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


a love poem so big


[from the collection nyc m]

my hand
is stronger resting against the small of your back
my vision
brighter because of your warmth and illumination
this ease is not effortless
but won at the failure of many other paths and loves
what joy
your joy ignites
and smiles that smiles reveal

if i roll back the videotape
examine evidence of love in my life
even one year ago
my heart was pouring out love poems
my broadcasting network was crackling with energy
all theoretical
all imaginary, hoped for, aspirational vapors
i simply willed you into existence
by the force of my desire

a love poem so big
so open and honest
that you could not help but fall for me
the moment the last syllables crossed your lips

no sequence of words
no love poem divine
is capable of capturing the transformation you have brought
though i might try
over and over
to exclaim

love love love

is a word that pales in my mouth when i try to express myself
the ashes of my former lives are scattered seaward and wide
the nights of soul’s dark, no longer faced alone
and this very second
i know nothing
and everything
at once

and it began with a kiss from you
a signal
an opening
a fire
still growing in heat and light

this is what i mean but can’t say
with words
or tomorrow
or ever


image: race for a lifetime
, creative commons usage

may i be gentle always

off-tiffany[from the collection nyc m]

may i be gentle always with you
as i cradle your hand in mine
to support your living dreams
and dreams yet unborn
enthusiasms come and go
i stay steady as a sunbeam
warming at the touch
giving you a lift
glass of water


the art of holding hands

[from the collection nyc m]

how our fingers entwine says a lot about the state of our connection
someone who doesn’t hold hands well… not an option
if you know your love language is touch
the hands will be a bit tell for you
is there a mutual reaching out
does she touch back or pull away slightly
is there a grabbiness or playful flexibility in her
it tells a lot more about her than you know
and when you find the match
another empathic soul stretching for god
and the love found between two people
as a prayer and song of thanksgiving
the hands will constantly be seeking a join
a comfort and calm in the casual wrap
the playful hand within a hand
the single finger grip
or entwined one by one
it’s almost a roadmap for love-making
this holding of hands
between two people
who cannot physically get any closer
yet desire
some entry point, some warm wire of communication
that only a hand-in-hand can provide
plenty of love transfers over the air, the eyes, the sounds and words
but the touch of a warm hand, cold hand, dry or moist hand
gives entry
to the connection
and expression of another’s
sensual desire



walking in nyc


[from the collection nyc m]

and in the million faces passing
there are beautiful women
and how different
how joyous i am to see them
not for hunger
but for confirmation
that my love
the very love
holding my hands
is the love of my life
there is such a difference
when a man is hungry
and humbled by the love
that transcends beautiful faces
and the calm
in my heart
relaxing in the warmth
that never ends


into the heart of the sun

OFF-tinymartha[from the collection nyc m]

if i were more excited
more alive
more in love
i’m not sure
i could remain on the planet
any longer
i’m fairly sure
that one more epiphany
a word choice or sound
might do the trick
i think
as i imagine how i’d go
it would be
as if in a hot air balloon
with no balloon
and no sound or flashes of fire
i would float
above this majestic mess
and continue on my way
until the air ran out
or the sun
sucked me in to its heart
with a smile and a song
even in losing everything
even you
i would know love
and joy beyond measure
that’s how i feel
everyday i wake up next to
most amazing


sky high

[from the collection nyc m]

how can the sun be so high
the sky so bright
this early morning
in the city that never sleeps
is the coffee better
is the water and air
loaded with excitement
the dreams of 8 million souls
packed together here
is the day more excited
to shine on
and warm
the bones of bums and poets
a like




[from the collection nyc m]

and what if i were to tell you
to actually let. you. know.
for sure
that love
in all it’s many splendored splinters
is true
that it’s still possible in your life
no matter
no time
no hurt
has taken away your potential to love
we ache for the oporutnity
to pour ourselves into another person
and sometimes we forget
we have that person but we miss
we slip into something
other than
but even then
even now
in this second
you can turn it around
you you you
can take a breath
make a change
and keep yourself
angled in the right direction

it’s not easy
i’m not trying to kid
or sell you a load
but i am here
to at least deliver the good news
love has struck
right here
right in this very moment
and you are now witness
to a great moment
a longing beyond ages
a fracture that felt unrepairable
two people
wandering wondering questioning
and in

finding something so
pro. found.
clear and present
that the time stretched and compressed all at once
and we knew
just knew

everything since that moment has been a confirmation
a testing without testing
a smile and tickle
a laugh and launch toward what we had almost imagined
but we never gave up
not completely
never lost sight
in this second
right here
i can only tell you
that the love of my life
took 52 years to show up
to deliver me
from sadness and aloneness


love times five


[from the collection nyc m]

