Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

desire

she says yes

shesaysyes-POEM

[from strange horizons poems]

and when she says yes
opens
and pleases at the touch
laughs
remains calm in the middle of the fire
when she arrives
with flexible thinking
mind
body
and she says yes the second time
enough to make you imagine
you’ve heard her correctly
she might
have
arrived
just at the right moment
in time
to answer
one
more time

yes

1-24-15


just imagine

off-runners

[from strange horizons poems]

just imagine for a moment
that i have offered maps
stratagems
keys to my heart
all across the internet
i have simply written the instruction manual
for myself

imagine a woman
smart, single, desirous
coming across this tangle of tantalizing verbiage
sketches out an overlay
puts her plan into action
swiftly establishes contact
and mutual attraction
adding intellect and a racy pair of legs

she would have the entire plan
pre-wired for success
all that would be required
would be that spark
some flash of brilliance
and she had the idea for that as well

imagine the mutual surprise
when her arrival sets off a jolly chain of events
a delicious amount of banter and carrying on
along with a touch of honest
emotional
sharing

click
like that it’s a match
it’s a hit
there’s a piercing spotlight
illuminating the road ahead
no longer apart
but some new connected path
and the laughter
on both sides of the bed
at all times of day
rings in the new year
with a satisfying
“yes”

1-19-15

image: running, yoann jezequel, creative commons usage


all around me are smiles

off-rowingteam

[from strange horizons poems]

all around me are smiles
and youth-beauty-organic-produce
all around me are potentials
but all points of contact are
more like flurries of snow outside
like the young boy who sits on the down escalator
only to jump up and run back to the top
over and over
until somebody gets hurt
but that didn’t happen
neither did she

1-16-15


the distance

thigh[from strange horizons poems]

the distance between her thigh and my finger
tonight, feels unmanageable
other nights i’m prepared to stretch forever
not tonight
something is off
the signal is being lost in the noise
i can’t imagine her
from this place
i want to
give
in

1-15-15


dialing back desire

spent-tennis-shoes-250

[from strange horizons poems]

let’s say the universe works in mysterious ways
and imagining that
what if a woman showed up
casually
asked to play tennis
not an ordinary woman
not just anyone
a friend

and let’s also imagine
the universe in her mystery
is also capable of delivering you
right at the moment you are ready
whether you think so or not
and just as you’ve said
pause
opt-out
the woman stands up
with a beautiful smile
and some historical knowledge
that could serve as a catalyst
a familiarity
even when whole lifetimes have happened
between your last greeting

so even before the first ball is struck
or skirt worn
there’s a flight of fantasy
a scenario of seduction
and being seduced
because
there is no waiting
no lines
and no other moment
like this one

what if
she’s showed up
because
the universe has finally spun a complete cycle
and brought you back to the restart
try again
listen, look, observe

what if there’s nothing
just an acquaintance
and some new fuzzy yellow balls

that is more than enough
just
the idea
has
potency

i am hopeful
even when letting go
this is no different
this is just a turn of events
a series of events
that hasn’t happened yet

release
there’s no hurry
even if she is the one
if she is
and
she’s here
why
rush
why
hurry through
this
magic

1-7-15

image: spent tennis shoes of the author, cc 2014, creative commons usage


somewhere she’s laughing

mecca-2014-250

[from strange horizons poems]

i can’t imagine what she looks like
but i see her every day
her smell and smiles are everywhere
i can’t imagine what she feels like
my memory fades and ebbs
with time i hope to take hold
of someone with plans
someone with dreams and sparks
someone i can cheer on
and adore
i can’t imagine where she is tonight
but i’m writing her into existence
right now
where ever she might be
tonight

1-7-15

image: winter afternoon walk, cc 2015 the author, creative commons usage


she surrounds me now

OFF-wfm-missing

[from strange horizons poems]

i’m going to sit here until i believe again
in honey and yogurt and girls
i’ve got plenty of italian bubbly water
with a hint of lemon
and wifi and a plug
so i’m good
but of course i’m not good
i had this moment
where everything came together
and love and god and everything appeared right
and now what, now where is everyone who loves me
in this passing throng there is love
in the eyes and patchouli laden scarves there is hope
she
she
she
might be nearby
she is probably puttering along somewhere
not to far away
i hope she is happy
but not too happy, i hope she’s looking for
someone
an ache of joyous proportions
that might bring us together
as the next year has dawned
and the rain has stopped
and even the chill has pulled back for a perfect night
and i’m here
contemplating
something sinful
chocolate or
i don’t know
it’s not some *thing* i want
it’s her
i can see pieces of her
as the happy couples stride by
hair
shining eyes
a smile and a laugh with arms hooked together
oh sure
i’ve known love
and birth
and death
i’ve felt it all
and tried to leave tiny trails of words or songs behind
so i might pick up the pieces at a later time
as if
even as i had it
i was aware that it could be
and it was
lost

