Our luggage was late.
I got home close to midnight.
Forgive me for them taking so long.

This year’s poems were written by a variety of talented friends who were trapped at the Denver Airport with me, and our driver Dan. Enjoy.

My lips are chapped raw.
They bleed a little, whenever I smile.
The skin around my chin, crawling up to my cheeks, is chapped and red.
There’s a muscle in my lower back that feels like someone dug a knife into it.
My breath smells like old cigarettes
And I’m wearing the same underwear I put on three days ago.

There’s no better feeling in the world than this.
Happy Valentine’s Day, new lover.
Being skanky has never been so hot.

— Pamela Ribon

I hope we’re not related.
My dad says he’ll find out.
I’m not sure I trust his research skills,
But we should probably talk.
– Jason Allen

Trembling in my clothes
Just to be near you
My heart races
Will I love you or fear you?
See me. See me.
Let me fly high.
High enough to kiss the sky.
And please, dearest Cheryl
Don’t look too close.
For while I am here now
You have to let me go.
My heart must be free to ride the wind
On flight 5666.
Please don’t check my California I.D.
Expired 12/08/04
Our love might wither and die.
God, I must fly.
P.S. — You can keep the tweezers of our love.

— Jessica Kaman

Please.
Will what we have ever be more than something surface?
Why does it all need to be so shallow?
Sigh.
When we first met
I wanted you to be the one
For it to be Real
It was so hot in New York
And I got us tickets to Shakespeare
But you kept touching my leg
And trying to pretend it was an accident
I wanted more than anything
To love you
But in the end
You just weren’t blond enough for me
Sorry.

– dan J. Blau

Such happy sound
Joy jump crowd people yelling
Travel plane. Tiny seats. :(
I sign paper of yelling my name
Even while I pee!!!
“Box the inside,” red-faced Butterstinker yells.
And I do. I box.
And when I find myself
Like Christie Brinkley
At photography shoot
Eating crafty-service food
And I’m on cover of magazine same week as Jesus on “Time” and someone named Good Charlotte is on “Spin”
It’s so much to make this big boy from the rurals blush with embarrass-feeling.
NBA, I love you.
Love,
Yao Ming

— Stephen Falk

When you told me
you were bipolar
I didn’t know that meant
it would be okay for you
to see two girls at the same time.
I should have paid more attention in that Intro Psych class.

— Sara Morrison

“He didn’t call.”
— “He’s just not that into you.”
“He didn’t ask me out to dinner.”
— “He’s just not that into food.”
“He said he never wanted to have kids.”
— “He’s just not that into poo.”
“He didn’t want my extra ticket to the Vince Neill show.”
— “He’s just not that into the ‘Crue.”
“He didn’t want to split my bagel with me.”
— “He’s just not that into Jews.”
“He said he only dates girls from Berkeley.”
— “He’s just not that into shoes.”
“He said he didn’t want to sleep with me and my roommate at the same time.”
— “He’s just not that into twos.”
“Really?”
— “No, that one’s probably gay. The rest are assholes.”
“This is the best book ever.”

-p.r.

You are perfect.
Small and round.
Tough and sweet.
Tiny bird of paradise.
Hiding a dark heart.
I will take you inside
To the deepest craving.
And let your colors swirl
Under my tongue
Until we melt
Into a watercolor fantasy.
A small miracle
That you fill me.
Sustain me.
Enslave me.
Mini M&M’s.
You had me at “M.”
(You lost me with “Mini” but then you got me again with “M.”)

-J.K.

Happy Valentine’s Day.
I would have bought you something,
But I know you and I have evolved past
Proving our love in tangible trinkets and tokens.
That and you still owe me for last month’s rent.
Tell you what. I really do love you.
Take fifty bucks off what you owe me.
And then you can take us to dinner next month.
Sushi.
You can order the brown rice,
On account of your allergies.
Hey, can I bum a cigarette?

-p.r.

You are always there,
You are my rock,
You are all I need.

I can tell you anything,
I trust you with everything
I want you in my life forever.

Happy Valentine’s Day,
my gay best friend.

— s.m.

BEDRIDDEN

Thinking of you makes my whole world improve
Though my house may be burning
I cannot even move.
For I get all choked up when I picture you near me,
Plus my trache-tube slipped out
So nobody can hear me.
Though if someone could
All I’d yell is your name
‘Twill take more to dishearten
This heart than some flame.
They may come in red trucks
Or in choppers above.
But their hoses will never
Extinguish my love.
For my house may be wood,
But the only true test is
The make of one’s soul
And mine’s made of asbestos.

