I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Kevin Young – an Analysis


Well. That’s just mean!

Gut Reaction
Seething anger and where to place a well aimed knee.

What does it all mean?
This person makes an art out of breaking hearts. Little fecker.

I am hoping
to hang your head

on my wall
in shame—

the slightest taxidermy
thrills me. Fish

I’m going to have you, love you, then leave you and glory in making you feel miserable. I’ll make you the latest on my list.
‘Taxidermy’. He likes a good stuffing? Oh my… Makes sense. Woos them. Sleeps with them. Leaves them feeling dead, violated as only a stuffed animal could be.
I’m not enjoying this…

(Fish) forever leaping
on the living-room wall—

paperweights made
from skulls

of small animals.
He seems to be comparing his home to a taxidermist’s office. Freak. Keeping tokens, records of his conquests? Or he’s actually a serial killer.

I want to wear

your smile on my sleeve
& break

your heart like a horse
or its leg. Weeks of being

I want to make you believe in me and then parade your feelings for the fool that you are. Horses need shooting when their legs break; he wants to hurt you so you feel like that horse. Like you want putting down.

(Weeks of being) bucked off, then
all at once, you’re mine—

He enjoys the chase, her initial rejection of him. Or weeks of ‘new relationship’ sex. Possibly both.

Put me down.
Okay, I’ve had you. Now let me go.

I want to call you thine

to tattoo mercy
along my knuckles. I assassin

I want you to beg me to take you back and show you mercy?

(I assassin) down the avenue
I hope

to have you forgotten
by noon. To know you

Um. Interesting. An ‘assassin’ kills people of importance (think The Bourne Identity). So. In earlier lines he talks of breaking his ‘victim’ to the point of wanting their own death. Now… That makes me think. Is this person, this victim, important to him prior to his ‘victory’ as he sees them as a sort of…prize? Or in the duration of leading them on, have they become important to him? Especially when he says he wants to have ‘forgotten you by noon’. Surely if you really were the entirely heartless prick you are selling yourself as, even the few hours until lunchtime to forget would be too much, since you didn’t care in the first place?

(To know you) by your knees
palsied by prayer.

Does he want her to plead to be taken back? Crying, trembling, broken on the floor (like ‘palsy’)? Or one final act of…. ‘love’… You know the kind served best on your knees…

Loneliness is a science—
Yes it is. But whose are we talking? His or his… ‘beloved’? I think perhaps making it as cold cut and clinical as ‘science’ reveals his detachment from affection. He’s been hurt before, maybe one big hurt, maybe many smaller ones, but whichever it has made him into this bitter, twisted…thing.

consider the taxidermist’s
tender hands

trying to keep from losing
skin, the bobcat grin

of the living.
Back to his stuffing again. Sigh. Using his hands (…ahem…) to keep his partner exactly where he wants them, to put that ridiculous smile on their face that we often get in new relationships, and then swipe it off them the second he’s had enough of his game.

Form – the vaguely technical stuff
Division and order

Sinister. Cruel.

Suggested rhyme scheme
Free verse.

Similes and metaphors
Taxidermy. Well, you know…
Bucked off – rejected?

Author’s relationship with their subject

Other points of view (ideas from other sources)
Nope, in the myriad of songs saying something along similar lines, I don’t like this poem enough to bother to search for other analyses.

Signing off
I’m sure none of my exes set out to make me feel like that lame horse, and in fact, I’ve never cared so much about someone that I thought life wasn’t worth living without him. Well. Maybe once. But I got over it really fast.
Still. People can be intolerably cruel. I’m suspicious of cruel people and what they must have been through to make them so bitter. Does not justify their behaviour at all. Just a thought.


Kevin Young

When I read this I think of the song… Let You Down


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