something has survived
an idea
a hopefulness
i’ve always come back to every situation
on the flip side
opening up
attempting the repair
and tonight
i suppose
that peace needs to be made with myself
and the heart that beacons and beats
in some rhythmic cadence
of verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus out
in two and a half minutes
i can make you fall in love
the hope, is with me, but i’m not picky
nor hopelessly romantic
far from it
the passionate vibes are being broadcast on all channels
laser hot and direct
only… there’s no focus
at the minute
at this minute
i am not tracking well
i claim to be listening, but i’m preoccupied with something else
a downward glance at myself
and the ideal i have in mind
i’m more flexible with her
she could come in many variations
i see that here, tonight
i have vast tastes in women
imaginary women, that is
up close i tend to overestimate beauty
or is it underestimate
i’m more joy-driven
more aligned with a spark of creativity
and flash of brilliance
and even in these words
i refind my path forward
she’s around
and busy with something else
at the moment
me too

1-3-15


resonance

cello

[from strange horizons poems]

in many ways you are a visual poem
opening and smiling
greeting warmth with warmth
in my mind you are always nearby
as i hope for you in the coming days
to travel where ever you are
to here, where i am
to listen and hear my song
i need a new cello for the symphony
a new timbre in my life
resin and vibrations
chest pressed against me
i am missing you even now
as i curl alone
in this bed
composing you
hearing
breath
on my
breath

1-1-2015

image: cello, steven depolo, creative commons usage


love will find us

OFF-wfm

[from strange horizons poems]

like a vapor trail
today
i knew she was close
not here
but i felt her
in the chocolate aisle
and near the greek yoghurt
contemplating ph balance
and organic yoga wear

she shops alone
at whole foods market
of course she does
the intersections here
of everything we eat
drink and breath
the potently scented oils
the luffa sponges
and honey lip balm

and how will i time our arrival
or know if she’s vegetarian
or just paleo
does she bring her own bags
that last question was
silly
of course she has bags
that she will fill
with damp kale
and grass-fed butter

i’ve been watching
as couples, families, kids
bums, yoginis, hipsters
move in and out
watching their slow
descent from above
but so far i have been distracted
my research slightly amiss
until today
after i dropped off my daughter
and came here
to watch

watching is not fulfilling
but i have learned
more than you might think
about couples that fit
and others in transition
but most people are happy here
weaving through the healthy food
seeing other health minded folks
with money and time for fancy fruits
and bubble baths
made from dead sea salts

if it were up to me
she would’ve been seeking a pinot
just now
as our eyes crossed
smiled and asked
is there one you prefer

yes

12-28-14

image: wfm 2014, cc the author, creative commons usage


calling all lovers

secretkiss

[from strange horizons poems]

doesn’t your soul love to travel
isn’t your heart ready to soar
and in these moments when you are grounded
can’t you still taste the salt
remember the heat
and anticipation of a kiss
memory of the burning
and skin worn glow

12-27-14

image: secret kiss, kristen, creative commons usage


Sexy Sex and the Other Two Kinds of Romantic Relationship

OFF-blurdance

I’ve been thinking a lot about sex lately. Maybe it’s an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” sort of thing, or a retrospective retelling. I’m not sure it matters which. But in my meanderings someone suggested I listen to this TED talk about sex and desire. She seemed to think I might find some answers to things I’d been writing about. Boy, was she right.

The secret to desire in a long-term relationship | Ester Perel

Did you go watch the video? It’s amazing. And if you didn’t, or you simply don’t have the time right now,  here are my quick notes. Paraphrases from Ester Perel’s talk on desire.

+++ notes +++

“Sex isn’t something to do, sex is place you go, together and in yourself.”

In her studies she asked what made a long-term partner attractive again. Here are the typical responses.

