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

Posts tagged “misconfigurations of love

Entering the Church of Kisses

[I really don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to go where I know it’s going. I’m sad. I’m conflicted. I’ve met someone, who’s SO CLOSE. I’ve also discovered that I have got a bias.]

A new awareness: Kissing maybe as addicting as sex. And though we have not taken any clothes off, GF 2.0 and I have moved quickly into something resembling intimacy via extended kissing time. I’m not sure I’m any more clear-headed than I was with GF 1.0 when we entered the bedroom with abandon on date number two. But when she’s misty-eyed and smiling at me and the oxytocin is flowing I’m not so sure that I’m making wise decisions.

She’s the one who “slowed down the runaway train” when she let me know, the first time at her house, that we would not be ripping out clothes off. I was relieved. I had been having similar thoughts just an hour before when we were in a massive kissing session in a park by the river. I’m not sure my process was the same, but my internal question was, “Do I want to do this?” I was tired. I had been up since 4 am on some creative jag, and I really wanted to go home and take a nap.

She suggested we go to her place, and take a nap, and then see where we might want to go from there. It was an exhilarating moment. And one I was not sure I was going to be able to control, once we got to a cool, dark, and private place. And as the kissing heated up in her wonderfully fluffy and inviting bed, she gave me the brakeman’s warning. I was happy to agree. I didn’t really want the momentum to propel us into sex to quickly, but my Pavlovian brain was revving up, and I knew the discipline would be difficult without her compliance. She took the lead. And the kissing got out of control for 30 minutes or so, safe in the knowledge that we had agree on not sexing it up.

It was wonderful. And the pause gave me some time to reflect, even filled with desire, on the goals I had for my next relationship. We had been talking around a lot of this information, thus far, during the afternoon.

I restated my relationship must haves: 1. able to express deep emotions; 2. comfortable with physical closeness; 3. sexual chemistry; and my new addition 4. adoration. We covered some, “What happened in your past relationships?” And “What went wrong in your marriage?” She had never been married.

And kissing her deeply on her bed, fully clothed, I was closer and closer to infatuation and lust that comes from newness, and the exhilaration of experiencing something new. Maybe, just maybe, coming closer to finding a next relationship.

BUT… something happened. Two things happened. And the pause, the delay at rushing into the sexual tunnel of love, might have saved us both a lot of heartache. (It’s not done, yet, I haven’t talked to her, but she’s on her way over here in an hour.)

The first awareness is the most uncomfortable. I am ashamed to admit it. In all that IS right with this woman, all the excitement, energy and good communication, I cannot get over her weight problem. My friend said, “Does she know she’s overweight?” Of course. She’s talked about control and just last night, in a kissing fest, she mentioned getting new jeans and being very happy with her new style.

But laying back on the bed, I was holding her feet, I couldn’t suppress my need to be elsewhere. I’m sorry. I’m guessing this will generate some ill will. And I’m sure she’s not going to be happy when I talk to her about not being ready to move on in our relationship. She will be gone. And again, I’ll be alone. And my church of kisses will collapse back into silences. But I know that’s where I need to be.

Girl #3 met me for coffee yesterday as well, and it was clear that I could make a case for her, she wasn’t that engaged or connected. She was a bit flighty. I think I recall this trait from when we knew each other 15 years ago. She was attractive to me. She fit many of my desires about intellect, fitness, and a full life of her own. But I couldn’t really penetrate her ditzy fog. It wasn’t that she was ditzy, but it seemed that she liked to play ditzy, as an excuse for forgetting something, or not wanting to explore some topic of conversation.

Back to my priestess of kisses. I cannot lead her any further down the road of excitement. She’s been sharing me with friends. And I would ALMOST rather give her some more time, but really I’m giving myself more time to NOT deal with it. The further we walk into the church of kissing the harder it is going to be to leave without a sacrifice.

So… PAIN PAIN PAIN, I’d rather do almost anything other than hurt someone.

OH, the other awareness that came from this journey down kissy-face lane.

WHAT IF, she had fallen physically within my range of comfort? What if the girl who was so delightful turned out to be a real possible “match?” Without kids of her own, she had very little to do other than want to be with me.

Am I ready for a devoted girlfriend who wants to spend endless time with me? Isn’t some of that what we are looking for?

But what about the nights I just wanted to read or get in bed early? What about the times I really just need to work… Even with GF 1.0 there was a bit of a struggle when I said, “I’m really busy, can we get together tomorrow instead?”

So how is that going to work? What if I got exactly what I was hoping for? The FOUR TRUE requirements, and she wanted to be with me. And then she REALLY wanted to be with me. What then?

