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By Julian Talamantez Brolaski

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)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Love
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Julian Talamantez Brolaski
Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Of Mongrelitude (2017), Advice for Lovers (2012), gowanus atropolis (2011), and coeditor of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards (2009). It is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in the country bands Juan & the Pines (NYC) and The Western Skyline (Oakland). Brolaski is currently researching and editing a book on Mescalero Apache ceremony with its grandmother, Inés Talamantez. 

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