  • when they are away (when we can gain some distance from our mate we can re-see them)
  • when they are being radiant – holding court, in their element
  • when they make us laugh, or surprise us (seeing our mate decked out for a party)

There is a big difference between needing someone and desiring them.
“There is no neediness in desire, no care taking.”

Partners who seem to have vital sex lives later in their relationship also share several traits.

  • they know how to bring back erotic desire (and they work at it)
  • committed sex is premeditated sex (you have to make time and plans)
  • willful
  • focused
  • patient
  • and present

And finally, there are three kinds of love:

  • lust
  • romantic love
  • attachment to a long-term partner

And humans have the capacity to love many people at once, in various permutations of these types of love. And somewhere in between that “attachment” and the “lust” we lose the magic.

+++ end notes +++

Okay, so to apply this new logic to my principle quests here, would be the next logical step for me. How in my marriage did my wife’s “lust” get lost in the “attachment” trap? What parts of our relationship became about survival and not about joy? And why, with a willing partner, did she choose to continue shutting down our sexual connection?

In my marriage, as she headed into a passionless place, I was trying to do everything I could think of to get her back in the mood.

These questions parallel a conversation I’ve been having with a psychologist who deals with couples and sex and divorce. And she wrote a post that caused me to ask her a direct question about my marriage and the loss of our sexual connection. Here’s what she said.

“There are only two healthy choices I see: either work on marriage, including deep look at how you perpetuate the dynamic where a wife doesn’t want sex at all (which is pretty rare- only 11% of marriages sexless which I think def is 10 times or less per year but have to look up), or move on.” Dr. Psych Mom on Facebook.

There was a choice, at some point, that my then-wife made. She chose to believe and inhabit the pattern of exhaustion, loss, overwhelm, depression, anger. And in focusing on those aspects of her own life, she failed to see what was right in front of her. A willing and lustful partner, who also happened to be a long-term attachment. We are all independently responsible for our own happiness. There was nothing I could do, though I tried, to alleviate my wife’s stress, worry, and low-libido.

Again, there’s all this talk recently about how women’s desire begins to degrade over the course of a long-term relationship. Duh! It’s the same for both parties. Sure, sex with a nubile young stranger could be just the tonic your sex life needs, but in a monogamous relationship those things are not longer available outside of fantasy and pornography. Sure does get the heart racing a bit. So women, are now able to admit, “hey our sexual attraction diminishes over time, even if the guy is awesome and loving and supportive.”

She had already exited once via an emotional affair, perhaps now she was planning how to reignite the lust with someone else. A very painful and selfish way to go about rebooting your passion, but those were her choices, and at some point, I had to go along with the decision.

In my marriage, as she headed into a passionless place, I was trying to do everything I could think of to get her back in the mood.  Even if I did all the chores on the list, even if I was making plenty of money, even if she got a good night’s sleep… It didnt’ matter. She was making a choice away from the marriage, sex was just an early warning indicator. It wasn’t about the sex. It was about her.

Long-term monogomy takes work. It takes a willingness in both partners to work on keeping things open, honest, and a bit spicy. When one partner begins to check-out or begins denying the flow between you, there is very little a solo-enthusiast can do to reconnect the lust. Perhaps it is like a faucet. At some point she was turned off by me. The stress, the financial trouble, the extra weight I put on while stressing out at the big corporate job. But that corporate job was the thing that gave her so much flexibility and freedom in her work choices. It was killing me, but it was the thing that gave her security.

I can’t put myself in her head. And today, even the words she said or wrote, seem to indicate she was indeed overwhelmed herself. The “attachment” part of our relationship had overwhelmed and overrun the lust part, for her. I say, that, because I was always willing to spark things up for her, whatever or whenever she wanted. But once we had kids, I can count those moments on one hand. She argued often that it was the chores that made her tired. And my lack of responsibility, or how I could ignore a burned out lightbulb for weeks. But something else was in-motion.

While I was one of those people who believed in continuing the pursuit of sexual connection, she was no longer willing to go along with the program. She had exited once, several years earlier, via an emotional affair, perhaps now she was planning how to reignite the lust with someone else. A very painful and selfish way to go about rebooting your passion, but those were her choices, and at some point, I had to go along with the decision.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

This post really began here:  It’s the Quiet Time, the Alone Time, the Empty Spaces

back to The Hard Stuff

related posts:

image: dance, dino ahmad ali, creative commons usage


It’s the Quiet Time, the Alone Time, the Empty Spaces

OFF-lasskiss

When you’re happily married you think life is all set. Then you have kids and the world gets even bigger and brighter. Then some tough times come along and muck up the happily ever after. And after much hand wringing, and arguments the money is settled, the housing is decided upon, and dad (that’s me) is out on his own, to fend for himself, in the world of being a single dad with normal custody, that is to say, about 30%.

