Abecedarian–That’s How Easy Love Can Be.

The Jackson 5 songs are fantastic for dancing and studying the electric bass, but for life advice, they sometimes fall flat. “I Want You Back” is how I test a bass’s playability, but testing love through the “simplicity” or “easiness” suggested in “ABC” is probably a mistake.

In 2012, we had our first child and bought our first house. We also changed jobs. It was a busy and difficult year. One of several. I found myself writing in little breaths when I could catch them, frequently in haiku and humument form [this is also when Little Billboards was born].

Coming to the writing every day, even for short periods, meant I was getting more done with less time. I had several pieces published on the now defunct The Bakery‘s website. I liked the poems there and the overall vibe of the site and so I submitted. One of the pieces they published was an abecedarian I wrote for my wife. After she read it, she wrote me one, too. Both are below.

We don’t really write a lot for each other, so these felt special. In general, we’re more likely to watch a Joe Bob Briggs marathon together.

And It Was Leap Year
Amethyst, we’ve
broken the eggs in the
carton and stitched a few shells together.

Daily, you know too well, doubt, dread, and
Eraserhead are my norms (as is
frozen pizza, which I’m not

going to say I’m proud of) but despite me—
Here we are. Devoted
(I think) to each other and

justifiably to this
laugh-tickle baby. 

May we 
never carve insults into each
other’s bodies,

past midnight (or before). May we never
quiet our secret codes or ever answer our 
riddles. May we never 

stare too long into
the wrecks of bookshelves and bank accounts.
Uncertainty is certain, but at least we can

vandalize these walls together
while trying to trace the
xerography of the heart.

Yes, I said yes we will build a
ziggurat of mercy, a zodiac of desire.

For You
“As long as we’ve got each other;” so 
Begins the theme song to a situation
Comedy from my childhood.
Did I ever think that I would
Eventually believe such cheeseball
Fluff? I had nothing so
Grand in mind for myself.
Holding your hand,
I hear the words to that goofy song,
Jokingly sing it and give you a 
Kiss. Oh, those
Lips of yours. Still
make me weak in the knees.
Never stop kissing me.
Open your eyes every morning,
Peer into my snoring, un-made-up face, and
Quietly give me one on the lips.
Read aloud to me,
Sip a beer in the backyard with me
Till we’re too old to know where the backyard is.
Understand that you’ve got me, and
Very tightly so.
“We’ve got the world sitting right in our hands;” 
X-rays would show a whole world
Yawning in the spaces between our clasped hands,
Zones of desire, as yet uncharted.

(by AV)


  1. These are both so beautifully fantastic. Mind if I share them with my Creative Writing class, to introduce this form? Thank you both for sharing these with the internet.

  2. We had a great conversation about both poems today — and watched the intro to Growing Pains, too, which fairly repulsed the students. Wish you could have heard the students’ comments about your words — they were smart and enthusiastic. Thanks to you both again!

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