Thursday, April 3, 2008

Poetry footnote

In Seattle I knew a guy - Paul? - quite extraordinarily handsome - mercifully I was not attracted to him except as one is, casually, to anything beautiful - he had a lover and was delighted NOT to be sexually interested in anyone else; he was laying out the Seattle Gay News where I wrote and edited, and later he moved on to The Weekly (where I did some reviews). He'd moved to Seattle (with his lover) from Colorado, and told me that when he was in college two professors had been madly in love with him (perfectly believable) and had vied for his favors by writing poems to his beauty, each one topping the other. I said, "What a compliment! Poems!" His response was to stick a finger in his mouth - the whole notion seemed to him silly to tedium if not nausea. His lover was neither of those professors, some kind of forestry service scientist.
Typical, eh? Did the Dark Lady even CARE what Big Bill the Bard was saying?

(Well, in college, a woman wrote me a couple of sonnets, and I was friendly, and I think I kept them, but ... )

I don't often write poems, and they become kind of over-literary, historical/artistic, Amy Clampitt-like when I do. I loved Clampitt - she could do historical and artistic references like nobody - I used to feel she'd written them for me! And we'd never met.

One of the poems I wrote when I was coming out (LOTS of poems THEN!) compared the guy I had a crush on to Byzantine emperors on coins - it was about counterfeit love, y'see - "perhaps the Caesar I adore be heretic/ or the symbol on the obverse no salvation" - that should be "reverse" technically, but the scansion demanded "obverse" and I never could bear to change it - I left him a copy with my phone number and he never responded. Maybe he was a closet numismatist ...

1 comment:

Seumas Gagne said...

I distinctly remember 22 poems you wrote. I still have them, as a matter of fact. You can imagine my surprise that they weren't mentioned in this post. I suppose I've been put in my place.