Following the exercise in a poetry book
I divided my page with a vertical line
labeled one column love and the other hate
and filled each list with my scribbled passions

My hate list is short, unrevealing:
I hate racists! I hate sexists! I hate bigots!
I hate drivers who don’t signal. I hate people
who talk loudly on cell phones in coffee shops.

The list of my loves, I’m more embarrassed to say,
casts in stunning relief my proletarian tastes.
Yes, it’s sprinkled with a few highbrow delights:
Cabernet, Faulkner, dark chocolate, Jean de Florette.

Yet, surrounding these, top and bottom of my list,
the first and best loves I spilled on the page:
Cold beer in cans, pizza, flirty waitresses, soixante neuf,
yes, even in French my loves appear puerile.

This is the list of a man with no business in poetry.
His thoughts are too small, his passions too coarse.
Where is the poetry in loving your wife, your kids,
bowls of beef chili, a plate of nachos, and a fat sack of weed?

Would You Like to Read More?

I hope you enjoyed this poem. If you’d like to read more, you can become a supporter on Patreon and get access to a private library of my poetry, short stories, and excerpts from The Distance Between Us, my novel-in-progress. Members-only access to my work starts at only $1 per month.


  1. Nicole on January 31, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Hey! I’m a participant in the Great Midwest Trivia Contest and when telling someone about the question with your poem in it, I figured I should actually read the poem – and I think it’s really good. I’m not really one for poetic analysis but in my opinion you make a good point about the need/striving/inability to be grand.

    Also, I’m glad to have helped boost your web traffic 🙂

    • ed on February 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks for visiting, reading, and commenting, Nicole. I hope you made a strong showing and, more importantly, had a great time in the GMTC. Earwigs rule!

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