Some days I roll along like a happy man, a single dad working the program, doing his best. Other days, I fall below the “joy” quotient and I would really rather chill in my bed, watch movies, surf the net, and withdraw from all the activity. The holidays are some of the hardest times, for some reason.  And today, when I delivered my kids to my old house, my wife’s house, I was a bit bereft. Lonely. Aimless. Sad.

As the emotional aspects of our relationship got more complicated, the sex simply dried up completely.

It’s not that there was anything that happened. In fact, just the opposite. My life is feeling pretty sweet, considering. But today, as I was getting back in my car, backing out of my old driveway, with no particular place to go, I felt the punch. A light poke in the solar plexus. A minor ache, that continued to echo though my body the rest of the afternoon. It’s the little things that get you.

Like little places you pass that remind you of a good moment. And we had a lot of good moments, before we had all the bad moments. And today, eating lunch, I pulled into a place, not on purpose, that was one of the last good times I remember with my ex. She was working nearby, over six years ago, and we made plans to meet for lunch. It was in this golden moment, right after I’d had my vasectomy, when we were trying to score the 40 ejaculates before we could have the well-earned unprotected sex. And for a month, my wife rediscovered her libido, or something. She joked that it was more about hitting the goal. I was thrilled for the renewal and imagined the sex ahead would be even better.

After divorce, you count back in your head, sometimes, the moments when you knew things were great, and the moments when you first sensed that things were spiraling out of control, in the wrong direction. And the little moments of magic can pop up, like today, and re-trigger the old hurt. And who, knows, maybe there was part of me that wanted to lean into the ache that was already taking root in my chest.

This last moment flashed before me today, as I was eating at this funky little Mexican restaurant, and there was pang of sadness, a worry, will I ever have another moment, another love so good? The moment strikes at the heart of what ultimately blew us apart, and so this little scene of playful joy is not important, except for the feeling I still get when I remember it. We were happy, joyful in our quest for liberated sex again…

In good old days, this one time, we met at this restaurant, and in the parking lot around to the side, my wife gave me a quickie blow job, in the most silly and playful way. We were like kids, getting away with something terribly forbidden. Today, the flicker of that moment, showed two people playing at sex, enjoying the raucous play, and getting away with a little secret in the middle of the work day.

I guess the deeper part of the ache is the lack of spontaneous or playful sex I’ve had in the years since that peak. When the condoms came off the sex continued at ever slowing pace. It seems the “goal” really was part of the fun for my then-wife. I tried to rekindle whatever I could from my end, but things continued to fade. She became less willing to even be close, much less have sex.

We all have to work on our sexual communication. If it gets off, we need to chat about it. If it REALLY get’s off, we need to bring it front-and-center in therapy.

Sex is not everything, but it’s important. As our sex life continued to fade, I continued to be the interested party who was given the challenge to “ask differently” and “keep the house clean” and “pay all the bills.” It was as if there were a string of conditions for intimacy that became more of an alchemical mixture rather than anything I could predict or influence. Why is it, that this stereotype is so common? Men continue to want sex. Women, as we now know, get bored within monogamous relationships. Um, no shit. Men do to, it’s just we’re more willing to work on the monotony with more intention.

In the last year of my marriage, I am certain we could easily go for a month at a stretch without having sex. And it’s not that I wasn’t asking, cajoling, seeing if she wanted a massage. Her switch flipped off and stayed off. There was not much I could do about it. As I was making lists of things I could do to entice her, she was becoming more distant.

In a recent post by a friend, on what to get your husband for Christmas, I was saddened that the tone, even from this psychologist, was so one-sided. Here’s the list.

  1. Oral Sex
  2. Regular Sex
  3. Some Other Sexual Thing…
  4. Appreciation
  5. Love
  6. Wear a Santa Hat and Nothing Else

This is a common theme. The “how sex used to be” theme. In a Facebook post Dr. Psych Mom poses a theoretical question from a reader.

“Why his wife last 69ed before they had kids, 12 years ago. Then i can answer, with solemnity:

My friend, there is probably no amount of doing the chores that is going to get you that again. It’s one of those things that women only do when they are young and uninhibited, like dyeing their hair purple, or dancing on top of the bar.

