When it hurts so good…


Long as I live I’ll eat and drink
the sorrow of loving you
nor will I surrender it, this sorrow
to anyone when I am dead.
when Resurrection comes
I’ll walk forth with this raging thirst
still in my head

-‘Ayn al Qozat Hamadani

from The Drunken Universe.  Omega Publications, 1999.

Few capture the strange sweet pain of frustrated love like James Carr and Etta James:


My own humble attempts:

Just look at what happened when they split the atom
You’ll see what you started when you broke my heart
There’s naught below the sun like broken love’s sad drum
We all cry when she strikes, and shake when we’re apart
Lightning hides up in the clouds, and oceans flee their shores
Mountains fade like shadows before hopeless lovers’ sight
If they could break this bond between my heart and yours
The world would vanish in a brilliant flash of silent light


My epitaph is on your teeth
Your rose lips are my funeral wreath
It’s beautiful to die beneath
The tender blossoms of your speech
Your hair, my prayer mat and my shroud
Envelop me in your dark cloud
I know now why the crickets sing
The music of the falling leaves
So let the sun abandon me
Your shadow’s all the light I need


It can’t be helped, hearts must be broken
So let yours be broken wide
Open as the ocean sky
From its ruins, love’s bird will fly
Don’t let your heart get broken in
By bad habits and sadness
But rise above them both and try
To Love, and Love without a why


Addendum: Dinah Washington and Al Green
If you’ve tasted what they’re talking about, then you know. If you don’t, then God help you…

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