word and hand
finger and smile
you are here
and all the world
is rushing by
oblivious to the transformation
taking place
right here
between us
underneath the daytime stars
in and around
strawberry fields
of joy


is the last


we will spend
this far away
as we surge forward
a new
new celebration
for our friends
of what we’ve known
the week
we first kissed


gone bye bye

gone bye bye


[from The Black Pages – poetry]

i no longer hold the smell, the taste, the sound of your beauty
what has been lost, an ache i will carry forever
there is no replacement, no substitute, no succor
a missing part, a hole in a recently protected heart
the blood has been washed away by time and effort
healing takes place with every kiss from another woman
a distant diversion, a diverted arc, from the dream i drew with you
forgive me for not looking directly at you tonight
i have learned to shield myself from the echoes
the electrocardiogram of revealed slivers still remaining
has given me reason to avert and avoid
it’s not you, it’s what you did
it’s what you didn’t do
it’s all behind us
it has died

bye bye


image: a warm goodbye, gabriella ferreira,creative commons usage

i knew

breakup poetry - the off parent

 [from The Black Pages – poetry]

one night, I was confused
i had a moment when
i thought that you were leaving
imagined you were gone

and when I felt afraid
i told you how i loved you
you looked at me so strange
that’s when I knew,

i knew
that is was true
that you were already gone
that it was you
and you were already gone

so now I count my blessings
i wonder what it’s for
so many broken angels
and other closing doors

but i knew
that is was true
that you were already gone
that it was you
and you were already gone

any time you looked distant
were you thinking of the other side
and the moment you decided
to change both our lives…

there’s no repair between us
there’s nothing left to fight
i’ve fallen in the darkness
and you’ve left in the night

and i knew


image: goodbye for awhile, Merra Marie, creative commons usage


[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

ember - a coffee love letter - poemsi want to see what you see
when the joy lights up your eyes
i want to know that it was me
who caused this wonderous moment
i want to feel how your skin
goes from chilled to flaming
i want to break off a piece
of this fire i know of
and place it inside you
so you too are warm
as we part for days
i want the glow to remain
so you know
i am still


no longer vivid

[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

lady in black - coffee love letters - poetryif i had her breast for a pillow
i would never get out of bed
if her hair were in my eyes
i’d cry and arc with joy
if some sound was still in my ears
from her joyous moans
i would remember to not be lonely
but the images are no longer vivid
the ache now from emptiness
rather than friction and fire


piano lessons and a show

[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

coffee love lettersas she looked back over her shoulder at me
beneath the black as night locks unruly
emotions ran high within me
she was ordering coffee
i was a chair
she was perfect as she looked up at the board
contemplating mixture and alchemy
i couldn’t hear what she asked for
i couldn’t think straight
it’s this way a lot
but did hear her laugh as she dropped change
into the barista’s glass jar
the wispy blonde with strong arms
and ink stripes
ready to rev up whatever you ask for
from the board
and she smiled at me and was gone
this is how it goes in my private peep show
behind this screen
in deep and lustful thoughts
or really more about the idea of dark thoughts
these are just words
she is just a girl
who ordered coffee
while i was waiting for my daughter
to finish piano lessons


the absence

[from The Black Pages – poetry]

image by david jewell

any known answer or explanation would be wrong
there may be nothing to understand
only feel
as i feel the absence
ache and weight of the missing
part of me
of my heart gone south
away from the path and plan
away from this was that is no more
the clear cold sky is cheerless
and haunting old seasons
of wrapt and attentive snuggles
that became a dull chill ache
rather than a call to blankets
and wrestling
and your smile
i can not ever release it
for me
everything came from there
like a light
your heart
now taken from view
closed up and buried
and this missing feeling
of winter
approaching yet again
with shelter
but no


image: courtesy of david jewell – model: katherine casey

exquisite coffee

exquisite coffee - poetry[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

full of beautiful women
i need to refine my goals
a woman in *this* neighborhood
is working on perfection
not making a living
or being single
more like which lululemon color
to wear to yoga
after dropping the kids
at school
or prepping the babysitter on the RDA
of lunch
the sparkles here are real
and perhaps more like wolf traps
than ecstasies
but bound they are
to this path
of beauty
of means


single dad

poem with a poison dart [from The Black Pages – poetry]

this is a love letter with a poison dart
but it’s only hurting me
i cannot help my sadness
i don’t want to help it
i reel in it
as i learn what i miss
what parts are taken or unspoken

a father alone
stands outside the circle of women
teachers, moms, educators, networks
are not comfortable with the angry dad
or sad, not doing so well, losing
it was not planned this way
the functions are all in place
but the numerator has been lost
the dividing line not clearly explained

we slog along with imperfect ideas
of how to say it right
to be gentle
to work out our issues elsewhere
but the blood is being spilled elsewhere
am i to be happy, to celebrate
as i am threatened with losing my home
my survival as dad is at risk
my survival

