Notes on the Love Poems You Keep Writing Me

Andrew Cominelli receives some constructive criticism on the things he wrote for his prospective soul mate.


Hey Andrew!

Thanks for stuffing all these love poems under my door. Here are some notes I took on them:

I didn’t understand this poem at all. All I know is there was a dog at one point, then an old bicycle, then, all of a sudden, a corpse. What the fuck, man? Do you love me or what?

“Blakely Street”
The ending of this poem was sort of a cop-out, don’t you think? The poem was sad throughout, and then all of a sudden the narrator’s love is requited and everything’s sunshine and lollipops. Don’t you think it’d have a more interesting/profound message if it ended with him dying alone? Just a suggestion.

“White Hills”
Oh my god… no way… did he just…? Yes! You did! You compared me to flowers! You said I look like motherfucking flowers! In a poem, no less! Shucks, I must be the most drop-dead gorgeous girl on the planet if my looks can inspire an amateur poet to think of a goddamn LILY! What an amazing, original metaphor for my beauty!

“Holy Trinity”
The religious metaphors in this poem were trite. If I want to be called an “angel” or a “goddess” over and over, I’ll go to a working class bar or to League Night at a bowling alley. I don’t need to read it in poem form. Sure, I get it — I’m a divine being descended from heaven, God must have spent extra time making me, I’m perfect and complete and sublime, etc., etc. Thanks. Now maybe try buying me dinner at a place with tablecloths.

I refuse to read this one because it is titled “Chrysanthemums.”

“Violent Morning”
My main note here: you are WAY too into me in this poem. I’d go back through this one and tone it down, because it’s heavy-handed, and also because it is scaring/pushing me away. I’d also spend more time with friends, and pursue healthy career goals. Just a suggestion.

I like your use of the sailboat metaphor to describe your love as “ever off-kilter” and “needing only the slightest wind/ to slice onward.” I really think you could extend this metaphor though: Don’t sailboats also rot and decay? Or get splintered and wrecked by horrible storms? Maybe explore THAT side of sailboats. Then you might have a real poem on your hands.

I refuse to read this one because it is titled “Rhododendrons.”

I’d cut the whole heartfelt “I love you” refrain. It’s nice, but it’s just clunky here. I’d also cut the stuff about your difficulty communicating your feelings to me. It’s off theme, and it totally took me out of the poem. I like the descriptions/imagery though — you really bring us to this guy’s dingy bedroom, and the specifics are fine-tuned to show us just how lonely/miserable he is. So, kudos on that. Also, I’m sorry you feel that way.

Here’s an idea: how about instead of having the narrator mope and weep and write poetry about the sob story of his love life, you give him a modicum of courage and have him confront the woman and tell her, in real-ass life, how he feels about her, how he’s lost without her, and how he’s prepared to dedicate the rest of his life to the sole purpose of making her time on the planet painless and joyful and complete? The girl will probably still reject him because he’s so intense and she fears commitment, but jeez, at least he’ll have grown a pair. Just a suggestion.

Hope this helps!

Illustration by Yael Levy

Andrew Cominelli writes and performs comedy, mainly with his NYC-based group Kingmaker. He has a Twitter and a blog.