I can no longer praise you.

The whispering crowd is the enemy.

Love is only love in secrecy.

I died when I found out what they knew.

Damn my passivity, and when ambitious men

Make my passivity seem self-satisfied again.

You are wanted when men want you—

Men know I love you, so they love you, too.

Finding love, gangs repeat it,

And once known, fame

Kills the secret,

Removes love from love,

And stamps it with a name.

Why marriage? When I took your hand

Love knew love has no secret plan.

The law to love is a law to ban.

And I can’t prevent it. No one can.

From love’s dream, one of us, in hate, woke.

A thought, once spoken, cannot speak again.

The moment I spoke

You gave your life to other men.





  1. noochinator said,

    February 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

    From film critic Stanley Kauffmann’s 1963 review of the film This Sporting Life, this passage describes well methinks the horror of obsessive male “love”:

    “His hunger for love, for her love, heedless of her condition, drives him to shatter her private sanctities and, in time, to shatter her…. It is the story of an emotional need that is converted to egoism by rejection, that destroys what it prizes by insisting on loving without understanding.”

    • thomasbrady said,

      February 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      A FB reader (I link Scarriet on Facebook and various FB linked poetry sites) asked me about this poem, “what about women?”

      I told her—it seems she’s a middle aged poet herself (I don’t know her)—that I first had “others” and changed it to “men” simply because it sounded better—and I said sound is what says in a poem; the theme of the poem could include women, even though, I admitted, the speaker of the poem is a man with a jealous crush on a woman. She said the poem was “not her cup of tea.” I did thank her, because in my defense of poetry as “sound,” I came up with a new poem, which I’ll publish soon on Scarriet.

      • noochinator said,

        February 6, 2018 at 11:56 pm

        We are accultured to look forgivingly on a man who persists in his courting of a woman in spite of her lack of interest. We see such persistence as crucial to the continuation of life. Perhaps we are wrong to do so.

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