poem index

Benim Askim

Loves ups and downs, trials and tribulations, highs and low that all equal out to the beauty of love
Benim Askim
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She Walks in Beauty
George Gordon Byron, 1788 - 1824
I.

She walks in beauty, like the night 
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright 
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

II.

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress, 
   Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
   How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

III.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, 
   A heart whose love is innocent!
Benim Askim
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A Slice of Wedding Cake
Robert Graves, 1895 - 1985

 

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Benim Askim
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The Kiss
Stephen Dunn, 1939
She pressed her lips to mind.
	—a typo

How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,

defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.
Benim Askim
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When a Woman Loves a Man
David Lehman, 1948
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."

He's supposed to know that.

When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in
     Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
     is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
drinking lemonade
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.

When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
"Did somebody die?"

When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.

Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?

When he says, "Ours is a transitional era,"
"that's very original of you," she replies,
dry as the martini he is sipping.

They fight all the time
It's fun
What do I owe you?
Let's start with an apology
Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter."
It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,
"and you can quote me on that,"
which sounds great in an English accent.

One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
     another nine times.

When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
     airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that
     she's two hours late
and there's nothing in the refrigerator.

When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.

When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
Benim Askim
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The Elephant is Slow to Mate
D. H. Lawrence, 1885 - 1930
The elephant, the huge old beast,
     is slow to mate;
he finds a female, they show no haste
     they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
     slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
     and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
     of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
     together, without a word.

So slowly the great hot elephant hearts
     grow full of desire,
and the great beasts mate in secret at last,
     hiding their fire.

Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts
     so they know at last
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts
     for the full repast.

They do not snatch, they do not tear;
     their massive blood
moves as the moon-tides, near, more near
     till they touch in flood.
Benim Askim
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Couple Sharing a Peach
Molly Peacock, 1947
It's not the first time
we've bitten into a peach.
But now at the same time
it splits--half for each.
Our "then" is inside its "now,"
its halved pit unfleshed--

what was refreshed.
Two happinesses unfold
from one joy, folioed.
In a hotel room
our moment lies
with its ode inside,
a red tinge,
with a hinge.
Benim Askim
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First Turn to Me...
Bernadette Mayer, 1945
First turn to me after a shower,
you come inside me sideways as always

in the morning you ask me to be on top of you,
then we take a nap, we’re late for school

you arrive at night inspired and drunk,
there is no reason for our clothes

we take a bath and lie down facing each other,
then later we turn over, finally you come

we face each other and talk about childhood
as soon as I touch your penis I wind up coming

you stop by in the morning to say hello
we sit on the bed indian fashion not touching

in the middle of the night you come home
from a nightclub, we don’t get past the bureau

next day it’s the table, and after that the chair
because I want so much to sit you down & suck your cock

you ask me to hold your wrists, but then when I
touch your neck with both my hands you come

it’s early morning and you decide to very quietly
come on my knee because of the children

you’ve been away at school for centuries, your girlfriend
has left you, you come four times before morning

you tell me you masturbated in the hotel before you came by
I don’t believe it, I serve the lentil soup naked

I massage your feet to seduce you, you are reluctant,
my feet wind up at your neck and ankles

you try not to come too quickly
also, you dont want to have a baby

I stand up from the bath, you say turn around
and kiss the backs of my legs and my ass

you suck my cunt for a thousand years, you are weary
at last I remember my father’s anger and I come

you have no patience and come right away
I get revenge and won’t let you sleep all night

we make out for so long we can’t remember how
we wound up hitting our heads against the wall

I lie on my stomach, you put one hand under me
and one hand over me and that way can love me

you appear without notice and with flowers
I fall for it and we become missionaries

you say you can only fuck me up the ass when you are drunk
so we try it sober in a room at the farm

we lie together one night, exhausted couplets
and don’t make love. does this mean we’ve had enough?

watching t.v. we wonder if each other wants to
interrupt the plot; later I beg you to read to me

like the Chinese we count 81 thrusts
then 9 more out loud till we both come

I come three times before you do
and then it seems you’re mad and never will

it’s only fair for a woman to come more
think of all the times they didn’t care
Benim Askim
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The Definition of Love
Andrew Marvell, 1621 - 1678
My Love is of a birth as rare
As 'tis for object strange and high:
It was begotten by Despair
Upon Impossibility.

