ABSENT-MINDED BELOVED

She loves me,

She forgets me not.

She forgets me,

She loves me not.

And in the gray field

Of forgetfulness

She remembers,

And falls in love

With me again.

A CHOICE OF FLAGS

I want to unfurl

My heart to you with pride

And shake it in the wind

Like a crimson flag,

The true color

Of my unbridled passion.

Or would you rather

That I humbly raise

It in the limp air

Like a white flag,

Signaling that

I surrender my love

Unconditionally

To you and you alone.

APPROACHING THE DRAGON

 

Remove your armor and amulets

And confront the monster naked;

Break your puny lance in half

And throw your useless shield in the lake.

There is a virtue in recklessness

That seduces the terrible dragon

To hold her incendiary breath

And embrace you in her scaly arms.

Close your eyes and open your lips,

Let fictive serpent kiss and gift you

With the magic jewel she keeps

In the treasure trove of her dark mouth.

Then you will behold the world from

The dragon’s mythical point of view

And undergo a change of heart

And turn, from being a mere dragon

Slayer, into her secretmost lover.

BANKRUPTCY

I have just declared bankruptcy

After losing all my hard-earned

Savings in that volatile business

Called love. The rest of my heart’s assets:

Skyscrapers, mansions, blue-chip stocks,

Lear jets, yachts, sleek cars and racehorses,

Which I’ve mortgaged to that shrewd banker,

Mr. Cupid, are all lost and gone

With the wind! Ah, now my only

Possessions left are the shirt on my

Back and some loose change of despair.

O woman of substance, I wonder

If you could spare me a modest loan

Of kisses from your love bank so I

Can proudly stand on my own feet and

Declare myself liquid in romance.

CASANOVA’S ADVICE TO ALL

ASPIRING ROMEOS

 

                   I

Love is always a hit or miss.

Say it with a stolen kiss.

                  II

If you are shy to speak to her,

Try proposing to her mother.

                  III

If still you cannot seduce her,

Practice your craft on her sister.

                  IV

If you cannot afford a rose,

It’s time to seduce her with prose.

                  V

If she’s insensitive to prose,

Try poetry or a pantyhose.

                  VI

If she’s got expensive taste,

Shower her with diamonds posthaste.

                  VII

If you run out of cash or honey,

Sting her cold heart with a bumblebee.

                  VIII

If she snobs you, don’t go further–

Blame it on the fickle weather.

                  IX

If you still fail, I must insist,

Be a born-again misogynist.

COLD WAR

Cold war is sheer deception.

It is a more dangerous game

Than conventional warfare

Where battle-lines are defined,

Enemies are easily identified

By their uniforms and insignias,

And combat is governed by rules.

In a cold war lovers are hypocrites

And pretend they are at peace,

Smiling politely at each other

In formal diplomatic circles,

Exchanging the warmest greetings

Without being the least sincere.

They hold hands out in the open

Without meaning and feeling.

He showers the secret enemy

With treacherous hugs and kisses

While undermining her internal affairs.

She subtly retaliates by destroying

His good image abroad among

Allies and neutral countries

Through dark rumors and intrigue.

 

CRYPTOGRAM

Love is saying

What you do not mean,

And meaning what

You do not say.

None can decipher

Love’s secret code,

Except blind lovers.

FLORAL LESSON

(for Katie Ditmanson)

And on that quiet late spring

Afternoon, while strolling

With you around the grassy block

Of your familiar neighborhood,

Together with your Muse-struck dad

And your cute daughter Gracie,

You gave me a short lesson in floral lore.

“this is a purple pansy,” you said.

“And that one is a red carnation.

 That solitary bloom leaning against

 The crumbling wall is a wisteria.”

Then from the ground you snatched

A handful of small, propeller-like

Yellow leaves that had fallen

From a huge swaying tree above us.

Opening your palm, you blew

At the tiny leaves, which amazingly flew

In the air and spiraled down

To the delight of the little boy

Hidden deep in the labyrinth

Of my being, chased by the horned 

Beast of my adulthood.

“Those are helicopters,” you said.

A withered, brittle petal of memory

Crossed my mind’s blue horizon.

O how like flowers women are,

I secretly mused, who were, are

And will always be a perfumed

Enigma to me. How can I master such

Flower power, Kate, when your

Beauty and mystery are beyond

My depth and comprehension?

Little did you know that I basked

In your subtle lunar energy

On that cool, sunless afternoon.

I felt miraculously renewed,

A case of the healer healed.

My heart and soul mysteriously

Made whole once again,

Their bleeding fragments melding

Back into the pink of health,

And proving the axiom that

True love is greater than the painful

Sum of its shattered parts.

Your modest floral lesson

And your beatific smile after

Turned the sunset of my despair into

The surise of hope and love,

Filling my days with gentle sunlight,

O blonde, blue-eyed wonder of the world!

HEAVEN-MADE

Loving with the heart and mind

Is a flawless masterpiece

By faith and genius graven,

Conjuring harmony

Of shapelessness and marble.

Loving with the heart and mind

Demands royal breeding

And delicacy of taste

Like sipping vintage wine brewed

By angels, made in heaven.

HORS DE COMBAT

After years of hand-to-hand combat

And house-to-house fighting

With Love’s overwhelming forces,

I am now a casualty of war.

My right eye is beyond repair,

I have a permanent limp on my left foot,

And my heart is stiched and bandaged.

My comrades were not so lucky.

Most were mowed down like grass.

Some are still missing in action.

