Love Poems for No One
My beloved friend Ally Franklin helped me upload my Xanga posts from high school, which were living peacefully in the Xanga archives, onto a brand new Wordpress site for my reading pleasure. I have since stopped functioning and have spent all morning reading my sometimes-charming, mostly horrifying commentary from 2004 to 2007. Just like this charming/horrifying photo from August 2005.
Scattered among the awkward slang-ridden odes to teenage self-loathing I frequently wrote (I do not remember being as diligent at blogging in high school as it appears I was. The posts are pretty much every day!) are some works of poetry from the same time period. Here is Queer Martha's poetic stylings from the vaults of Xanga. This one is called, "I Would Like to Know Your Name." It was inspired by this girl I saw on the Path train travelling from Manhattan to Hoboken in 2005 and submitted as a class assignment within a larger creative writing journal called, oh yes, "Love Poems to No One."
I’m going to look.
I might even stare.
I’ll take in every curve, every smirk, every curl
From your knees to your neck,
To your hands to your hair
Your lovely Almond Eyes
Are not satisfied
As they look for a map or a poster or a sign
But they keep missing mine.
They say eyes are the windows to the soul –
But I beg to disagree.
Eyes are the mirrors, the ponds, and the spoons
Which reflect what’s inside and behind
Like a puddle pretends to be a piece of the sky
And the thousand tiny drops on my shower stall
Showing me one thousand times
Your hair is kept back with a rhinestone pin
And you grin from time to time
And I wonder what you’re thinking
As the Path Train is screeching along its tracks
Your name might be Maria.
Your eyes bug out.
Your chin is square.
Your mouth is perfect,
And it’s taught me a lot about lines beginning
And bending and dipping and ending
And I would like to touch
I would like to feel
I would like to see you
With my hands.
Maybe it’s late and I’m too tired to move,
But I can’t take my eyes off of you
And your bending, ending, dipping lips.
I tell my friend I’m such a man.
He says that it’s charming
(Though my mum says it’s alarming)
He says I’m fundamentally happy.
I say I’m fundamentally mental.
You have to understand –
Whenever I hold a dish,
I would like to let it drop.
When I’m behind the wheel,
I would like to swerve.
I would like to take a knife and cut off my curves
Like the Amazon warrior I know that I am –
Or could be
If I weren’t stuck inside this train
Because 60 degrees
Is just too cold
After the bug-eyed, square-jawed, cross-legged
Girl across the aisle.
Your black ensemble clashes with the orange
Path Train seats
In a Cristo-chic kind of way.
How I wish you were –
But it doesn’t matter now
The train is pulling into Hoboken
And we haven’t even spoken
Or made eye contact yet.
I would like to keep riding.
I would like to see where you get off,
But I grab the bar and stand.
And the train squeals to a halt.
I memorize your mouth.
The air in Jersey smells like sewer tonight
That’s how I like it.
The Mexican boy at the all night diner
Serves me a bagel with too much butter,
Not enough jelly.
But it was a dollar,
It’s one in the morning,
So I really can’t complain.
I’m too wrapped up
In that girl from the train
To care enough.
I looked, I stared,
I stayed to see
Your lines, your gaze,
And I would like to know your name.