What They Can and Cannot Fake
by Bruce Taylor
Any orgasm except a real one.
True love but not a sneeze
Not at least convincingly so.
Death, as children make believe
Though never nearly long enough.
And the shape of a kiss on the lips
But not the reach nor rest of touch
That lingers just below the finger tips.
Any present fashion of desire
Lust's vogue and classic craze
But not first loss or last, its ire,
Nor compassion's passion ablaze.
Not luck or the Blues, a fugue, cold sweat,
Foul fate, true tragedy or real regret.
Poetry Sex Love Music Booze & Death:
A "Lite" Sestina
He liked his poetry
like he liked his sex
done for love
to soft music
with a little good booze
and rarely a thought of death.
She was dying
to show him her poem
called "Kisses Like Wine"
about that rainy night together
with Sinatra on the stereo
when she first fell in love.
He didn't know about love
it seemed like the end
of some half-forgotten song,
like some over spoken couplet
recited without passion,
so he had another bourbon.
Sometimes when he was drunk
he thought he was in love,
especially when they both came
and she had fallen asleep.
He'd read a little early Yeats,
try to find some R&B on the radio.
She preferred sonatas to Sam Cooke
and didn't really like to drink.
She had always thought poetry
ought to be all about love
that went on long after death
but never as far as "doing it."
What else is there except fucking?
he said, and put on Marvin Gaye.
We're born and then we die.
Now tip your glasses high,
and love whoever is around to love,
that's the way to make your life a poem.
So they balled until they ran out of booze,
and all the tunes were love songs.
What then was left? Just poetry and death.
©2002 by Bruce Taylor
Bruce Taylor's poetry has appeared in such places as The Chicago
Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Formalist, Light, The Literary Review, The
Nation, The New York Quarterly, The Northwest Review, and Poetry.
Taylor has won awards from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Fulbright-Hayes, the
NEA, NEH, and the Bush Artist Foundation. See more of his work at his Web site.