitute
lacking the rankness of true intimacy.
They are given too freely.

I suckle too for the ghosts
who didn’t make it, those
you kicked out before
they had hands to hold.

What choice have I
but to open my mouth wide
as all our tiny mouths.

Mother–

you are our beloved suckling pig.
you are our beloved first kill.
We are giddy with blood and delight.

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Posted on January 7, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow. Bravo for publishing this!

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