Back when Turntable.fm just started getting popular, a few of us joined Neil Gaiman on the site to share recordings of poetry in “Neilhimself’s House of Poetry.” The site had a small selection of recorded poems, but many of us scoured the internet and personal collections to find our favorites to share: Poe, Glück, Yeats, Levertov, Cummings, etc. It was a nice way to spend an hour at midnight while taking a break from writing.
It’s been over a year since the last poetry sharing night, so when I saw that the Poetry Foundation was celebrating with recorded love poetry for Valentine’s Day, I was excited to listen. The Poetry Foundation page is here and will lead you to a selection of recorded love poems. This is from their website:
I was tempted. I know many people protest, but I love the holiday (you can read why here).
So here’s my poem for you, a gift for Valentine’s Day. It’s a little cheeky, a little sexy, and I was more than a little nervous recording it. But Valentine’s Day seems as good a day as any to take risks for things we love, so here goes…
I want to seduce you with my words—wistful and wanton. I want you
to feel me behind each one. Not brief like breath,
my lines are long, stretching like lavish strokes to reach you, sliding along the page
to create a scene where you can dwell. Words to slip you inside,
surround you with sounds, and hold you at the threshold between desire and pleasure.
When I enjamb, it’s to create tension that can only be released when you move down
to the next line, and if I drop a line, like layers cast away, I do it by design to create
So much is rush and flash and burst in frantic fleeting glances, but iambs
keep the rhythm steady, help me straddle the canon, holding onto Williams’s foot
while riding Whitman’s whimsical waves. Then there’s the break
to make you wait, to leave you wondering why and when it will all start again.
Hanging off the end of a dash like Dickinson, I want you—
to imagine. Desire requires space,
the white around words,
the uncertainty of ellipses . . .
by Valya Dudycz Lupescu
© 2014 Valya Dudycz Lupescu