Since 2009, journalist and poet Alan Feuer has collected, curated, and shaped craigslist Missed Connections ads into featured poetry collections for the New York Times. These fresh and oh-so cheeky “found poem”* compositions evoke romantic musings in otherwise mundane circumstances. Who ever imagined a timeless meet-cute at a port-o-potty?
Knock Knock combed through Alan’s NYT “Poetic Connections” section and curated it into an oddly sweet, funny, and curious collection: I Hope You Find Me: The Love Poems of craiglist’s Missed Connections.
“It was probably a decade ago that I first became addicted to [Missed Connections]. Early on, I was drawn to their rawness, to the way they summoned, powerfully and with an almost artless beauty, all the prismatic colors in love’s emotional palette. Here was ecstasy, infatuation, sexual heat, sexual anxiety, romantic awkwardness, erotic bravado—not to mention bitterness, despair, and jealous rage,” Feuer writes in I Hope You Find Me’s intro. “It was only later that something else occurred to me: Here, also, was a vast and untapped body of poetry, waiting only to be noticed and given a little shape.”
The book features sections ranging from hyper-romanticized themes like “Rain” and “Lust” to humdrum places like “Grocery Stores” and “Gas Stations.” Similar to Alan’s NYT pieces, each poem in the book has been reprinted verbatim with only line and stanza breaks added. Poem titles, such as “In the Back of Your Cop Car Sunday,” and “Dairy Indecision or Mooching Air Conditioning,” have been lifted from the actual subject headings of each ad.
Now grab a warm adult beverage, cuddle up by the fireplace, and enjoy the I Hope You Find Me excerpts below.
We Were A Pretend Couple for A Night
Just after I had just introduced myself to you,
a drunk acquaintance came across,
asking how long we’d been together,
thinking that we were a couple.
Without missing a beat, you replied,
“Three years,” and smiled at me
as though I was truly the man
you had loved for the past three years.
I loved how you played along in that moment
and continued to play along for the rest of the night.
We walked hand in hand in the cold.
Partied at the after-party.
Talked about everything and nothing.
Drank each other’s drinks.
Laughed at each other’s silliness.
Danced in each other’s arms.
Walked together to the train.
Kissed kissed kissed in the cold.
And then you disappeared through the train doors…
I cannot forget how your eyes glitter.
I wanted to take you home that night.
I can still taste your lips.
I want to know if it can be more than pretend.
I hear your laugh in my ear.
I want to make love to you.
I feel your breath against my neck.
I think of you much more than one should think
of a pretend girlfriend.
Hot Man with A Cute Dog
it’s not hot or cool
to yank your dog roughly.
dogs are living creatures,
if you’re cranky,
breathe in through your nose.
hold it for a few seconds
and then breathe out
through your mouth.
do it with me now.
a little longer.
now let your dog piss
on the hydrant
and smell the garbage
and have a nice day
you fucking meanie.
Absolutely Stunning Girl in White at Blonde Redhead**
Your pants had some peachy
colored designs on them.
There’s no question
you won’t see this but you
were just too beautiful for words.
Exchanging banal wishes
of a happy new year
with such an extraordinary person
will sharpen and color
my whole year more brightly.
If I hadn’t been so drunk
I would have begged you
to let me lay
the world at your feet.
I silently did.
*“Found poetry” are poems composed from restructuring an existing text’s words or phrases.
**Poem is republished from nytimes.com.
To read all sixty-nine (an appropriate number) love poems in I Hope You Find Me, get your copy.