– J.A.

From behind my granite desk I sit
And watch the brokers choke and spit
As neon numbers ticker by
“Cisco’s low!” “Tyco’s high!”
The time swims past, the hours meld
And when the day’s been Closing-Bell’d
I rocket to the 19th floor
Treadmill for hours; free-weights for more
Dinner might follow: Stu, Mitch or Paul
Masters of this grand Universe, all
Uptown I speed a car-serviced burst
Home to Park Ave. and Ninety-First
I give a “hello!” to my doorman; Puerto-Rican
And enter my flat, unable to sneak in
For there you are waiting, alert and high-Baud
I sit down to greet you, I want to applaud
For you are my reason, my evening, my morn
This Valentine’s for you, dear Internet porn.

-s.f.

FOR EDDIE IZZARD

Can’t meet your eyes on
The stairway to paradise
But love the highlights.

-J.K.

I will always take solace in knowing,
that the girl you dumped me for,
is kind of ugly.

— s.m.

Okay, Denver Airport.
I’m a mile high
(or so they say).
Where’s all the hot sex?
I want to join the club!
Do I get a card?
Are there dues?
How come you have a Wolfgang Puck?
(or is that some kind of euphamism?)
Oh, I get it.
I’ll be waiting at the “Cinnabon”
For all the hot mile-high club-joining sex.

-p.r.

Q & A

Is it wrong that I still fantasize about the girl character from the Encyclopedia Brown stories?
It can’t be an unhealthy obsession if I don’t remember her name.
When we first met were you attracted to my change apron?
I always gave you extra quarters so you could maybe stay longer.
Were you aware that men have estrogen? And that too much could cause cavities?
It’s true. But children still shouldn’t be left unsupervised with medical texts.
When do you think I’ll overcome my fear of magicians?
I’m sorry I ran home from our first date.

-J.A.

“Did you see that girl over there?”
“No, where.”
“That one who just walked by with the huge fake boobs and the tiniest skirt I’ve ever seen?”
“No, I didn’t see her. I was looking at how pretty your hair looks when it’s falling out of a ponytail and you’re wearing one of my old t-shirts and you’re drooling on yourself waiting for our flight.”
“Really?”
“No, I was staring at the girl with huge fake boobs and the band-aid for a skirt. I’m married; not blind.”
“I love you, too.”
Happy Valentine’s Day

-p.r.

You were so funny once
So much so that I had a whole hour-long routine of yours memorized.
I didn’t find your obscure pop-cult references annoying.
Even when they involved F-Troop, the 1914 Yalta Peace conference, and Mumenchantz all at once.
And then something happened.
I’m not sure if you had some sort of special intel., but you reacted as if they were actually trying to knock down your house
And ran into the Twin Towers by mistake.
This is a Valentine not to you,
But to the stagnant, lately-untapped pool of funny now buried beneath a blubber-thick layer of neo-fascist, right-wing, super-militant paranoia.
I miss you, Cha Cha.
(Please give this note to the old Dennis Miller)

— s.f.

I go to the gym a lot and I’m really skinny now
I’m still too old for you, aren’t I?
Because I’ve started lying about my age
And people find it charming
When I tell them that I’m twenty-five when I’m LA
And twenty-nine when I’m in New York
Because of the time difference
Ha?
Get it?
Probably not. I was always a lot smarter than you.
Please call me back
Seriously

-Djb

Everything about you;
the merlot you ordered with dinner,
the strawberry daquiri you said was your favorite drink,
the turtlenecks you always wear,
the insistence on shaving your body hair,
the degree from Emerson,
the fact that you couldn’t always get it up,
the lisp,
should have tipped me off
that you were gay.
Oops.

–s.m.

Wake up.
Hey. Wake up.
GET UP.
No, I didn’t have a bad dream.
No, there isn’t someone in the house.
No, I don’t want to fool around.
You forgot Valentine’s Day.
And I wasn’t going to say anything,
But all day I was waiting for you to say something
Or give me a special kiss
Or make me dinner
Or draw me a bath
SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
But instead you ordered Chinese food
And we ate it watching a few hours of TiVo we’d saved up
(the shows we like to watch together)
while you rubbed my feet and I played with one of the cats
and then you let me go first in the bathroom
and handed me my toothbrush with the toothpaste already on it.
So I woke you up
Because I wanted to say:
Thank you for the perfect Valentine’s Day.
What?
Yeah.
Fine.
Hold on. Let me take out my retainer.

-p.r.

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