Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: We Have Said No Enough

Since today on the way to the mall (yes, the mall, I said that), I said to Lauren, "I am Erica Jong," it seems only fitting to feature her for today's slam. Enjoy.
You Hate the Telephone
from Ordinary Miracles, by Erica Jong

You hate the telephone
but will not see me
face to face
so I am left
beseeching you
trying to thread our love
along the telephone poles
of Vermont,
trying to tunnel it
under the Atlantic
as if it were
a rare fossil
I'd unearthed,
or an offshore pipe
bearing precious oil.

But it is your face
I love,
your funny grin
that now seems
cruel around the edges.
You do not wish to be
the kindest person in the world,
but driven to curious
when you feel
pressured, frustrated,
saddled with
an albatross of love
like an ancient
who tells his same sad story
to the wedding guests.

The telephone will not
Coleridge would have
loathed it,
& so would his
It is our modern
Person from Porlock,
interrupting poems,
interrupting loves
& forever
keeping us at arm's length.

I would look you in the eye
again, saying yes, yes, yes—
we have said no enough,
for the rest
of many lifetimes.

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