Poets on OKCupid

by laurentyates

I know a few poets who have openly discussed their use of OKCupid, and their intent to write about their experiences with the site. I’m another one of those poets. I could create an entire chapbook based on the messages I get, and the dates I’ve been on.

I once had a argument with a guy about the definition of prose poetry that lasted for days. He was an incredibly pretentious asshole who gave me shit for not always writing in forms. I do have a formal background in writing, so I can write forms: pantoums, sestinas, ghazals, etc. But quite frankly, there are times that I prefer free verse. I don’t think that makes those poems any less sophisticated.

I have only successfully written one poem about a guy I met on the web site, but I have a few drafted. The one I need to get to writing ASAP is about the guy who yelled that William Blake had a hard-on for Jesus in the middle of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You just can’t make this shit up.

But here is a poem about the guy who pursued me the most eagerly. He was smothering and made things sexual too soon. There was no way that was going to work.

Wake Up Call

I always knew that you were “safe.”
The “Good morning” texts and self-deprecation
implied that you would never hurt me.

On your profile, you wrote that your students
asked how a “gringo” like you got a job teaching Spanish.
You kept whining about how they don’t respect you.
Why would you ever put this on your dating profile?

I never thought of myself as a mean person,
but I did play Lady Macbeth once.
“Out damn’d spot! Out I say!” In other words, go away.

It’s your own fault that I’ve hurt you.
I’ve broken your heart three times, yet we’ve never met
in person. Let this be a lesson in dignity.

When I first disappeared, I was fighting to keep myself alive.
The second time, I went back to my ex.
The third time, I just didn’t like the idea of you anymore.

Each time you found my profile again,
you reintroduced yourself and said you still had my number.
For God’s sake, I know who you are.
Just delete my number already.

Once, my ex said that a person’s not worth knowing
if “nice” is all you use to describe them.
In your defense, you were more than nice.

You were also forward, aggravating, and insecure.
If you must know why I stopped answering your texts,
here’s what drove me away:

You texting, “How’s your day?” every half hour.
You telling me I looked sexy in my picture,
right after I mentioned my dead grandfather.

The nights I felt smothered and turned off my phone.
Once you texted me, “I know you fall asleep quickly.
Tell me when you start feeling tired.
I don’t want your phone blaring in your ear.”

Since you know so much about me,
you should already know I’m a sound sleeper,
and I keep my phone on vibrate.

But what annoys me the most is that you’re still here,
that you let me talk to you this way.

Even after I ditched you for my ex, you still came back.
Things didn’t work out with him.
I can’t say why, but I’m sure he would use the word “nice.”

Why don’t you value yourself enough
to keep people from running all over you?

Sometimes, we can only tell other people
what we need to hear ourselves.