and i don’t doubt the sheriff
may be called at some point
but there is no more me
to go around
i am trying
i am hopeful and charging head-on
but the issue is different this time
i am the enemy
yet we are still a team
how does the tiger not eat the boat captain

love is still all around
love is what moves us
and the implosion of love is something else
it is not hate, there is no black heart
yet the safety structures have been threatened
fucking maslow has dropped me to my knees
i am not dead
or dead-beat
i am beating my chest


to ask
what gives this time
where is the flexibility
how do we continue
there is no


girl on fire

My Girl On Fire - The Off Parent

[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

is writing poetry in a notebook
with a cup of coffee and an open laptop
i know she is writing poetry
she must be
she is

not mine
a figment of my visual and verbal imagination
in a coffee shop

it’s becoming a thing between us
not this girl
but women in general
i call them girls because
i call myself an excitable boy

she is aware
she does that thing with her mouth
when she knows i am checking her out
we will never exchange more than a glance
she is much too young
too much she needs to learn
before I get
beside her

but this moment is for me
this song is mine alone
i sometimes imagine giving her the poem
giving her a nudge in my direction
but what would be the magic in that?

she, my she, will find me
she, my she, will discover and read and swoon
then we will meet
over wine, not coffee
over smiles and witty repartee

my she eludes me to for the moment
but the moment is ripe
the cooler temperature is bringing her closer
with the smell of burning leaves
and nights that are best shared
under heavy blankets

my girl on fire


what can i tell you from here?

[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

if i told you… wait, what can i tell you from here?
these are not coded messages for anyone else but you
if you are listening you will hear my voice
and feel the pull of my incantations
i have laid down arms
i am lighting fires
i dance alone


poem of desire - the off parent


at the coffee shop[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

i’m doing it again
staked out at the back of a fancy coffee shop
but really i’m browsing
love of my life after love of my life
like a river of beautiful women
come through the glass doors
unsuspecting of my intent
and harmless intensity
i have shown myself to be a romantic
a poet rather than a player

and really this stream of loveliness
is a cut above my weight and income class
i tried
i hoped to be that earner
i aspired to have a stay at home wife
things didn’t work out as i planned
do they ever?

wave after wave enter the coffee shop
in search of enlightenment
or at least a lift
i could be that jolt
i could be just what she needs
and then…
i would not be able to provide
the beautiful car, house, kids, yoga classes
without some contribution
beyond thigh-sculpting

i am distracted from the task at hand
the new client is late
very late
money is flowing out of my pocket with every minute
i sit here, mesmerized

and yet
i am drawn
i am designing
i am reaching for a dream
there she is
and there
and once more
even their boyfriend/husband is irrelevant
at this point
there is nothing
only the


she will remain beautiful and undisturbed

she will remain beautiful and undisturbed[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

out in the world of fancy coffee shops
new girlfriends walk in the door two or three times an hour
mostly they leave without acknowledging me
it’s okay
i can still see and appreciate her
even as she sits and reads a marginal book
look at those lips
and her imagination
and good choice of snack food

how much of her beautiful body contains god
how much god do i see in curves and legs and pulse
and once that fascination has run a course
where is the gateway drug
a passage into absorption and fascination
and engagement
that grows with time
as taut fights with gravity
and eyes weather with loving days
days of loving
how i could start with her
and awaking more than both of us
awakening a universal celebration
a dance of life and love and longing rewarded

she’s tapping her toes
in beautiful shoes
and smiling at her paperback
and i’m trapped here
in noise-canceling headphones
and a secret
tap tap tap
foot to words
dream to desire
to action
to ask

she is fine
just there
just as she is
she doesn’t need a thing
neither do i

i have it all
an instant could transform all this

this instant is not that one

she is here
she will remain beautiful and undisturbed
and i will walk out of this coffee shop
and escape my meandering mind
for the sky
and the sun
whatever’s next


image used via creative commons: woman’ feet

this potential

lovers on fire

[from a coffee love letter – poetry]

i want her to be gorgeous and a rocket scientist
or a poet
nice shoes, not gaudy shoes
brown hair would be a preference, nothing more
i’d like her to see through my bs
to know that i’m not as confident as i pretend to be
and i’d like to be safe
letting her see that truth
would be a release

i want to let go
and to relax into her arms
to nap with abandon
and share the fruits and the labor
and to enjoy the play between naps and sleep

where is fearless love born
what is the heart of trust
that never breaks
nothing is more important than this
there are many variables
i have a range of preferences
but this is non-negotiable
to have been hurt and yet soar
to know disappointment and still reach for the stars

