Friday, February 13, 2009
I'd Even Like You If You Were the Bride of Frankenstein
This weekend provides a peculiar "double date". Today is Friday the 13th. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. In honor of this coincidence, I opened today's post with a selection of eerie photos from past trips: to Sri Lanka, Belgium and Estonia. Am I the only one who finds them somewhat ghoullish?
Anyway, what really matters as always is love, so the real big day is tomorrow. My valentine to you all is a souvenir from another trip, an even older one. When staying in London during the late 90s, I stumbled upon a collection of young English poetry from the 70s. In it was this gem by John Fuller.
I will post it in its entirety, it doesn't make sense to be stingy on Valentine's day. Please read it aloud, preferably to a belle or a beau. It's not really a love poem, since it contains hardly any discussion of the lover's unique attributes ("I like the way your elbows work, on hinges" doesn't quite crack it). It's just what it sets out to be: a valentine, and a cute one too.
The things about you I appreciate may seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power and see your eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I’d like to successfully guess your weight and win you at a fete.
I’d like to offer you a flower.
I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders, too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I’d like all your particulars in folders marked Confidential).
I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath) in rows.
I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.
Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work, on hinges.
I like your wrists, I like your glands,
I like the fingers on your hands.
I’d like to teach them how to count,
And certain things we might exchange,
Something familiar for something strange.
I’d like to give you just the right amount and get some change.
I like it when you tilt your cheek up.
I like the way you nod and hold a teacup. I like your legs when you unwind
Even in trousers I don’t mind them.
I like each softly-moulded kneecap.
I like the little crease behind them.
I’d always know, without a recap, where to find them.
I like the sculpture of your ears.
I like the way your profile disappears
Whenever you decide to turn and face me.
I’d like to cross two hemispheres and have you chase me.
I’d like to smuggle you across frontiers
Or sail with you at night into Tangiers.
I’d like you to embrace me.
I’d like to see you ironing your skirt and cancelling other dates.
I’d like to button up your shirt.
I like the way your chest inflates.
I’d like to soothe you when you’re hurt
Or frightened senseless by invertebrates.
I’d like you even if you were malign
And had a yen for sudden homicide.
I’d let you put insecticide into my wine.
I’d even like you if you were the Bride of Frankenstein
Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian’s Jekyll and Hyde.
I’d even like you as my Julian of Norwich or Cathleen ni Houlihan
If you were something muttering in attics
Like Mrs Rochester or a student of boolean mathematics.
You are the end of self-abuse.
You are the eternal feminine.
I’d like to find a good excuse
To call on you and find you in.
I’d like to put my hand beneath your chin. And see you grin.
I’d like to taste your Charlotte Russe,
I’d like to feel my lips upon your skin,
I’d like to make you reproduce.
I’d like you in my confidence.
I’d like to be your second look.
I’d like to let you try the French Defence and mate you with my rook.
I’d like to be your preference and hence
I’d like to be around when you unhook.
I’d like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book, your future tense.