The Ninth Annual Valentine’s Day Poems

You know what happens when you have to write something for the ninth time, which means it’s not quite the tenth, so it isn’t as exciting and spectacular, and it all kind of snuck up on you because you were taking some much-needed time away from the internet, because sometimes you’ve got a lot of shit on your plate… which is a really gross image (and sorry), but like, you just don’t know what to do? Well, what happens is, y’all get a clip show.


Remember that first year?


I wish I could give you that sunset.
I wish I could give you that rainbow.
I wish I could give you that wedding you always wanted.
Here’s a Hershey bar.
Have some patience, please.
I’m only one fucking person.

[fade, star swipe…]

Aw, we were all so young. Look at your hair! I don’t remember it being that long! Ooh, and how could you guys let me wear those pants with that shirt?!

Gosh, that second year, that was when we all got trapped in that cabin? Remember? There was that terrible blizzard, and we all thought we were going to have to eat Ted! And then Ricky did that dance in his mom’s skirt? Oh, jeez. I can’t believe we still had time for the poems!

No, I mean yes.
Yes, no.
oh, yes.
too far
too far
no, the good burning.
don’t stop.
no, i meant don’t stop
don’t stop
oh, forget it.
just go away.
just forget it.
stupid dog.

Year Three. In retrospect, we really shouldn’t have had that baby. Really killed a lot of the potential storylines, since we couldn’t go out and have fun anymore. And we didn’t want to turn into “those people” whose lives revolve around their kids, so remember there were all those episodes about Ricky dating that girl from China, but nobody really cared about them because she was such a bad actress, and that was when the guy playing Ricky was way into coke by then, and was getting all scary-skinny?

But there was that one time, when we all got trapped in that elevator? Remember, as I was going into labor? That was so funny! … but also, I think we really all learned something about the power of humanosity.

The warmth

In my mouth.

That rush

Through my veins

Making my heart race

My pulse quicken

My head

Just a bit dizzy.

My legs are just a bit numb.

My tongue

Yearns for more

More of you

Right now.


I can’t wait anymore.

This is torture.


I’m in hell

Waiting for you.

I just want to shout

To this giant crowd of people

“How hard is it to make a latte, fuckers?”

I love you, coffee.

Oh, God. Year Four was when you got trapped in that refrigerator, remember? We were playing hide and seek and you crawled in all smug, thinking you’d found the perfect hiding place, and then the fridge tipped over or whatever while I was looking for you and you got trapped in there and ran out of air and I was the big hero for calling our foster dad and he called the paramedics, who gave you CPR and brought you back to life and for whatever reason we didn’t get grounded, but we really learned something important, since people are always leaving refrigerators on the side of the road, and in parks and stuff, where kids are playing.

You wrote me a song?

For the guitar?

Oh, my.

You didn’t have to do that.

No, it’s just… do you know how to play the guitar?

Oh. You learned for this song.

No, I’m not laughing, there’s just…

something stuck in my teeth.

Sorry. You were going to play the song.

Okay. I’m ready now.

Wait. Did you start, or are you tuning the strings?

I’m sorry. Go ahead. Sorry.

Wait. Are you singing? Are you hurt?

Are you okay?

Where are you going?

I’m sorry! It’s really a cute song!

I can’t wait to finish hearing it!

Year Five was when we all went to Jamaica together, and I got totally lost because that psychic lady told me that I was going to meet my husband, remember? And you were scared because you woke up with a tattoo that you don’t remember getting, and for some reason Ted was in your bed, and you were worried Ricky would find out, but Ted showed you how he’d just written on your head in Sharpie after you’d passed out, and I wasn’t really lost, but was actually just dreaming the entire thing.

… oh. So I guess we didn’t go to Jamaica after all. Year Five was when we totally jumped the shark, y’all. That’s why they got new people, and finally stopped renewing Ricky’s contract. That was when he got all fat and started dating that girl who looked like Tara Reid but wasn’t Tara Reid, which was just weird.

i remember.

how easy it used to be.

i’d pull you close.

kiss you once.

and tell you that if you left me

it would turn black and fall off.

You tenth-graders are much smarter.

Then in the Sixth Year my cousin with cerebral palsy came to stay with us for the summer, to teach us all the true meaning of blah, blah, blah. That was meaningful.

Dear Oprah and Jon Stewart,


You probably didn’t expect to share a valentine with each other this year. But I am who I am because of the two of you.

Kind of. It’s strange, I know.

Jon makes me realize that even though the world is so strange and scary and soon to self-implode from stupidity there’s always a reason to laugh about it. It will eventually be okay. And there’s always someone doing something way dumber than you are.

My dad was like that.

He enjoyed laughing at the dumbest news items. He found a certain comfort in ridiculous media frenzies. He covered the OJ Trial for me like you’ve covered the Messopotamia.

So thanks for that, Jon.

And you, Oprah, you remind me that someone’s always having a much shittier life than I am. And you seem to have found yourself now that you’re fifty. You seem confident and comfortable with who you have become.

That makes me think of my mom, and I hope she finds the same peace of mind you did this year.

I hope she doesn’t have to go to Africa to do it, though — (Because I’d miss her.)

But you remind me of my mom in another way, Oprah. You seem genuine, and nice, and you want to help people. Those are three of the best qualities about my mom.

Mom also likes to repeat things she finds nifty, and seems to find out about things just a few months too late. (Last night she asked me if I’d heard of a Clooney movie with that girl from Chicago.)

So spending an hour with you on weekdays feels like getting lunch with Mom.

I could never repay you for that.

So thanks, guys, for being my de facto parents when I can’t spend all the time I want to with my own.

Then there was the bad year. Year Seven, when they thought it would be a good idea to give me an alcohol addiction. Remember, I left the baby on top of the car and drove off? People were so pissed about that episode. They were writing in for weeks, and then there was that boycott, and people were like, coming to my real house. My real house with dolls strapped to car seats and they were throwing them at my front door. Like, I don’t write the episodes, crazy people! I’m not a real drunk! (Although, I don’t mind the research. Zing!)

That was also the year that we had that funeral for Ricky’s character, and they tried to do a clip show without using any of the guy who played Ricky’s scenes, so that they wouldn’t have to pay him because he was suing the show for not letting him out of his contract so he could be in The Village. How many times and in how many different ways did that Ricky-dude want to lose? Seriously.

“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.”


“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

And then last year. Remember we all decided to celebrate Christmas together, even though clearly most of us are played by Jewish actors? And it started snowing! In Los Angeles! And then we found out it was just Mr. Sweetzer from upstairs having a mishap with his confectioner’s sugar.

You kissed me as the fake snow fell all around us, and I believed in the magic of the future.

When I say

I love you

I don’t mean

Until you don’t believe me anymore.

When I say

I need you

I don’t mean

Until you run out of money.

When I say

I want you

I don’t mean

Until you think I’m letting go.

My heart

is chained

to yours

like a feral hippie

latched to the last

oak tree

in Berkeley.

Oh, gosh. Eight years. It all went by so fast! And this is year nine! Nine years. We sure have learned something, haven’t we? Gosh, it’s fun to learn and live. You’re fun. And I love you., I have to admit on this day of hearts and gushing and admiration: I have always loved you. Even when I wanted to shake the shit out of you, I still loved you. Thank you for being my Valentine for the past nine years.

You’ve got a heart on.


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