Men in Love


Joan Proudman, Navigator

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Each year we do something a little different to celebrate. This year, here are some love poems by men. Art by Joan Proudman.

Eric Burke

Scenic Overlook

“Be
one with the land,”
I said, “like me.”

You said, “I am
one with the land
like you,

my songbird.”

Joan Proudman, Messenger

Mather Schneider

Loco for Love

My wife is in the shower,
singing:

“Me estoy volviendo loco-o-o,
por favor,

Me estoy volviendo loco-o-o,
por tu amor…”

and a lime tree breeze
blows in

like yesterday,
like a thousand years ago,

and the door to the bathroom
is half open,

and the sun is barking
in the turquoise sky.

Joan Proudman, Magic Pony

J. Bradley

VX

When you confessed your crush
on me, I waited for a gas tanker
to pull out in front of us illegally
or a truck bearing pyramids
of cement pylons to lose its nerve
while weaving through traffic.

My nose crinkled like college ruled
looseleaf paper when the hood
of your car remained intact,
our Michael Bay moment paused.

Joan Proudman, Lookers

Lee Rossi

The Ex-Boyfriends’ Table: An Epithalamion

Like barroom gigolos,
they sit by themselves, segregated
by the oddity of their presence
or else by shame.
I try not to notice.
It’s hard enough
to acknowledge that my darling,
my doe, has not always held me
dear, has held these guys instead,
passionately, in rapture and
the depths of sleep. By way of
compensation, I survey briefly,
as Moses might, from a great distance,
the ladies who have favored me,
in absentia all of them, and better that way.
The all-too-fleshly presence of these
one-time suitors sets me on edge.
Would that I had an all-but-unstringable
bow, and the skill to use it!
But I learned manners
at my mother’s table where
even the unwelcome guest
is not turned away. Just then I spy
my mother, bottle of wedding
party champagne in hand, pouring
for the insect repellent heir,
the software jockey, the hippie
motorcycle backpacker
(how not imagine her thighs
astraddle his thrumming
engine or the other one
flogging her down the stretch?)!
Later I will show her the ways
of the generous, unjealous male,
as we slip from sauna to king-size bed,
so lost in our momentary tangle
I pray we never come apart.

Joan Proudman, Wedding Party

Richard Fox

Small Love Poem

To the saved dumplings;
to the friend who made them;
to the people I shared them with;
to the certainty of more dumplings tomorrow.

It’s small but it’s not nothing.

Scrubbing the tub, I paused
to listen to the love duet
that closes Act I of Verdi’s “Otello.”

(source: various Facebook status updates)

Joan Proudman, Survivors

Jack Schwarz

Mate

At rest, on a branch
Of the tree my heart surrounds,
You sing with great joy.

I breeze to your perch.
Outstretched wings fan rhythmically,
Rustling the leaves.

We flutter to a
Vertiginous counterpoint,
Dizzy in the green.

Click on each poet’s name above to see his solo feature at Escape Into Life

For past Valentine’s Day features, see:

A Visit from St. Valentine

The Ragged End of Love

And be sure to visit the feature on Joan Proudman.