My friend said, “She needs to have a rich life all her own. So she is not so dependent on your schedule and your activities.”

I floated the idea, “What if what I want is really just a lover?” But I know that is not the solution.

What I learned, yesterday as I was contemplating this woman who REALLY wants to be with me… was I actually have to define some of my desired time constraints as well. So you mean, even after all this, all this work to FIND SOMEONE, you also have to negotiate time and schedules?

And of course, the concept flashed across my mind, “It would be the end of The Off Parent.”

I laugh now. Hardly. But the focus and dance of this story would change dramatically.


The Off Parent

< back to On Dating Again index

*written April 2013


outside edges

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]


i walk the outside edges tonight
seeking a warmth
stars are hidden by smoke or clouds
with the hazy coming of winter here
and you have still not arrived
though my prayers are swift
true and pure
it is me that still needs tending
in the burning desire
that turns in on itself


image: creative commons usage – lite-bright art


sera song shimmer

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

it’s not just everything about her
i know so little
it’s not the wisp of hair
the light
the breast and belly
it’s not all those things
it might be what she is looking at
that i cannot see
it might be the hope
she is looking for someone
i know it is a photograph
i know she is not real
in this moment of light
and promise
and poem
i know
and i wander
into the folds
and shimmer


image: sera song courtesy of jag photo

imagine this rain

by the light of day[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

find the relaxing place again
watching the daylight fade
nothing else
holding hands, maybe
your smell
and smile
still visible as darkness
it is how i imagine
this rain
if you


receding moon

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

she is the receding moon in a clear blue sky
influences like tides
there is light with no heat
and the whole world is opened up
with potential and promise
beauty in hope and romantic reach
waves out from my heart
heavenward and hopeful


blue sky moon


image: blue sky moon used under creative commons usage

the beat and beat and pause

they are flowers, they are pens

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

perhaps all this fire just beneath the surface
presents me as a dangerous poet
a romantic with ocd
i can’t seem to stop the words
when i’m happy
or high
an intoxicating sheen
i try to infuse
even when i speak
i listen to the cadence
the beat and beat and pause
the heart of the words
i am trying to connect to her heart
linking us
to pull her closer
all with pause
and patience
and silence enforced
while the words pour on
i give her a rest
obsession is not pretty
rich romantic notions
can be unhealthy
overwhelm the fragile stability
i know
i am aware
of my own raging fires
i have learned
this venting process


afternoon here


[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

it is afternoon here
and i still don’t know
where you are
poems measure
mappings of desire
the nets remain empty
laying out letters
and stones
in formations
arranging flowers
within the grass
giving you signals
i will continue
a blush


against beauty

mermaid series - jesse sublett - aug 2009

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

the nuance is lost
when i hunger
with such intensity
i wear myself out
i cannot imagine
my heart bursting

anytime there is a glimmer
i jump with both feet
as into a fresh rain puddle
without care or map
i am reckless
and abandoned
i thrash slightly
with romantic epiphanies

there she is
beauty personified
wings folded
smile alight
there she is
smelling of salt

an easy death will not come
not little deaths
but large ones
i do not haunt or hunt
i craft and scheme
and write missives
hoping she will

here she is
within reach
still fluttering
both of us
at the closeness
and heat
and risk
of flame

i have the patience of a surgeon
and the passion of a teenage boy
i do not fumble
but ready my arrow
and give voice to flying instructions
asking for her assistance
a little lift
is required
but we pause

the is nothing simple about falling
nothing casual
about what I am craving
i fall well
i love even more intentionally
at least…
at least i imagine i will

given the chance, the shot, the siren
i will gladly crash into her
burning all maps
forgiving all plans and transgressions
as we explode
but there is no exploding
today i am only dreaming
today i am doing
my romantic poet

i can tuck this craving under a stone
and go on about my business
today has many turns left
while rubbing up against beauty
ever familiar
ever distant
inspiring yet again
without tangible evidence
that i am getting any closer
to her


image used by permission: mermaid series by jesse sublett

accidental angels

accidental angels - the off parent

 [from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

accidental angels have landed in my life
only a few times
each had a message
usually about sex
sometimes about hope

imagine my surprise at 21 years-old
to find an angel in my car with me
taking her clothes off as we speed towards the lake
it’s too cold to get out of the car or swim
she is naked
says she’s a virgin, but I can’t believe that
and i remember the music
and kissing and
driving her back to her cousin’s house
she was visiting
i guess angels have cousins too

