Monday, April 04, 2011

"Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common."

National Poetry Month is here! I always mean to do a lot with it and then only do a fraction of what I wish. There are a few poems I love so deeply I just want to reprint them all month but then I feel like I should be both exploring and sharing something new. 

My grand idea for today was commemorative. You see a million years ago today (4/4/1988) I went on an impromptu first date in the middle of an 18 hour work day. I wore sweatpants and we ate pizza. Where to find a poem that describes such casual importance? 

I kept coming up Dorothy Parker. Unfortunately when I combine Ms. Parker and thoughts of that relationship born of pizza and daylight in 1988 all I come up with is this quote, "This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it." The relationship, not the date mind you.

I give in. I love her and I feel more like her this April than like anyone who professes great love in lesser verse. When looking for love I need someone who can love the Dorothy Parker part of me as well as the Emily Dickinson one so let's cast a little Dorothy upon the water and see what bites.

A Certain Lady

Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,
And drink your rushing words with eager lips,
And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red,
And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
The thousand little deaths my heart has died.
And you believe, so well I know my part,
That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
And all the straining things within my heart
You'll never know.

Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet,
And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, --
Of ladies delicately indiscreet,
Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things.
And you are pleased with me, and strive anew
To sing me sagas of your late delights.
Thus do you want me -- marveling, gay, and true,
Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights.
And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go ....
And what goes on, my love, while you're away,
You'll never know.

A Fairly Sad Tale

I think that I shall never know
Why I am thus, and I am so.
Around me, other girls inspire
In men the rush and roar of fire,
The sweet transparency of glass,
The tenderness of April grass,
The durability of granite;
But me- I don't know how to plan it.
The lads I've met in Cupid's deadlock
Were- shall we say?- born out of wedlock.
They broke my heart, they stilled my song,
And said they had to run along,
Explaining, so to sop my tears,
First came their parents or careers.
But ever does experience
Deny me wisdom, calm, and sense!
Though she's a fool who seeks to capture
The twenty-first fine, careless rapture,
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic-
The thing's become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus? 


Oh, when I flung my heart away,
The year was at its fall.
I saw my dear, the other day,
Beside a flowering wall;
And this was all I had to say:
"I thought that he was tall!" 


  1. Anonymous12:49 AM

    beautiful, delightful, thanks for the introduction to dorothy!

  2. Anonymous6:50 PM

    two Dorothy Parker I like include One Perfect Rose and Resume

  3. I knew Resume but not One Perfect Rose. Like them both a lot.


    One Perfect Rose: