My Latest New Favorite Poet: Jay Leeming – National Poetry Month Post #8

My latest new favorite poet is Jay Leeming (from American Life in Poetry: Column 455).

I know many of us have been on blind dates, so have some understanding of the situation painted in this poem. The way Mr. Leeming personifies the idea of loneliness as a sort of “third wheel” is quite great. Read on!

Blind Date

Our loneliness sits with us at dinner, an unwanted guest
who never says anything. It’s uncomfortable. Still

we get to know each other, like students allowed
to use a private research library for only one night.

I go through her file of friends, cities and jobs.
“What was that like?” I ask. “What did you do then?”

We are each doctors who have only ourselves
for medicine, and long to prescribe it for what ails

the other. She has a nice smile. Maybe, maybe . . .
I tell myself. But my heart is a cynical hermit

who frowns once, then shuts the door of his room
and starts reading a book. All I can do now is want

to want her. Our polite conversation coasts
like a car running on fumes, and then rolls to a stop;

we split the bill, and that third guest at the table
goes home with each of us, to talk and talk.

My favorite lines:

“But my heart is a cynical hermit

who frowns once, then shuts the door of his room
and starts reading a book.”

Maybe now we know why blind dates don’t work out so well for the “hermit-hearted” narrator.

The full article can be found by clicking here.

Enjoy! 😀

Jamy

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