Somehow, I've always expected a love poem to be about longing. Maybe it's because that's my experience with love: a wish in the abstract, a shot in the dark at something wonderful, a fantasy that, like all fantasies, is never turned into a reality. Only when it's all over, the show lights turned off and the cardboard set wheeled somewhere else, do I realize how wonderfully flawed, awesomely illogical, and human those I've claimed to love truly are.
But I digress.
My image of the love poem hasn't evolved much from the days of physical odes. Your eyes, your face, the flash of your hair and the whiff of your neck as the light flashes on your breasts, soft like your lips. You you you. Damn, all that shit is too generic.
My image of a love poem, like my image of love itself, is too outdated for my current perception it.
In the Box Called Pleasure by Kim Addnizio seems to call for me. As disillusioned as I am illusioned, the piece is harsh. It hits me in the face and doesn't wait for me to turn the other cheek before sending a second fist flying in the air. It then caresses me softly for a second before kneeing me where it hurts the most. A hodgepodge of reality and legend, of the physical and almost (though never admitting to it) spiritual, it strings me on to the end though I hurt to read at every turn.
I'm always amused by poets and authors who use the word “fuck” excessively. It makes them sound like they're trying to sound gritty — even when it works.
Maybe having an image for what love poetry should be is the wrong way to go about it all.