Poet Tree: ‘Anniversary’ & ‘The Wedding Planner’
Posted on June 7, 2004
With the news that the bank has extended my overdraft (“to help meet with the demands of being a graduate”), I went online and made one final stupid purchase, a very demanding 20 GB MP3 player by the name of iPod. More on that soon once it arrives, and I become far more attractive to the potential mugger. Meanwhile, I was preparing my computer for its arrival, you know, giving my desktop a Macover, clearing some space, re-organising files, etc., when I found some poetry that I had written for an English class at UC Davis and had completely forgotten about. The class was ENL166: Love and Contemporary American Poetry, was as awful as that sounds and taught by a blubbering old lady who consistently closed her show in tears.
In a more composed moment she assigned us the task of writing our own ‘love poetry’, some of which I nervously include here, as a first stab at verse. The first is about the three year anniversary of my relationship with Beth, my girlfriend at the time, who incidentally broke up with me not long after I wrote this, and hopefully not as a result! I’m under no impression that this is actually any good but I thought that, at least the sentiment, makes for more cultured blog filler.
There is a good foot between us1 and
an hour and a half.2 Then of course, the leagues
above me that you are. People look at you
as we walk past: Are they together?
We walk together in this new place,
your hand in mine, the bag
on my shoulders and the weight of the world
lifted. I admire your skin, as always.
Supple, delicate, kind!
Your fingers would slide between mine
and clasp at my palm!
But now they clutch the handset
and finger the cord. We laugh, we cry
we argue but in the pauses the silence is
dark. I strain to see the alabaster skin that
coats your hands like the low afternoon sun.
You step down onto the platform,
a bag in your grip, smiling. The journey was long
but comfortable: Three years and
an hour and a half. You put your hand back in mine.
The pauses glow in the afternoon sun and
we walk together as people look on and wonder.
I hold on to your hand as we walk,
and admire your skin, afraid to let go as always.
1A reference to our difference in height.
2At the time Beth was living in Berkeley while I was living in Davis, an hour and a half away.
This next poem might make a bit more sense if you’re familiar with the Indian wedding process. But then I don’t think that’s supposed to make any sense!
The Wedding Planner
A white horse, of course. And a fifteen piece
Brass band playing The Beatles.
Naturally, the best man should wear
A white suit and sit behind
The groom veiled in strands of gold.
It would be nice to have those
Indoor fireworks – white lights – maybe
Chris De Burgh’s, ‘Lady In Red’.
Cups of tea in China cups should
Await the guests. Don’t forget to
Have a Mercedes ready for
The bride, who by the way
Should be Brahmin/Hindu/Punjabi.1