this is a love poem, but let’s not be too straightforward about it | philip gordon

love poem cover promothis is a love poem, but let’s not be too straightforward about it

by philip gordon


April 2015 | 32 pages | $12.00 | 978-0-9940839-2-0| Get it here!


The love poems in this book know that no one reads love poems anymore. The love poems in this book read all one-hundred-fifty-four of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and concluded there was nothing new to say about love—not without breaking the rules, that is.

Some love poems started comparing their affection to 7-11 snack foods. Some love poems forgot how to write themselves mid-way through, but kept going because they realized they didn’t need words to say what they wanted to say. And some love poems stopped being love poems at all, and started being poems about other things, like language, and thought, and helping other people, and pictures of cats on the internet.

this is a love poem but let’s not be too straightforward about it is divided into two sections. The first is all about heartache, heartbreak, and the ways we find it hard to say we care about someone when the world tells us that doesn’t matter. The second is an explosion of words that tries to make the world seem brighter—sharper, clearer, and more interesting, if nothing else.

More than anything, this chapbook tries to be poetry for people who weren’t sure they liked poetry in the first place. If you’ve loved, or wanted to love, or imagined what type of words might come out of a romantic writer when he’s locked in a box of words and told he can’t use any synonyms for beautiful, you might find something worth reading in here. You might find a story about Kim Kardashian, in poetry form. Love works in mysterious ways.



i want kim kardashian to read my poems.

i want my poems to inflate with self-importance and then have a mental breakdown when they are caught in a sex scandal.

i want the world to tune into my poems at 7PM every thursday (6PM central) and cast their votes by SMS for which poem should be the next American Idol.

you can tweet about my poems using the hashtag #philipspoems.

in five years i want to sign a distribution deal with Target to put my poems in every Target store in America.

i want to establish this business deal
while pronouncing the store name as ‘Targét’
and relishing the visible discomfort of the Target CEO each time i do it.

i want McDonald’s to acquire licensing rights for my poems so they can be put in Happy Meals.

for the sake of irony, every 500th poem will contain a brief and depressing aphorism, like: ‘two thousand people will have died by the time you finish eating your chicken nuggets’.

i want my poems to have 1.2 million Instagram followers so they can show the world pictures of their dog.

i want various levels of international acclaim to be thrust upon my poems, so i can read this and be in the newspaper the next day.

so people will check news sites daily for updates on the life of my poems.

i can predict people telling me that all of this is stupid; that i should start by getting people to read my poems first.

but really, that already seems impossible.

so why not go for broke?

PHILIP GORDON is a creative writing student from Vancouver Island, an editor of text magazine, and reader for PANK. his work has been published in Vallum, The Puritan, The YOLO Pages, theNewerYork, (parenthetical), and in numerous other places. philip is a sex-positive pansexual feminist, lover of shades, and proponent of the Oxford Comma. he can be stalked at and