What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends

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)

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Poet Julian Talamantez Brolaski

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Love, Heartache & Loss, Unrequited Love, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Biography

Poet Julian T. Brolaski is the author of the collections gowanus atropolis (2010) and Advice for Lovers (2011). Xir chapbooks include Hellish Death Monsters (2001), The Daily Usonian (2004), Madame Bovary’s Diary (2005), and Buck in a Corridor (2008). Brolaski’s work often explores transgender and gender-variant experiences through linguistics experimentation, including the use of gender-neutral pronouns, etymology, and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Heartache & Loss, Unrequited Love, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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