Heart at my tongue, tirelessly sung

That most folks misunderstand one common state:
The flip side of love is indifference, not hate.

-David Rakoff, Love Dishonor Marry Die Cherish Perish A Novel (103)


Clementines, lithograph by Victoria Accardi 2009

A friend of mine, so young and so dear
Lent me a book a little queer.
Written in rhyme, the two of us mused
Left us feeling somewhat bemused
With our minds caught in quite a mess
Of unruly and permanent rhyming redress.

David Rakoff on his deathbed wrote
A book of some considerable note.
Love Dishonor Marry Die Cherish Perish A Novel
Will leave one with kvetch or kvell.
Life’s bitterness is nothing new
But the rare lilt of a rhyme adds to what’s really an adieu.

Okay, like mine, the rhyme sometimes falls flat
But the author’s just dead- I can’t be that much of a twat.
Even still the rueful humor will ensue
And I feel duty bound to give it its due.
All that is true
And all we go through,
It’s our stories that remain
Whether told in fun or unbearable pain
The truth of our lives here on this earth
Is our shared saga, and an earnest desire for innocent mirth.

Except for instructions he’d underscored twice
Just two words in length, and those words were,
“Be nice!” (77)

10 responses to “Heart at my tongue, tirelessly sung

  1. I am always surprised and always delighted
    By connection, coincidence and thought reunited.
    To discover, by chance, or by Zuckerberg’s invention
    That we share such pleasure in literary un-convention.

    I just finished this book! Seriously! True!
    And was encouraged by a young friend, just the same as you.
    I found the rhyming awkward but never distracting
    Because the emotional content was honest and exacting.

    Our stories remain, and connect us where it matters
    Emotionally, of course, with our hearts all in tatters
    Or broken or twisted, or perhaps in full grace —
    Aware of the time, the moment, the place.

    So thank you again, dear friend in the making,
    For all of your brilliance and your points so worth taking.
    Please keep sharing, inspiring and delighting
    With your photos, your recipes and, of course, with your writing.


  2. Oh that’s truly wonderful Amy! What a delicious delight life can be, particularly in all it’s weird synchronicity! Thank you.

  3. TheGoldenReview

    I think I may know that “young man” too
    And i’ll speak on his behalf (i don’t think he’d mind if I do)
    To agree with you, dear Jessica & Amy
    That the rhyme’s sometimes distracting, even cockamamie
    And that these vignettes don’t always coalesce
    Into one coherent story, but truly i digress
    Because this little gem by David Rakoff
    Was so enchanting i couldn’t back-off
    And stop reading – which for me is quite a boon
    The last book I read on my own was in last june! –
    The words Rakoff writes on his dying breath
    Were funny and poignant and came with such heft
    That multiple times, reading by the pool
    I had to stop, my mouth open, to drool
    At the literary talent to string such words together
    With infinite wisdom in form as light as a feather

    I am very glad that you liked the book
    And know how exciting it is for me to look
    At a blog post and have heard of the source!
    And have read it myself? Not even out of force!
    Truthfully leaves me a little oneiric
    That I can choose a book and it’d be your pick
    But there were moments of beauty, that bring us together
    And i guess that’s why I thought you’d like it, Heather

    I guess i’ll leave with my favorite part
    That did something to my cynical heart.
    “But, like hating a food but still asking for more
    It beats staying dry but so lonely on shore.
    So we make ourselves open, while knowing full well
    It’s essentially saying, ‘Please, come pierce my shell.'”

    • This is heavenly! I love that we — we band of merry pranksters — are now communicating in verse. What’s next? Meeting up for a wee dram of meade? Fairy hunting in the king’s woods? I pray my liege doth count me in.

  4. My eyes tear up – true, its over your use of oneiric
    -a wonderful word, and a cause to feel homesick
    But that our three poems have the same pitch
    speaks volumes to Rakoff’s words, so rich.
    It’s true what you say, these moments do tether
    And rest assured, my dear Noah, to you, I’ll always be Heather.

    • TheGoldenReview

      Ah wonderful, though that ending is total Donna Golden
      A perfect example that you have been molded
      At least, a little bit so,by your wife
      A cementing, in rhyme, of you in our life.

      On dammit, it’s rubbed off on me too
      Forget the sap, let me stick to a review!

      • Ha ha! well, tell Richard “the zone” is now clear,
        Although I’m still near,
        hardly a wife,
        yet, I can certainly attest that the G and B clan
        has enriched my life!

  5. TheGoldenReview

    I think i must stop, the rhyming’s got my brain sore
    but until next time, you’re somewhat-son – Salvator

  6. I love all of these.

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