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)
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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