First Person Demonstrative

Original Text: 
Phyllis Gotlieb, The Works: Collected Poems (Toronto: Calliope Press, 1978): 92-93.
2heave half a brick than say
3I love you, though I do
4I'd rather
5crawl in a hole than call you
6darling, though you are
7I'd rather
8wrench off an arm than hug you though
9it's what I long to do
10I'd rather
11gather a posy of poison ivy than
12ask if you love me
13so if my
14hair doesn't stand on end it's because
15I never tease it
16and if my
17heart isn't in my mouth it's because
18it knows its place
19and if I
20don't take a bite of your ear it's because
21gristle gripes my guts
22and if you
23miss the message better get new
24glasses and read it twice


1] Demonstrative persons in English are "this," "these," "that," and "those." They are all third-person. It is not possible to have a grammatical first-person demonstrative in English, although being demonstrative to the "first person" in one's life is something else. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Ordinary Moving (1969).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright 2002 Red Blood Black Ink White Paper Exile Editions