the second angel came with flower tattoo on her shoulder
and a smile that lit up the selfie network
unlike any before or since
and she spoke of rain and cure songs
as the chorus of mutually assured flight was determined
she liked tequila and sappy love songs
on her second return flight she hit a dense fog
and never arrived
though her smiling selfies and empty coffee cups
still flutter by occasionally

the most recent flyby was more dangerous
she was still encumbered in the process
in the leaving
and i must’ve seemed like a perch of pause
but i became a leaping off point
and she has since flown away
though her whispers are also still echoing
across the cellular airways

i’m not ready for another angel
i’d prefer a woman
and even then, i’m not sure i’m ready
but perhaps you never are
they are all angels
after all


image is used courtesy of ricardo acevedo and model sera

sera sera sera

devastating beauty - sera - a poem

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

devastating beauty
of dark and quixotic myth
an endless stream of black night, all stars
deep scent and dampness
any whispers or words
are lost in the soundless awe
words no match for the image
the eye
the lip
a soft and sharp neck
uncovered yet colorless
she penetrates my
she takes my
she is
i’ve lost all
cannot imagine
who i think she might be
she is a distant shimmer of light
a dark vortex of mysterious imagination
she is mine
and nothing
and beautiful
and elsewhere
she calls forth a greatness
a striving and chivalrous heart
what she appears to be
beauty caught for a second
in a moment of magic
some distant fires
must warm her gaze
and bring redness and smiles
imagining her laugh
but she is not
she cannot be
she mustn’t ever
this isn’t about her
of course
it is about her hair
her magic
and the fear it conjures
if one so beautiful
by digital frame
is it
conceivable that her inner light
could also radiate with

is the pain from a knowing or unknowing
the tearing of lost hopes
memories and victories
of battles and mountains of youth

there is a chasm between, below, and ahead
i am not seeking
but praying
to a god i don’t pretend to understand
a god who delights in this raw
unfiltered potency
and perhaps in my faint song
of praise

i am praying
and searching for letters
to weave a tapestry or net
of such strength and brilliance
but i pause now
knowing the light is an illusion
the trick
my own

my she
is nothing like her

what i have lost
is not returning
what i have yet to discover
still a siren’s song of sorts
still a calling to the rocks
to the old gods
to sacrifices
shields of gold
heroes and honor and
and this
image calls an entire fleet
in my heart
this older, slower heart
still red with desire
simmering with incantations


love fully

love unlimited by age or time or reality




she is god
i am an acolyte
and i sing


image from: The Tale of Sera Leigh

eyes to the bottom of the pool

a poem of missing someone before we even met

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

i’m not waiting for her to make the first move
kiss first
ask for the 2nd date
but I am anticipating that she will provide
some sign
an indication
that will fuel or foul my flames
and she did
and it was a no
and now I can move on
i may never know what why or how
and she will most likely not offer
so we drift
back to our lanes
eyes to the bottom of the pool
and swim on


image: hockney inspired photo

in the coils

in the coils of her dark wet hair

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

in the coils of her dark wet hair
i could lose a lifetime
slipping into something more comfortable
i would give up oxygen
if it meant i could stay safe
in the fresh deep smell
of a woman
so clean
so completely


image: untitled used by creative commons license

the slivered moon

the off parent - slivered moon

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

there they go again
those coyotes
reminding me of your absence
i walk
i look
i better myself
and nothing

the slivered moon sees you
but i don’t

the howls remind me
the bed reminds me
the feeling beneath my chest
knows something is missing

a dark moment
full of promise
maybe they are talking to me
to her

i am not ready
i am not ready
i am not finished
completing myself

this perfecting loneliness
is honest work
if you can stomach the hours

perhaps the howling
is felt
by many


seeking each moment

cold clear stars

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

kissing this night
and the crickets singing
in harmony with the clear cold stars
holding this image of fascination
with just where you are
how the light of this darkness
strikes your heart
your fancy
and are you longing too


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

word after word seeking another

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

ensnaring her in my imagination
she stumbles across my words
rapt and tingling from the assumptions
she is young and old
and finding new pleasures
where the previous ones have gone missing
i meet her in my projections
lover, romantic, singer, dancer
i too am shutting down old wings
unproductive castings
lost kisses
in this very word
and this one
she is taken


word after word seeking another

fall arriving

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

and the weather changed and changed everything
i smile, imagining your smile
as the leaves swished down and past
rain smell and damp earth hunger
and memories, hopes, and dreams
of you

you called


fall arriving


diving into the ocean

[from Misconfigurations of Love – poetry]

after the 27th unanswered love poem
i discovered
of course i already knew
that i was making the whole thing up
maybe i had been ambiguous
or lacking in direct action
a poem is not exactly a kiss