Already it’s time again for a Thursday Love Poem. It’s a weird and slightly random feature—I don’t do it every Thursday. Generally, the TLPs are a little off from what you might normally consider a love poem, so if we’re going to be puritans about it, not all of the following poems quite fit the bill. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and let’s be honest, it’s a ridiculous holiday, right? Over at Sacred Village, my dear sister, Ann has this to say
He’d be pretty surprised by the holiday, I think! — since he was beaten, stoned, and decapitated, for standing up for Christian Marriage in the face of Roman polygamy in 296 CE . . .
So I decided to go into my version of The Wayback Machine, my YouTube channel, and bring you some old readings of love poems. These first three were from 9 years ago when I was recording on the pixel-ly, old cam from my Acer laptop. They span a mere three weeks from late January into mid-February. Number one here is my take on a poem that my dear friend Joel read at his wedding this past year.
For this third one, I had company on the way. Yes, well, that young man and I have been together ever since! I was a little lovesick, so pardon me if it gets a little cringeworthy. But I was so happily un-selfconscious, in my pajamas on the living room of my apartment reading a Whitman poem and getting swoony.
He still gets to me like that. That’s him in the photo from a recent road trip to officiate Joel’s wedding. He had it in his head to come back from Columbus to Pennsylvania via Cleveland. Obviously, it was a fun road trip. I’d say he was shouting his “barbaric yawp,” but there’s nothing barbaric about that smile. That same crazy ebullience I fell in love with.
And this last one was while I was having some fun with photos. I still needed a better mic. The recording was two years later and for my beautiful friend Vincent Creeland, my brother “across the Pond.” Please check out the link to his poetry collection: Driftwood and Solitude. Since Frank O’Hara’s poem was set in NYC, I stole Vince and his David’s photos from their trip there in 2011, right before meeting up with us. Funny, my recent day in NYC before Christmas saw me visiting so many of those same places, including the Bethesda Fountain and the public library.
I got criticized by someone for having such personal photos, with which they could not identify, mixed in with Frank O’Hara. Well, fuck them, this ain’t Sundance, sunshine. I felt the pictures worked just fine, whether you knew the people in them or not. The last four photos, in particular, feature the fabulous Jeanette McCauley, my adopted Irish mum. She was funny and sharp, and the very embodiment of her favorite word: Lovely. We lost Jeanette this past year, and it does my heart some good to see her smiling in the sunshine here.
I enjoy the videos! As we used to say in middle school: Happy VD!