every great journey must start from here
if the epic quest is to find love
to know how to be loved
and to fearlessly ignite
and stand beside another’s flame
in awe and joy
at seeing a reflection of your hopes
at believing again in someone else
at losing objections
and laughing at obstacles between us

i hold you here
holding my own heart
as an outstretched hand
an invitation
to dance
something cosmic and unknown
to fearlessly let go of everything
to dream and lose the dream
over and over
until we have built
a bonfire of passion and burning of vanities
a stripping of defense
even desire becomes satiated
in you
in this potential of we
in us


unease and marginal effect

recovering myself from the sirens

 [from The Black Pages – poetry]

i am finding a place in my heart for each of them
each of the women who’ve passed through
a little bit off to the left
slightly beneath the resentment and anger
tucking them in so gently
they won’t feel a thing
cosy and comfy together

there is a large cast of characters
the major players
a sister who left the planet with a leap
a first ex-wife who still calls for no reason
a second ex-wife who keeps showing me why
why i was so unhappy but couldn’t see it
so much has changed
her approach to love and me
is still more business than pleasure

and the minor chorus of high school sweethearts
dreams and aspirations without structure or plan
and the one, in between, woman
who cried with joy when we made love the first time
and now the others
the most recent act and ensemble cast
the kissing girl, the over-thinker
the girlfriend that nearly changed everything

i am giving them a place where i can still love them
where the lessons and experiences
have brought me to prayer or punk rock
depending on the moment

i am finding a place for them to live together
my dos equis and company
and my first true love and mother and teacher
the sister who got away
before her full message had been given

she can soothe them now
in their unease and marginal effect
she can sing to them
of my praises
she was my original champion
my muse


and in that moment, when you knew

war of divorce [from The Black Pages – poetry]

couldn’t you believe in something so pure
so cracked and desirable as us
don’t you think weathering the storm
would’ve been better than this
let us orbit and veer along
a few. more. fucking. years.

not that there was much fucking
i’m sorry
i don’t mean to be mean
i’m sorry
i’m not

what must’ve been the point when you snapped
even before i suspected damage
how frightening to make the decision
to seek counsel
to weigh the options, pros, cons
of hearts and young minds and us

i know it was not a snap decision
you had marshalled your resources and assembled a team
there was no transgression but there must’ve been
a moment

when the fall outweighed the Summer
when you turned away, rather that towards

and in that moment, when you knew
what was it like
did you pity me and my ignorant irritations
did you warn me of your failing light
when you finally said, “I don’t love you.”
it must’ve been a phrase you had tried on before
practiced with your team and counselors
a firmness in the declaration of war

as the waves of rapture broke over me
i understood where your passion had been hiding
not under the bed, or in the stress of life
it was being withdrawn in preparation for the end
it wasn’t for me to rekindle
the flame had been deliberately
put out

i didn’t recover well from the shock
as I sent my messengers for help
i didn’t stand as a partner in battle
i fell like a defeated child
mute with uncertainty and fear

but I rallied
i assembled a war council of my own
sending treaties and love letters
alternating course and coercive vollies
that found no receiver

until finally, i surrendered
the bloodshed never came
there was no fight in fighting your lover
there was no glory in losing gracefully
there was nothing left
to fight for


i could be back here in an hour

shaking off depression

 [from The Black Pages – poetry]

i am down but i was up just a little bit ago
feelin high singin songs smiling through the light in the hotel room window
but now i’m down, can’t find what’s on the ground in my mind
i’m underneath, in-between, i’ll be right back with who i really wanted to be tonight

if you’ll excuse me please, it won’t take but a day or two or a week

when i hit it just right
i could be back here in an hour
swimming in the pool
i could

but nothing is cool about this foolishness today
nothing is colder than the grip of icy fingers across the back of my neck
i won’t be down for long, cause i don’t play this way
but when i can, i let the time and the rest and the touching lead the way

just wanna be with me, wanna be talky or play a game?
ya wanna go fishing?
go somewhere different
we can have coffee in a new cafe, everyday, don’t ya think?

cause there’s nothing to be done for it that ain’t already be done
there ain’t no vibe that a kicking rock song can’t find an edge
something so pretty, something of sparkling bliss
that can pick me up, take me out of this state

i’m a bout half as tired as when i went to sleep last night
all the words and projects and figuring it out
never gave my gentle thoughts equal time
i’ve been like this before, and if i can move beyond the bum
i can sometimes find my way into fascination

fascination and creativity are doors out of this hole i’m in
singing connects all of my arts with word, soul, resonance, breathing…
performing for people sets me free, shows all of my parts


a poem, written fragment of hope before the demise…

This is a list of todos to help with my emergence out of depression was ahead of this love letter to myself:

seeing live music 
performing music
writing music 

The blue dots represent parts of my life currently reactivated today 5-27-13. With a little bit of effort and good fortune I could light up the other tasks shortly.