10 things you should know if you intend to love a poet

10 things you should know {if you intend to love a poet}

  1. We will always have a mistress. Poetry is our religion and the muse is our deity. She owns us.  We will submit ourselves to her; beg for her to appear, turn ourselves inside out and go down on our knees to please her. At some point, you will come second to our burning need to create. You will be jealous of the muse. But if we do not appease her the fire will consume us, and you, in the process. She is crucial to our survival.

Let us please her.

  1. Poetry is not always literal. Do not assume our poetry means what it says. Sometimes it will mean the exact opposite. Sometimes I love you means I hate you. Sometimes come here means go away. Do not twist yourself into a pretzel trying to figure out what it might mean. Let me repeat this again. Poetry is not. Always. Literal. Except when it is. You risk madness trying to figure this out.

Let it be.

  1. Poets fall in love easily. Regularly. Messily. With people. With ideas. With food. With the way the light falls through your hair and crosses your cheek. With the sound of our own thoughts. Love is fodder for our art. Love is the root of it all. So much love, and not all of it for you. This is the danger of loving a poet. This is the bliss of loving a poet.

Let us love.

  1. When the voices in our head start speaking we don’t talk back or look for a doctor to make them stop. We write them down. On whatever we can find. Receipts. The last letter you got from your late grandmother. Dollar bills. The entire surface of our right arm. If you happen to be bald, the top of your head is fair game in a pinch. Do NOT fall asleep while we are holding anything that can be used as a writing implement. We will write at traffic lights. During happy hour. Right in the middle of a particularly romantic moment. Our words must find a home or they will consume us.

Let us write.

  1. You have never been as beautiful as you will be through our eyes. You will have never known that the hard edge of your hipbone was worthy of poetry, or the curve of your smile or the husk of your voice or the caress of your cheek against our own. But if we love you, we will turn you into a poem. You will be made immortal by the power of our words. You can count on this.

Let it happen.

  1. When you start to date a poet we should read you your rights: Anything you say/do or think can and will be held against you. We will write about what an ass you were that one night, about how you drive us bonkers by singing REO Speedwagon in the shower, about the ways you have brought about betrayal. Still, if you censor yourself, we will know this too. You might as well speak your truth. It’s all poetry to us.

Let us write you into life.

  1. At some point, we will get ink stains on your good sheets. Your best dress shirt. That super important report you stayed up all night finishing for your boss. This will drive you crazy. But know that we will also make love to you with ink stained hands. Finger paint typewriter font onto your skin, brand a masterpiece into the spaces between your ribs with the words flowing from our palms. Tattoo you with the imprint of our hearts. Together, we will become a living poem.

Let us get messy.

  1. We will love you well, with words and nuance, with bodies and phrasing, with kisses and passion, with poems and love letters scratched on coffee shop napkins. So that no matter what happens between us, for the rest of your life, something in your soul will always be searching for the poem that we were together. This will make it very hard to be your next girlfriend.

Let us love you.

  1. Poetry has a long, long memory. After our love is long gone, we will still be reading your poems. You will not be the only one whose heart this breaks. Know that we will stand , reading the words written about our love – and we will ache for you  The body will remember the way you shifted and sighed as skin met skin and those words will pay tribute to the lines that were composed while we moved through this world together. Because of this, we will never truly forget you.

Let us remember.

  1. If you’re going to love a poet you should know this. Our words are our truths. Our blood hums with verse. We break easily. Our words save us. Our stanzas keep us alive. If we loved you at all, we loved you truly. And you will never leave us but live under our skin and beneath the tips of our fingers and in the ink spill on blank page.

Because poetry, like some love, is forever.


love, jeanette leblanc


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I swear like a sailor, I've been called a word-witch (more than once), I believe whole-heartedly in the power of your voice,  and think words are as necessary as air. I work with humans who are seeking permission to stop seeking permission and offer programs that will get living and writing on your own terms (for reals). 

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