A Study of Dating Habits
(For Philip Larkin)
Studying his reading habits,
Philip Larkin ripped around in the dark,
Like Jacky-boy, out for a lark but when he
saw the women, he saw not
The women but the flaky candy that could be clubbed.
He saw the women but saw
The women. Instead of the women he saw
Meringues. Hands grubbed
Lurked about, reaching for a cloak,
that could communicate from villain
To victim to let him in-
To a story ready to be told.
Ripping on Daddy, Sylvia
made him into Dracula,
Asking for that boot in the face and the Mein Kamp look.
A vampire through and through. That old black shoe,
The old clever poem, a song to be sung
After the girls stopped asking for a man
Sucking the blood, swearing their love,
Everyone girl loves a fascist,
I refuse to believe
in the same old affair. Leave
out the Heights Wuthering, the girls named Eyre,
The Darcys hovering, like Batman in the dark.
Rochesters, Heathcliffs, stalker-boys, all.
I was told to love them, to make my boys tall,
And dark, and handsome,
Broody and poetic,
Lose some geeks, nerds, the gruffness for show, all for an ideal that is
And dangerous to know.
Oh, Lord Byron.
Did you ever guess
That it would be
That would make me so digress?
For future girls of generations
To take purchase.
To take notice.
To take the time
Who doesn’t suck
Who wants a mind not brains,
—The Zombie-chomp kind—
Stephanie Meyer had it wrong.
Cullen should leave Bella alone.
She should have chosen the living over the dead,
Avoid the blood spatter, its messy red
Drying stiff, rusting into brown,
The end result of
Larkin’s boys larking all over town.
Repeat after me:
Do Not Equal Sexy,
Not even in the best-est sense,
Not even in the nicest sense,
Not even in any sense because the word
Is in there,
For future girls of generations to find
Partners in crime,
Not perpetrators of it.
Partners in crime, not fanciers of it.
Partners in crime,
So for today,
I offer the following PSA,
As a service, from one girl to another:
If he breaks into your room,
To watch you sleep?
It isn’t sexy.
It isn’t sweet.
It is creepy, and wrong, and scary, and gross, and dangerous, and a little bit psychotic, but most importantly, it is a violation of your privacy, your sleep, and your trust.
And yes, even if
He is a vampire.