Today is my first ‘official’ Sunday poetry feature post and I’d been thinking throughout the week on which poem I’d feature but then… a booksale came along today, so now I want to talk about all my new books too! (No, I don’t think that kind of thing can wait until tomorrow!) Nevertheless, I think I will stick with the poem I intended to post, I enjoy throwing a variety of things into one post, although I’m not sure if others like reading that sort of thing…?
This week Joan from flowers and stripes has been posting wedding poems she ended up not using at her wedding, and that reminded me of this one, that I didn’t use either and wish I had. (But at least those really are the shoes my husband and I wore at our wedding!)
The Archipelago Of Kisses | Jeffrey McDaniel
We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.
This picture too is indirectly a sign of love, this once a year booksale we went to today is housed in a big tent with tables covered in boxes of books everywhere, stacked on top of each other. My husband helped me look for books I was interested in first, carry the books I found, move boxes and find a place to sit down when I got too dizzy to keep looking. The stack on the left is mostly Canadian books, as I said I’ve been meaning to read more Carol Shields, plus Clara Callan, set in the ’30s and won some Canadian book prize, another book by Ethel Wilson, who also wrote Hetty Dorval which was published by Persephone Books, and Rilla of Ingleside, the last Anne of Green Gables book and my favourite (set in WW1 with Anne’s daughter).
The middle stack has a few somewhat silly Jean Plaidy books I couldn’t resist (at $1.50 a book!), about Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria! Then I must confess, I have a secret interest in both spy stories (this is due to the excellent BBC miniseries Cambridge Spies) and the age of sail! Hence Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and a few of the Master & Commander books. Also I’m interested enough in the Josephine B. thing to pick up two.
Lastly my beloved British books, as I’ve taken to calling them. Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Margaret Drabble, Sarah Waters, Penelope Lively, Angela Carter, Iris Murdoch, Anita Brookner and my own copy of I Capture the Castle.
Now I just have to find a place on my shelves for all these!