IF I COULD READ YOU

 

If I could read your

Body like a book

I would never pause and leaf through

Another bright body again

If I could only read

Your heart like a tabloid

And relish its screaming headline

Other hearts won’t be as newsy

If I could only read

Your mind like a mystery novel

The fickle minds of other women

Won’t be an enigma

If I could only read

Your soul like some sacred text

I’ll invent a new religion

And climb straight to heaven

INSOMNIA

He cannot sleep

and thinks of

his mistress

he counts ex wives

instead fo sheep

She cannot sleep

and pines for

her lover

she counts alimonies

instead of sheep

He is wide-awake

she cannot sleep

the problem is

they’re sharing

the same bed

LAUREL MY HEART WITH LEAVES

OF LIGHTNING

Laurel my heart with leaves of lightning, Love,

Or upon my skull let descend Death’s dove;

Knight my lips with an accolade, your kiss,

Or with your coldness’ edge my shoulders cleave.

Yea, bless this lover with the swiftest skill

To pluck from the three-horned dragon’s mouth

The fabulous gem it guards with its life.

(But are there any magical beasts left

  In this cold, barren age bereft of myths?).

Still I must slay dragons that I may come

Loveward to you a most dazzling hero,

My mind spewing syllables of fire;

Laurel my heart with leaves of lightning, Love,

Or upon my skull let descend Death’s dove.

LOBOTOMIZE ME, LADY

Lobotomize me, lady,

With Love’s gleaming scalpel;

Transform me into that

Babbling zombie stumbling

In the cold, unfeeling night.

O wash my dome-shaped head

In a strong antiseptic

Of my own tears, then slowly

Shave it with your fine-honed

Razor of indifference

Until it is as smooth

As a newly waxed apple.

Inured to pain, this battered

Lover has no further

Need for a massive dose

Of anesthesia. Proceed

With the operation, beloved.

O cleave my skull with your

Double-bladed tongue and

Expose my brain’s bleeding

Mass and all its tangled wires

To the ogling public

With the cold-blooded skill

Of a sadistic surgeon.

Sever the lobe of your choice

From the rest of my gray

Matter. Or if you prefer

Simple surgery, lady,

Swiftly sunder my frontal

Lobes and love’s symptoms will be

Gone forever; only for 

Me to suffer a minor

Side effect of no major

Concern to you my butcher:

A sudden loss of lust!

Lobotomize me, lady,

With Love’s gleaming scalpel;

Transform me into that

Babbling zombie stumbling

In the cold, unfeeling night.

METAL ME WITH YOUR LOVE

Metal me with your love

Beat me into a golden god

Hammer me with kisses

Upon the anvil of your lust

Fashion me a forehead

Carved out of emerald mountains

Pluck me some eyes of stars

That twinkle at your slightest touch

Forge me blue arms of sky

To encompass your nakedness

And lips of galleon ships

To circumnavigate your thighs

Craft me a manhood long

And sharp as a Toledo sword

O that I will plunge deep

In the center of your desire

And every pitch-black night

You conjure such forbidden art

Eve I am transfigured

From metal into supple flesh

Metal me with your love

Beat me into a golden god

Hammer me with kisses

Upon the anvil of your lust

POEM IN CELEBRATION

OF HER ABSENCE

It is not that I do not

Miss her palpable presence:

Her lips, her eyes, the entire

Geography of her body.

How can I forget her lilting voice?

But there is a part of her

Lingers here on the right side

Of this wide, empty bed.

It is her absence lying here

Beside me, warmer and more tactile

Than her flesh, so naked, beautiful

And permanently etched

Inside the bedroom in my head.

SOULMATE

Welcome to my bed, ideal mate,

Bless these lips with fictive kisses.

Embrace me in you arms of air,

Seduce me with Love’s lost legends.

You are my paradise regained,

O paragon of sweet-nothings.

You always keep your sacred pledge

Even in your long absence.

My heart is torn betwen unreal

You and women of supple flesh

Who are faithless and leave nothing

To my wild imagination.

SUPERMAN

Every woman hates Superman.

She prefers a more fragile lover:

His heart lashed by the elements,

His soul tattooed with wounds all over.

Not that only straw men arouse

Her deepest maternal instincts,

Or that she wants her man diapered, 

Smelling of baby oil and powder.

Every woman hates Superman who

Goes flying through the sound barrier,

Garbed in a depressing blue suit

That comes complete with a red cape,

A pair of tight, synthetic boots,

And a screaming S emblazoned

On his granite-hard balloon chest.

Nor does she find his overwhelming

Strength, his x-ray vision, and his

Hurricane breath quite alluring,

Or intimidating, for she keeps

Kryptonite ores in her drawers

Just in case he comes in too strong.

She simply hates the Man of Steel

Because she is fully aware

That she’s no Wonder Woman herself.

YOU ARE BEYOND EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY

(for Nur Salmah)

  Axioms:

The supple curves of your brown body

Defy Euclid’s cold geometry.

Can a perfect circle compare with

The delectable arcs of your breast?

How can impotent calipers measure

The moist diameter of your kisses?

Most of all, there is no bright triangle

That can equal the wilderness between

Your thighs, whose hypotenuse is beyond

Frigid theorems and postulates:

Thus requiring Love’s plain geometry

To define its axioms of ecstasy.

THE ART OF LETTING GO

In Love you must be

A master of the art

Of letting go and dispel

All green shades and grades

Of jealousy and hate.

Do not put your beloved

In a golden cage,

A mechanical bird

Singing you paeans of Love

That ring holow and untrue.

Under no circumstance

Sculpt her into a proud

Masterpiece of your own

Shiny marble ego.

Love for her sake and let go.

 

SEVEN DEFINITIONS OF EVE

1. You are the reddest petals of my dreams.

2. You are the winged kiss of an amorous angel.

3. You are the diamond voice of eternity.

4. You are the distilled wine of newly pressed songs.

5. You are the graceful tryst of matador and bull.

6. You are the seven blushes of a rainbow.

7. You are the splashing embrace of sea and shore.

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