Now if you took care of the kids for an entire weekend while she visited the friend with whom she used to dye her hair purple and dance on top of the bar….. then maybe.

No promises.”

But that’s the point. I was doing the extra things. I was offering her “girl’s night out.” I was taking care of putting the kids to bed so she could get in the mood. Except, more often than not, she was falling asleep or working on a project when I came out of the kid’s room.

We all have to work on our sexual communication. If it gets off, we need to chat about it. If it REALLY get’s off, we need to bring it front-and-center in therapy. Somehow I was letting our sexual disconnect be “okay.” We went to therapy, but we were usually dealing with some “crisis” that I didn’t really see as a crisis. And I’m sure, that was the problem. I wanted closeness, and maybe even sex. She wanted all the worries and struggles of the day to be gone.

Sure men have an easier time getting turned on, and women take some warming up. But women also have to be open to suggestion, or it’s a non-starter no matter how you phrase it, or what technique you use to rub her feet. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sex that caused us to get a divorce, but the loss of sexual connection sure indicated that something had gotten out of balance. Unfortunately I was never able to regain that balance with my then-wife. And as the emotional aspects of our relationship got more complicated, the sex simply dried up completely.

So dear, Dr. Psych, what is a man in a committed relationship, who *IS* doing all the extra things and still getting the cold shoulder supposed to do? Move on?

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

This posts continues here: Sexy Sex and the Other Two Kinds of Romantic Relationship

back to The Hard Stuff

reference: What To Get Your Husband For Christmas. And None of The Suggestions Are From Brookstone – Dr. Psych Mom

related posts:

image: kiss, martin neuhof, creative commons usage


physics between us

off-physics

[from strange horizons poems]

i’m keeping an eye out
and ear to the ground
putting my love on the air
crafting words and notes
running harder
eating less
hoping bigger than ever
and yet…

somewhere out there
she is feeling deeply
smiling happily in spite of it all
imagining romance will eventually return
hoping for the best
being mindful of her body and spirit
in a content place

like a positive and negative electron
we are already bound in our spiral
while our trajectories are unknown
their eventual intersection
is a matter of physical law
and time
plus energy

there is no waiting
there is action and motion
momentum and improvements
aspirations and accomplishments
joy and the awareness
of another’s love

it could be close
it could be far
the eventuality is certain
the anticipation is delicious
if i can remember
to strive less
enjoy more
and be
happy
alone

12-18-14

image: particle physics, kevin dooley, creative commons usage


dateless

off-dark

[from strange horizons poems]

i’m struggling in the dark again
striving against feeling alone
and failing
it’s
a long night ahead
and how your ear should be curled about
and whispered into
sweet poems
and
later
a kiss

12-17-14

image: dark, ekaterina nosenko (katia), creative commons usage


The Self-Regulation of Poetry and Longing

OFF-songwriter

I understood something tonight for the first time. It came about after I wrote a post on depression and the artistic temperament for one of my other blogs. As I was explaining how my art is often a form of self-soothing, I cracked open a tiny window into my own current situation. I’m not depressed, but I am highly activated and in an artistic spurt. Tonight as yet another love poem (or poem of #desire, as I’ve come to call them) surfaced I caught a glimpse of myself, doing my thing. And I noticed the effect. The poem of longing seemed to relieve some of my suffering. It gave me a lift even as I was expressing my dismay.

In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life.

By telling my story, even in poetry, I am giving voice and awareness to my inner voice, my inner pain. I don’t admit my sadness or loneliness much these days. I’m too busy, too creative, too “happy.” But tonight, something in the back story of the love poem signaled from my subconscious creative brain to my rational and self-assessing brain that there was a problem.

Again, it’s a poem. But as I look back on the two books of poems that have come out of this period of my life, I began to understand, tonight, that these were as much a narrative as my prose. When read in sequence, you can see the arc and trajectory of my heart out of darkness and into hopefulness. I even achieved several moments of “love.” Even when the relationship couldn’t hold the feeling, in the poems I captured a tiny sliver of the potential.

Women of potential. My muse.

And tonight, as I was writing this poem, about something as simple as noticing a woman’s dark shiny hair, I was also able to hear a bit of the ache that I long to medicate with a relationship. And barring that, a love poem.

