Old Muse

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2012

Lately you’ve been on my mind.
I’ve been thinking of you
the way old speakers think of great speeches
and hold a smile at the wall, surface satisfied.

The kind of thoughts that start with smells
and grow with every thinking,
blue or bronze flat skies that grow beautiful
by what’s in front of them

and meals that become favourites,
films filed down as hidden gems,
mistakes maturing into tragedies
and memories murmuring to bits.

Do I get on your mind like that?
Do you talk about me as though I were
funny, and romantic or something,
and thoughtful and not

the kind of guy who’d talk to you
when you weren’t listening
and would paint you onto vases, later,
with silhouette arms that are just too

long, and really, you could be anyone,
anyone special?

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To the good-looking girl on the train, drinking Gordon’s and singing along to Edith Piaf

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2010

No? You honestly have no regrets?
No, I guess you’d have no use for them.
You look near-perfect to me, well except
for maybe your singing, and even then
you do it stylishly. Everything paid
and sipped from tiny bottles, like your gin.
Yesterday’s losses loudly swept away,
your fleeting doubts banished with ‘no’ again.

I wish I felt the same about regrets.
I wish I’d stopped the trolley-bloke, just now,
and a had a drink myself, to just forget
like you with your rien. Perfect and proud.
But next time, love, I shan’t just let him go
with such a simple, sorry answer, ‘No’.

A love poem by Steve Martin

A love poem by Steve Martin: renowned comedian, banjo player and personal friend of Johnny ‘the casher’ Cash. Transcribed from Saturday Night Live (season 14, episode 20).

Every man needs a woman and I need you
to lift me when I am sad,
to comfort me when I am down,
to clean me when I am drunk,
to walk beside me when I want to look like I’m not gay,
to walk in front of me when I need someone to act as a human windbreak,
to kiss me when I’m horny,
to massage me when I am tense and / or horny,
to make me horny when I’m not horny
and then to watch me fall asleep.

I need you, darling,
to clean between my toes when they are not clean to my satisfaction,
to pick the nits out of my hair when I have head lice,
to try milk for me when I am not sure of the expiration date,
to be there when I need you to be there
and to be out of town the rest of the time.

My darling, although it may seem sentimental
I want to take this moment to tell you I love you
because I don’t want to lose half my stuff

and even though you are far away across the ocean
I always have this to remind me.

Sorry.
Goodnight, my love.

Steve-Martin