Poetry: from “Telling You I Love You” –Seth Landman

from Telling You I Love You

I love astronomy
a constellation
you see yourself in the stars
at the edge of the field
low in the sky
over the trees
I’m telling you I love
to focus on attrition
like lower back pain
or repeating a word
alone in the car
until it’s gone
or the decision a cloud makes to rain
to change my mind

I love to not feel anything
but not for too long
in my extremities
my mouth
sometimes won’t shut up
when I’m drinking whiskey
I love justifying
behavior saying this right here
is cause for celebration
there’s a bonfire
everyone is around it
everything is ridiculous
now picture a fire talking
kicking and screaming
whatever you want
it’s funny
the fire loves you
it’s pretty hot
don’t touch it
it loves you
you’re going out

I love Mount Everest
I’ve never been there
but I love it
and keep going
put your head
on my shoulder
hold me in the twin bed
in the bedroom
that was mine
keep going
spoon me under the panorama
of the old Boston Garden
reach under the rubble
for souvenirs
because it’s impossible
to know what you’ll care about
and returning
to Mount Everest
in all your travels
you won’t go there
how little you
don’t reveal

I love history
it’s hard to say why
I love the small kinds of saying
little performances
for how many years
and some other variables
and let this particular unknown stand
for what I am afraid to admit
to myself tonight
and what has been carefully registered
and you have to admit
there’s luck involved
and I love luck
I thought of it
as my life
fudging numbers
I invented this
idea of myself
but I don’t know
will history be kind

I love these photographs
of the world
before I got here
when my folks
in their youth
had yet to imagine my life
or getting older
I love that world
in dusty color
and standard definition
I’m trying to remember
as you have to remember
to love what you invented
the fundamental
songs stuck in your head
will always welcome you
oh and one more thing
before you go

I love one more thing
one more time
one more day
one more chance
and another one
late at night
with a little buzz going
the long moments
after you’ve said how you feel
to the voice
paused on the other end
anything is possible
I love the end of the day
anything after
long moments
I’m staying up
for the fundamental
things in the world
and gravity around you
I love one
and one
and one
welcoming one to another
I love what a friend says
and how a friend says it
the judgment of the night itself
with no response
just saying I’ve been thinking about you
in long moments
I thought and I thought
and now I’m thinking

I love you
and I haven’t told you yet
it’s sad to be loved
on the huge grid
that’s life
it’s passing
you in the street
at the right moment
it’s sad to be loved
with little in return
it’s sad
not to love someone
in return
you must retrieve it
and there’s no chance
and all the green money
doesn’t do it
you can’t just jump
off a cliff
I’m sorry I don’t love this person
when in return
you don’t love me
it’s a sad equation
I haven’t told you
I’m just assuming
it’s sad
I love you

Seth Landman lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. He is the author of Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow Press, 2013) and Confidence (Brooklyn Arts Press, forthcoming in June). He collaborates with Seth Parker on Tyoyeu (@tyoyeu) and writes sometimes for The Peach Basket.

Image: from page 25 of “De Bykorf des Gemoeds : Honing zaamelende uit allerley Bloemen” (1711)

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