Unsuccessful Love Poems, by Alan Clinton

Unsuccessful Love Poems, by Alan Clinton


When S. mentions the word “love” in conversation, it can mean either divine or earthly love, or some combination, but there is never any contextual clue

Alan Clinton’s new collection yanks us down the literary rabbit hole, with a nod to the icons of other arts, as he wrestles the demigod of earthly love in the person of “S,” who has left her fingerprints all over his deft, racing imagination.

Sometimes you write love poems
knowing in advance
they will be unsuccessful.

That is a very American idea
wanting your love poems to succeed
in the reality studios.

You can’t help it if
what others see in you is not
the essence of your “art.”

Like Buster Keaton didn’t like
to be called “The Great Stone Face”

He wanted a face with a chink in it
that Pyramus and Thisbe could whisper through.