Why You Taught Me Loving in a Way That Feels Like Hate

by Midnight Moon
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, July 2014
Judged by Suzanne Lummis


Because a red rose has shadows in her creases,
and she sings love songs at midnight
in a saloon by the same name.
Because of this, I’ll remember you
and the red rose city you put me in.

Because bachelor insects climb through shadows,
in the wailing, red rose city of insects,
hypnotized by desire, by her smell,
and because you touched me when I was too young
to know the difference,

I came swimming up from loneliness
into a world of flashing red roses
and thorns.

Because no red petals ever clung to you,
and you had no poetry at all,
I took it all.
I became the one who knew
what you could never know, if it weren’t for me.


This one rolls out a ripe, heated, nearly over-the-top imagery that could hardly be more different from the first two -- but how wonderful that contemporary poetry offers up this variety. "The bachelor insects climb through shadows/in the wailing red rose city of insects" seems reminiscent of Lorca's early surrealism, and it's gorgeous. I love how the closing sentence doubles back on itself, and its meaning seems to fold and unfold. --Suzanne Lummis

  • July 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

  • June 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Poem in Exile in the Style of Neruda
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Either February or March
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Accidental Writer
      by Bernard Hamel
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Mouse in April’s Winter
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Sister Valeria
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      My Trip: The Last Siona Dream
      by Don Schaeffer
      Babilu