In the act of desiring, in the writing of a romantic epistle, I am releasing some of the tension I feel. In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life. Again, I’m not sad, but I’m lonely. As creative and inspired as I am, my seeking is consistent and unanswered. I have learned patience. I have learned the language of love. I have taught myself to compose songs. And yet… I’m alone.

Another moment occurred this weekend that opens up a bit more of my thinking about relationships, and “what’s next” for me. I had taken a long Saturday afternoon to drive my daughter and two of her friends to the local outlet mall for her birthday. That afternoon, when I got home, alone, I was exhausted. After a quick nap I arose and felt inspiration hit as I was trying to put down a song idea with my guitar and computer. An hour later I was one song richer, and again, slightly exhausted.

And at that very moment what I wanted was someone to share my song with.

It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment.

I contemplated going out. There was a local band playing, and I knew the woman who books the club was newly single… But I was tired. Fulfilled somewhat with my creation. And still, aching for connection. So some of what I am longing for is simply being seen. Having someone to share my new book of poetry with. Or even a new poem. Sure, I’d like someone to come along who can trigger some of the “loving” sides of my poetry and songwriting, but I’ll settle for a confidant. Well, perhaps a cuddling confidant.

I know that I don’t want to become addicted to this state of longing. It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment. And clearly, for a few moments more.

All is well. A new poem is written. A song released inspires yet another. My creative heart flows and flies.

And. Longs. For. Connection.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

related posts

image: the author, kristy duff wallace, creative commons usage


dark falling

off-anticipation

[from strange horizons poems]

i fell into the black hair of a woman today
and i couldn’t get back out
i followed her for a bit
but as she got into her car to leave
i knew i was in trouble

it’s not working
whatever i’m doing
the winter chill has arrived
and passed right through my bones
and the bed is colder and wider
than i can ever remember it being

she’s moved on
in some unknown direction
towards her loved ones and family
it’s the family time of year
and i’m stuck in the dark
whistling to keep myself company
wishing i knew some secret
for calling in a lover
or even a snuggle bunny

of course
i’ve sworen off the pursuit
of course i have
it’s easy
don’t feel
don’t think about it
eat well
see movies
work hard
and forget about the lump below the breastbone

there’s no time like the future
when she arrives
i’ll have to contain my enthusiasm
so as not to scare her right back on her way

it’s been a while
you see
not as long as i has been before
but long enough
that i’m beginning to thrash
and fall
into passing shiny lengths of hair
passing by
she could’ve been 100 years old
i only saw the sway and shimmer
of the deep place
where i curled up
in the seconds as she passed by

i can still feel my hands and feet
so i know i’m still alive
this is no dream
and i am still wanting
dark
seeping
feelings
and smells
of
a
woman

12-15-14

image: lonely places #3 – anticipation, leda carter, creative commons usage


shooting arrows at the moon

off-arrowsatthemoon

[from strange horizons poems]

i have work to do
and i’m thinking about women again
the absence of them, actually
in my life
in the romantic sense
i’ve got sister, daughter, niece, and mom
and not a single bosom to lay my head
this time of year
it’s a problem
or at least a hardship
of course, it is no different than last year
except i’d just come off a deep jag
with a beautiful young mom
who had a penchant for silences
and filling them with music videos
fancy meals and drugs
i couldn’t sustain
the celebration
long enough to understand or feel
how our connection might evolve
into a higher…
wait!
a more solid…
no!
it wasn’t about that
let’s be honest
she was 11 years younger
she was beautiful
she was willing
is there any further explanation needed
still
i would do with her comfort today
tonight, rather
and yet, i wait and hunger
with intention
it *is* the evolution i’m seeking
a transformation of some sort
of me
of my trajectory
and flights of fancy
my arrow is aimed at the moon
and i will settle for nothing less
than overwhelming joy

