Friday, March 16, 2012

Poetry Friday: He Attempts to Love His Neighbours

My neighbours do not wish to be loved.
They have made it clear that they prefer to
    go peacefully
about their business and want me to do the same.
This ought not to surprise me as it does;
I ought to know by now that most people have a
    hundred things
they would rather do than have me love them.

There is a television, for instance; the truth
    is that almost everybody,
given the choice between being loved and
    watching TV,
would choose the latter. Love interrupts
interferes with mowing the lawn, washing
    the car,
or walking the dog. Love is a telephone
    ringing or a doorbell
waking you moments after you've finally
    succeeded in getting to sleep.

So we must be careful, those of us who were
    born with
the wrong number of fingers or the gift
of loving; we must do our best to behave
like normal members of society and not make
of ourselves; otherwise it could go hard
    with us.
It is better to bite back your tears,
    swallow your laughter,
and learn to fake the mildly self-deprecating
favored by the bourgeoisie
than to be left entirely alone, as you will be,
if your disconformity embarrasses
your neighbours; I wish I didn't keep forgetting

-- Alden Nowlan

More Poetry Friday at Gotta Book.


Enbrethiliel said...


If I didn't know better, I'd say Alden Nowlan lived next door to me! =P


Author Amok said...

Profoundly sad poem. We must be open to love in order to receive love.

Tabatha said...

I love Alden Nowlan -- glad he wouldn't mind!

Ruth said...

Wow, what a great poem! I feel like I need to read it five more times, so I think I will.