Why speak of hate, when I do bleed for love?
Not hate, my love, but Love doth bite my tongue
Till I taste stuff that makes my rhyming rough
So flatter I my fever for the one
For whom I inly mourn, though seem to shun.
A rose is arrows is eros, so what
If I confuse the shade that I’ve become
With winedark substance in a lover’s cup?
But stop my tonguely wound, I’ve bled enough.
If I be fair, or false, or freaked with fear
If I my tongue in lockèd box immure
Blame not me, for I am sick with love.
     Yet would I be your friend most willingly
     Since friendship would infect me killingly.

  • Julian T. Brolaski, "What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends" from Advice for Lovers, City Lights Spotlight No. 7. Copyright © 2012 by Julian T. Brolaski.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

  • Source: Advice for Lovers (City Lights Books, 2012)

What People are Saying

"With a $20,000 prize, I never imagined POL being this much fun. The competitions were more about meeting and talking with the other competitors, having a great time and enjoying the poetry. I also never knew I could find so much in myself just from reciting poems."
Elliot Davidson
2015 PA POL Champion