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Dear Lover,

Dear Lover,

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Dear Lover,

127 pages
31 minutes
Feb 20, 2015


Dear Lover –poems of love, loss, and disappointment, shame, pride, and indifference.
Dear Lover—a poetry collection about hope and heartbreak, about love in its short, long, and temporary forms, about how love can be cloaked in abuse, how love can build us or break us, the hard and soft of it, the good, the bad, and the completely atrocious.
The collection is a poetic story of different relationships which are organized into the stages of a relationship; that initial attraction, the circling dance around each other, the honey-moon stage, the souring, the fighting, the breaking up, and the recovering. This work is deeply personal, but relatable all the same.
Autobiographical at its core, it aims for love's failures and triumphs, its disappointments and celebrations, the bad, the good, and the downright ugly. It is a poetry collection that reaches for the hearts of anyone who has ever fallen in love, thought of falling in love, fallen out of love, or is in love with the idea of love.
Written in letter format, the collection includes a few sonnets, a couple villanelles, and a pantoum among the formal verse poetry, but mostly it is an experimentation with prose poetry and free verse that hardly seems free at times due to the skill with which the poet wields words.
Dear Lover, includes Lori Jenessa Nelson's sharp eye for detail and idea organization, as well as her ability to express these ideas using the most evocative language, and effective, if not always proper, grammar. She wields the vocabularies that she has gleaned from her artistic background in a way that adds a delicious realism to even the saddest of poems.
Because love does not always come with lovers, Dear Lover, also includes a section about casual sex, because Nelson frowns severely on slut-shaming and believes in the power of sexual freedom associated with "having sex the way that men do." She accepts the positive and negative that comes with the act and includes her experiences in the collection.
Love is not always easy and that’s what this poetry attempts to communicate.
Let's talk about relationships. They are not always what they should be.

Feb 20, 2015

About the author

Lori Jenessa Nelson is a writer, dancer, musician, and artist who strives to give form to the complexities of the human spirit and its wants, desires, thoughts, sufferings, victories, and failures in the form of verse. She began writing prose and poetry at the age of 10 along with very active journaling. She participated in the Wordsmith writing competition when she was in middle school, and won a writing contest with one of her short stories when she hit high school, where she also played viola in the orchestra, danced and sang in the show choir, and furthered her piano skills by taking private lessons of gospel. In college, she realized that she had grown out of prose writing and only wrote prose under "great duress" until she discovered the hybrid of prose poetry which unleashed a whole new range of creativity. Writing in both formal verse and free verse, she further explored the form of prose poetry that inspired her manuscript, Dear Lover, which covers some of her personal anecdotes in letter formats in an effort to make her writing more relatable to persons of all ages and backgrounds. She has previously had her poem "This is what we should've feared" published by Belleville Park Pages, an international literature magazine, in the summer of 2014.

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Dear Lover, - Lori Jenessa Nelson

Dear Lover,

I always imagined that love wore hand-knit Cosby sweaters and was stitched of nothing so common as acrylic or wool. But cashmere-soft, alpaca-warm, and very, very vintage, so when you wear it, you feel like a well-dressed hug. Even wool can last for centuries when well-woven and loved. But shouldn’t love be snug and have seams in all the proper places? Complement, but never cover, and breathable so your skin never itches until you rub in I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter.

Could love be a disguise, a cape of leprechaun clovers? Isn’t love that special thing you brag about to your mother? Is it soaked in silk, or wrapped in cheap plastic? Does it have a fancy zipper or a waistband of elastic? Is love a hipster in bohemian skirts or a three piece suit in Prada selling five hundred dollar shirts? Does love wear plucked eyebrows and a double coat of mascara? Does it stare at itself naked in a full-length mirror?

Maybe your love wears a beaded headdress and feathers, but I always imagined it wore hand-knit Cosby sweaters.

Dear Lover,

If you are empty

I am open

a lock is nothing without a key to close it,

a saucer needs tea

like sugar needs a spoon

a model does not both

pose and paint

think of

dissolving sugar, sweetened teas

Matcha whisks and sheltering saucers

ceramic teapots and crochet coasters

a heat that creeps from tea to saucer

a warmth spread by a sweetening spoon

what is a journey

without someone who wanders

if sometimes a pair

is made of two

Dear Lover,

We have been walking this Earth for the sum of our lives, waiting to bump into each other. At that moment, what was broken in us both, became fixed, and our fractures were mended. We were never two halves waiting to find a match, but two wholes searching for a bond that would be unbreakable.

Dear Lover,

I sat in sweat and stale beer

from the bar

on a couch of dark leather

in your apartment

I watched you


while you unbuttoned your collared shirt

I blushed a reddish shade of blue

for I do think

I have never seen

a naked you before

beneath a shower rain

you sprayed water in my face

and we danced last night

and it was already floating away

becoming a warm memory

your hand pressing

against my back

our spines twisting

as one

candy cane sweetness


I wore your hair

on my ears

felt the warmth

of your exhale

on my lips

your skin caressed me

your warmth drew me in

I was falling and flying

your heart was singing

a song I’d never heard before

but my body knew your rhythm

I think my heart knows you

my fingers trembling

stroking the skin of your throat

and you were a dream

I whispered sonnets

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