Valentine cards probably peaked during the Victorian Age. Nowadays, one goes to Wal-Mart and buys a box of the kiddie cards, which are emblazoned with Furbies, Sanrio characters, and wrestlers (not all on the same card, unfortunately]. Or, if you're in love, you buy a saccharine Hallmark sentiment. In lust, go to the novelty shop on the mall and get something off-color. Geek or couch potato? Virtual cards. The art of the love letter and of the heartfelt Valentine are probably lost forever, though I have a few that I'll treasure forever.

Yesterday I made what I believe may be one of the world's largest Valentine's Day cards.

Measuring nearly ten square miles, it consists of precisely marked coordinates which, if traced on a map, spell out "I ♥ U".

I got the idea right after I acquired a GPS the other day -- a gizmo I have no actual use for, but instead got merely because they're nifty. The first step was determining points; I used a Rutgers bus map and a magic marker to draw the I ♥ U message, one character per campus. Then I chose a minimum number of points which, when traced between, would be recognizable. This was easy for "I" and "U", a bit harder for the heart -- especially given the limitations imposed by the terrain itself. A point couldn't be in a building, or on private property, etc.

I spent the rest of the day on foot with the GPS and a fat permanent marker. At each point, I drew on the ground (mostly concrete sidewalks) a heart, the latitude and longitude (WGS 84 datum), and the distance and magnetic bearing to the next and previous points.

I then gave the list of coordinates to my girlfriend. (I could have just given her the first point, but that'd be too much work... and it is Valentine's Day...)

British tank of the Second World War. The Valentine was introduced in 1940 as a replacement infantry tank for the Matilda. Although it remainined in production for a couple of years it was basically obsolete by the time it came into service, being slow and seriously undergunned (originally equipped with a 2 pounder/40 mm gun generally incapable of penetrating the armour of any but the lightest contemporary German models) - the result of flaws in both procurement procedures and tactical doctrine. It saw some service in the Western Desert and Italy, and a number were supplied to the Red Army; the bodies were also later recycled for self-propelled artillery.

Also, a vibrant trapezoid flower orga vagina svannen divine conception,
a picture frame, hand stained with hand rouged matte,

eating leaves, brooding and mysterious dried vegetables,


a Perfect starry night,
frightful brilliant spontaneity,

manifest Butterflies,

Magic power.

simple Beauty,

freezing vagrant sleep, bring a blanket!

You fight for this with no regrets,
and you remember only the beauty of it.

You are what you eat, beauty.

he first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on St. Valentine's day, the 14th of February, when it is said every bird chuses his mate for the ensuing year.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

the mind is a lake
and it's going to sound like maybe i gave up
like i am angry or lost
but these are only ripples
i'm doing my best to keep my eyes open
and to keep that sun alive in my chest
that beats hope into us all
if we look up

kitty white does not know love
she's stuck in school. she can't grow up
because she's a cartoon character, pale
an imitation that could never have enough detail
could never spend five hours at least twice a week with you
just sitting around, each doing your own thing
the pink walls and the white ceiling
you know, like in the books

love is like fighting; look up any bruce lee quote

it was checking out at the grocery line
my legs hurt and the sun wasn't setting when i got here
i've never seen him before, he must have just been hired
i like his hair. it's red and long and only on the top of his head
but in a way that doesn't look stupid. he likes my keys.
he's nice but i am somewhere far away---
i forget this moment for a while, a baby octopus
settling down amid the shells on the sea floor

there is some music i fall in love with each time i hear it
some songs i hated, but have grown to love
a memory of water creeping through pebbles at the edge of the driveway,
we wordless meandering observers
a statue of lucifer that was removed from a cathedral in the 1800s
for being too beautiful
my highschool crush who lives across from me but never wants to hang out
but who can blame him
like the souls of crickets, cats, and people
there are many sizes of love

i've never had a best friend, no not the way some people do
i'm too closed up. my best friends are all a hundred years in the future
reading this and its friends
who wants to go skinny dipping

i catch sight of him months later
and that cool tendril reaches up and touches my ear
and she whispers, "he's the one so long ago
you fell in love in a moment and didn't even think it could be real"
every time i saw him he was talking to a customer, smiling
i'm so bad at small talk. not enough practice
(but ask me questions and you'll never get me to shut up)
and so i gave him a paper crane with a note inside
(and i will point out, i have never given my phone number to anyone)
and it just said hey, i know this is weird
but you seem cool do you want to get coffee some time ###-####

unlike people, the sky never goes anywhere
hold on to that feeling, don't stop believing

i've fallen in love with someone who doesn't exist
(doesn't that sound familiar)
i don't even catch his eyes
while i watch him tend the plants
in the windows across the street
he wears something different every single day
today yellow, deep blue jeans, brown eyes
and it's all perfect, because when i look at him
all i see is his face (and his neck...)
the best i can do for him is be happy when he finds happiness
because my arms aren't as long as the width of a street

i catch myself touching my hair like he would
or holding my head like he does
i can't remember how i used to do these things
they say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one
the words aren't mine but they come out of my mouth
and that means i own them
i am the algorithm of my fate

but i've never been in love
never felt that sharp bolt coming back at me
from cupid's crossbow, his armor glistening with blood and sperm
standing atop a mountain of severed heads
the curl of his lip, the fluidity with which he reaches
for the quiver

he told me he didn't unfold it
his dog ate it

in the grim future of hello kitty
there is only war

Val"en*tine (?), n.


A sweetheart chosen on St. Valentine's Day.


A letter containing professions of love, or a missive of a sentimental, comic, or burlesque character, sent on St. Valentine's Day.

St. Valentine's Day, a day sacred to St. Valentine; the 14th of February. It was a very old notion, alluded to by Shakespeare, that on this day birds begin to mate. Hence, perhaps, arose the custom of sending love tokens at that time.


© Webster 1913.

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