Magnanimous Despair alone
Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble Hope could ne'er have flown
But vainly flapped its Tinsel wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended soul is fixt,
But Fate does iron wedges drive,
And always crowds itself betwixt.

For Fate with jealous eye does see
Two perfect Loves; nor lets them close:
Their union would her ruin be,
And her tyrannic power depose.

And therefore her decrees of steel
Us as the distant Poles have placed,
(Though Love's whole World on us doth wheel)
Not by themselves to be embraced.

Unless the giddy Heaven fall,
And Earth some new convulsion tear;
And, us to join, the World should all
Be cramped into a planisphere.

As lines so Loves oblique may well
Themselves in every angle greet:
But ours so truly parallel,
Though infinite can never meet.
                                                    
Therefore the Love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the Mind,
And opposition of the Stars.
Benim Askim
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No, Love Is Not Dead
Robert Desnos, 1900 - 1945

No, love is not dead in this heart these eyes and this mouth
that announced the start of its own funeral.
Listen, I've had enough of the picturesque, the colorful
and the charming.
I love love, its tenderness and cruelty.
My love has only one name, one form.
Everything disappears. All mouths cling to that one.
My love has just one name, one form.
And if someday you remember
O you, form and name of my love,
One day on the ocean between America and Europe,
At the hour when the last ray of light sparkles
on the undulating surface of the waves, or else a stormy night
beneath a tree in the countryside or in a speeding car,
A spring morning on the boulevard Malesherbes,
A rainy day,
Just before going to bed at dawn,
Tell yourself-I order your familiar spirit-that
I alone loved you more and it's a shame
you didn't know it.
Tell yourself there's no need to regret: Ronsard
and Baudelaire before me sang the sorrows
of women old or dead who scorned the purest love.
When you are dead
You will still be lovely and desirable.
I'll be dead already, completely enclosed in your immortal body,
in your astounding image forever there among the endless marvels
of life and eternity, but if I'm alive,
The sound of your voice, your radiant looks,
Your smell the smell of your hair and many other things
will live on inside me.
In me and I'm not Ronsard or Baudelaire

I'm Robert Desnos who, because I knew
and loved you, 
Is as good as they are.
I'm Robert Desnos who wants to be remembered
On this vile earth for nothing but his love of you.

A la mysterieuse

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Featuring lines from
"No, Love Is Not Dead"
by Robert Desnos

Benim Askim
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The White Rose
John Boyle O'Reilly
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
Benim Askim
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Two Loves
Lord Alfred Douglas
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, 
And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed 
Like a waste garden, flowering at its will 
With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed 
Black and unruffled; there were white lilies 
A few, and crocuses, and violets 
Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries 
Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets 
Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. 
And there were curious flowers, before unknown, 
Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades 
Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one 
That had drunk in the transitory tone 
Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades 
Of grass that in an hundred springs had been 
Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, 
And watered with the scented dew long cupped 
In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen 
Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars 
The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, 
A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss 
Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed 
To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. 
And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across 
The garden came a youth; one hand he raised 
To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair 
Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore 
A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes 
Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, 
White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, 
Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes 
A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. 
And he came near me, with his lips uncurled 
And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, 
And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, 
Come I will show thee shadows of the world 
And images of life. See from the South 
Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' 
And lo! within the garden of my dream 
I saw two walking on a shining plain 
Of golden light. The one did joyous seem 
And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain 
Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids 
And joyous love of comely girl and boy, 
His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades 
Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; 
And in his hand he held an ivory lute 
With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, 
And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, 
And round his neck three chains of roses were. 
But he that was his comrade walked aside; 
He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes 
Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide 
With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs 
That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white 
Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red 
Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, 
And yet again unclenched, and his head 
Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. 
A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold 
With the device of a great snake, whose breath 
Was fiery flame: which when I did behold 
I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, 
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove 
These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth 
What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.' 
Then straight the first did turn himself to me 
And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, 
But I am Love, and I was wont to be 
Alone in this fair garden, till he came 
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill 
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' 
Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, 
I am the love that dare not speak its name.'