love

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Love

I convened an academic symposium
and gathered together the great and the good
from a wide variety of disciplines
to consider the question, ‘What is love?’

The philosophers said we must first start with Plato.
The historians showed how it had changed over time.
The chemists spoke of oxytocin and dopamine.
The psychologists thought it was all in the mind.

The political scientists declared it undemocratic.
The sociologists deemed it a social construct.
The economists said that nothing else mattered
except for how little there was, or how much.

The linguists explained the word came from Old English.
The theologians claimed it came straight from God.
The media studies professors weren’t present
but they said they’d send their thoughts in a vlog.

The anthropologists spoke of love across cultures.
The mathematicians tried to work out its square root.
The neuroscientists pointed at MRI scans.
The musicologists played its song on a lute.

The art historians said it was all about perspective.
The geologists believed it from molten rock hewn.
The classicists read extracts from Sappho and Ovid.
The astrophysicists thought it to do with the moon.

The geographers tried to map all its contours.
The literature scholars quoted Auden and Keats.
At the end we were no nearer an answer;
we reconvene on Wednesday next week.

Advertisements

Love in the Age of Google

is love an abstract noun
is love a verb
is love actually on Netflix
is love a word

love is a temporary madness
love is a hurricane
love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs
love is a losing game

can love last forever
can love break your heart
can love2shop vouchers be used online
can lovebites scar

love can build a bridge
love can set you free
love can hurt ed sheeran
love cannot heal me

does love cure depression
does love have an age
does lovejoy marry charlotte
does love always fade

love does not need an explanation
love does not exist
love doesn’t need a slogan
love is all there is

 

This poem was constructed entirely from auto-completed searches about love on Google.

Alexa, What Is There to Know about Love?

Alexa, what is there to know about love?
What is there to know about love?
A glove is a garment that covers the hand
for protection from the cold or dirt and –

Alexa, how does a human heart work?
How does a human heart work?
Blood is first received in the right atrium via
two veins, the vena cava superior and inferior –

Alexa, where do we go to when we die?
Where do we go to when we die?
Activating Google Maps. Completed activation.
Would you like to start from your current location?

Alexa, what does it mean to be alone?
What does it mean to be alone?
It is the silence left by words unsaid,
the cold expanse of half a bed.
It is the endless stretching of the hours,
the needless tending of plastic flowers.
It is an echo unanswered in a cave,
the fateful ping of the microwave.
It is the fraying of a worn shirt cuff,
and the howl –
Stop, Alexa. That’s enough.

She’s Opted Out of Me

She’s unsubscribed from all my lists.
She tells me I will not be missed.
She’d only joined when she was pissed.
She’s opted out of me.

She’s updated all her preferences.
She’s removed me from her references.
She can’t see what my relevance is.
She’s opted out of me.

She says that she is sick of me.
She claims she wants some privacy.
I’ve opted into misery
Now she’s opted out of me.

ee cummings attempts online banking

Now enter a password.
i carry your heart with me

Password too long. Please try again.
i carry your ear with me

Spaces are not allowed. Please try again.
icarryyourearwithme

Passwords need to contain at least one uppercase letter. Please try again.

No activity has been detected for three minutes. Please try again.

This page is about to expire. Please enter your new password.
ICarryYourEarWithMe

Passwords must contain at least one digit. Please try again.
1CarryY0urEarWithMe

Passwords must contain at least one special character. Please try again.
1CarryY0ur👂🏻WithMe

Emojis are not supported on this platform at this time. Please enter a new password.

No activity has been detected for three minutes. Please try again.

This page is about to expire. Please enter a new password.
AbCd1234&!%

Out of the Rain

We ran down the high street and into the pub,
as we cheated the rain that fell from above,
dodging the puddles that had formed on the floor.
Such a beautiful day for a nuclear war.

You draped your wet coat on the back of your chair,
We emptied our drinks. The rain dripped from your hair.
A Guinness. A whiskey. Then I went back for more.
What a beautiful day for a nuclear war.

We talked. Pop songs. First pets. Favourite film stars.
We flicked pistachio shells into a jar.
You tried not to yawn. You must have thought me a bore.
It was a beautiful day for a nuclear war.

The days have changed now but I keep that one apart.
I carry it with me, tattooed on my heart.
The Guinness. Your wet hair. The dress that that you wore.
Such a beautiful day for a nuclear war.

Remembrance Of Things Pasta

She blew her fusilli,
my pretty penne,

when she found me watching
daytime tagliatelle.

Je ne spaghetti rien,
I responded in song,

but she did not linguini
for long,

just walked out
without further retort:

a hard lesson to be tortellini,
orzo I thought.

And so here I am
on my macaroni

and now my days
feel cannelloni.