12-14-14

image: goldion moon, johnathan leung, creative commons usage


unanswered letters

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.45.22 PM[from strange horizons poems]

can a woman love as deeply as i imagine
do poetic phrases wash around someone else’s pretty head
can i be matched
will the song i’m spinning
be heard
answered
kissed back

as the vapor trails of my last lover
dissipate and dissolve
i forget
how good i can feel
smells and smiles
and moments
together
parting
missing another person
again

i seek
because i
feel
i call
because i hunger
for
her

12-10-14


i am i

iami-jmac[from strange horizons poems]

i don’t think i have made my case very well
either that or i’m not who i think i am
maybe a little of both
maybe you can’t see me
the me i am becoming
that’s the trick
we see who we want each other to be
we imagine who we’d like to be close to
and we just don’t know
from a distance we see
eyes
smiles
hair
figure
but nothing about the inside
unless you can look for that with your heart
i think i sense a person’s energy
their joy is either ON or OFF
mixed states are too ambiguous
i know who i am
i know what i’m putting out
but
i learn all the time
that i have a very limited understanding
of who i present myself as
what i’m putting out to the world in my mind
is different to what people (women) are receiving
maybe i think too much
maybe i talk too much
one thing i know
i think too much
so
today
release and relax
i am
i
alone
happy
transmitting on all channels
joy

12-10-14

image: the author performing in dec. 2014


afternoon fires

OFF-water[from strange horizons poems]

there’s everything to love about a woman
and also plenty to fear
but let’s not get derailed
this is a love poem
where i try and find the word(s)
to describe the perfect
place
where i rest my head
on her chest
and breathe in
all that is woman
all that i can swallow
in gulps and gasps
but wait… that’s not it exactly
see… i’m taking a break
regrouping
reconfiguring myself
and still…
she walks in
sits at the counter of the coffee shop
and is magnificent
and
everything
even more arousing
than the potent brews being dispensed
that’s what i’m longing, pining, whining…
that’s what i’d like in my life again
just not now
some how neither of us are ready

and i’ve switched to water this afternoon
anyway

11-5-14


easy escape for us

off-strangebeach

[from strange horizons poems]

let’s meet a new girl
and do some new things
find a new roll
open up some new veins
like a jazz song
in the middle of the night
when the music is so good
you can’t help but dancing
let’s do that together
see where it takes us
and find a weekend
drive to the beach
feel the heat and sand
crisp rough white sheets
and mediocre coffee
waking up your eyes
and our smiles
yes
let’s

12-4-14


this is not about her

OFF-purple[from a second wave – poetry]

in the brilliant purple top
her eyes are tired but happy
dreamy almost, as she contemplates
her coffee
her boyfriend
not me
noise canceling headphones
are piping in songs of loneliness
i’m not here for her
nor she for me
but there she is
with him between us
and a longing of memories
of a girl
once mine
with eyes that watered
with joy more than sadness
but that’s long ago
i’m not interested in that
repeating old poisons
and women who can’t
don’t know how
or won’t
dive down deep
to find the heart
something about her
the woman in purple
this morning
trips me up
gives me pause and flutter
even as her man is blocking my view
because it’s not about them at all
or the woman from long ago
it’s about me
this bottomless cup of coffee
and emptiness on a winter morning

11-30-14


she overtakes me

off-beautiful

[from a second wave – poetry]

i saw the girl smile
and i can’t think of anything
to make it go away
so i try
for a word
or two
to loosen her grip
and imagine
we are swimming
off the coast of spain
without wifi
or proper beds
we’ve got pineapples
and guitars
and all the sunshine we can take
it’s in this moment
that I know
now
not to settle
for anything
less
than full-on
joy
and a smile
that simmers my mind
any and every time

11-28-14

image: beautiful women, ray lopez, creative common usage


she is late, or missing, or lost

off-girl-night

[from a second wave – poetry]

it is not the kiss i miss
nor the hand in pocket
heart-shaped mind bending love
it’s all of it
everything
that’s missing
the bed of great size
still made up on one side
the coffee for one
and reading aloud to myself alone

she’s taking her own sweet time getting here
perhaps my notes are not making it through
or maybe i’m not ready yet
for the explosions in the sky
to rip smack the smile off my face
and leave me breathlessly chasing
every second together
and aching with anticipation
any time we’re apart

i’ve known love
felt the deepest ocean of loss
at just saying good-bye
as we leave for work
i want you to be my
be my

something’s broken this time
as the poetic and the authentic
are vastly distant realities
and this hole in my heart
is also a joy
a love that i long to give again
more than words
and love letters
more than aspirational longing

a love poem without a receiver
is an arrow shot into the night sky
hoping to bring down a star
exclaiming to god and the whispering trees
how love is good
and how i am ready
and she is late
or missing
or lost
somewhere

this night she is not reading love poems
she shines and sparkles with friends
while my missiles land around her
without voice or sound

i

ready

this

night

alone

and sharpening

each vowel

for impact

i let go yet another

11-26-14

image: new years 007, timber tank, creative commons usage