A Love Poem: Before Fame & Fortune (even a tiny bit or hint of either)
Why did my wife EVER consider being with me?
I’ve written about her before back when she was described by a millionaire doctor friend of ours, admiringly as my “trophy bride." And although she’s the same age as I am, she looks much younger: pretty, happy, fit and healthy.
When we met, I had a reputation as a “ladies' man” (if you liked me) or a cad and creep (if you didn’t) and more than a few people, especially women I’d dated, didn’t like me, not even a little, and they had expert witness testimony available from my previous three wives, should such evidence ever be needed.
Whether I became a successful author because I met Patti and felt her love and support, or whether I was able to believe she loved me because I became successful, several years after we got together, of course I’ll never know. What I do know is that before I had anything, Patti loved me and like Frost said, about those two paths in the snowy woods, I chose one and it made all the difference.
When you reach nearly 74 years of age, after nearly 30 years with your beloved, love poems take on a different slant than the hormone-driven madness of wildly “in love.”
It becomes just love, not 24/7 with never a hiccup, but close enough. More than close enough. It becomes this poem, this love poem, written after fame and fortune but started long before it.
Yesterday’s Deep Pain
Love ain’t always easy...but I’ll bet you knew that already
So yesterday Patti and I, who’ve been together for over a quarter of a century, got in a nasty quarrel while taking a perfectly lovely walk in a nearby park. We’d seen a big bevy of newly hatched quail scamper into a watery stretch of cattails. We were enjoying the light breeze and cooler morning temps when I said something and she heard something different than what I’d said and meant and I snapped back at her, and suddenly, it was ON. Silence was called for Silence was granted. Most times we move past this nonsense quickly, but yesterday not so much. I wrote a very depressed, and depressing account of the day (see my home page for the “VESSEL” story) and in the end we finally made-up and all was well. (Well maybe not “WELL” but much better). We’re both 73 years old have a happy, contented life together (yeah, I know, singular not “lives” but “life,” but that’s intentional as neither of us have any thought of going anywhere else). So, I suppose this story is a cautionary tale about how, when you love someone and are loved in return it never goes into automatic pilot, nor even cruise control. You gotta stay in the driver’s seat and operate the vehicle called yourself, always. The dangers never really end no matter how confident you are that your contentment should last and probably will...probably.
When the Fever Breaks
Before ever making it into bed
She has come back down to earth and her silence, far beyond just noticeable, envelops.
And one wonders did she confess to her husband? or just grow tired?
Then one stops and realizes that fevers can break in more than one direction at a time.
kind of, I guess, maybe for a day or two, but after that only a tiny bit of curiosity lingers, wondering if she could have been half as good as she bragged, she would be.
as one walks away.
For some reason, SCREAMING this at Patti when she’s anxious, doesn’t seem to help.
For god’s sake!!!!!
Calm the fuck down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I sometimes I call Patti.
I sometimes I call Patti. The Ghost of Christmas past. Sometimes The ghost of Christmas Future. Sometimes, Christmas present. Come to think of it, She is my ultimate Gift. Get it? Present and presents? I know, sometimes I kill myself, you know, like kill myself and kill myself, only not...damn, this is a shitty little poem but being married to a 74 year old “Trophy Bride” is sometimes harder than it looks — get it? harder and harder — get it? Never mind.
I fear no man.
My wife Patti, on the other hand, can be pretty danged scary from time to time.
Gender Truths/Gender Honesty
Men and women often deal with “truth” in different ways
“It’s easier for a man, than for an attractive, accomplished woman, to be taken seriously,” my wife insists as we talk about honesty.
She’s a big believer in Emily Dickenson’s ‘Tell it on the slant’ and the white lies that Patti generally uses as she avoids the truth, come far more easily to her than they do to me.
She almost always precedes the word honesty with the word ‘brutal’ “Brutal honesty" as if any effort at being truthful can lead to nothing but pain and trouble.
She says, “This is only one example of how men and women live, in different cultures.”
I know that a man can be honest especially with another man. But I understand her when she says that a pretty woman, ‘Not so much.’
My wife is a pretty woman and has been all her life and she’s learned that she is feared and disliked by many men and by a lot of less beautiful women when she is too candid, too honest and direct.
The net effect of this for me is that when a woman lies and I hear her lying to me or to someone else, I put away my judgmental superiority and realize that the gift of being able to be honest isn’t as available to everyone as I make it to myself.
After a Bad Relationship Ends
Her mind worked like the Periodic Table of Elements, mine doesn’t
Not Long Ago
a former girlfriend who had been quite unkind to me during our time together and subsequent to it, wrote me an email outta the blue and when I didn’t respond right away, she wrote again, sounding incredulous, “You have to write me back…right?”
This was so perfectly her; this assumption of control and demanding expectation of me.
When I had asked her, not long after our break-up, rather pitifully I admit, why she’d wanted out she’d laughed and said, “You’re so leaky.”
I assumed she meant that I was too open about how I felt and too willing to talk about it.
But I could never be sure, because, for all the time I’d known her, so long as SHE knew what she meant, she didn’t care much whether others understood or not. She had been a Chem. major in college Graduated Magna Cum Laud and was very smart.
But every emotion, experience, viewpoint, comment, idea, acquaintance, Every. Fuckin’. Thing. in her life, had its place, its proper atomic weight and accurately counted # of protons.
“You have to write me back, right?”
But old leaky me decided that I needn’t even bother to type back “Nope.”
When a Good Friend “Admires” Your Wife...Maybe a Little Too Much
Then again, maybe not, I mean after all, we’re all adults here, right? Right?
I’m standing on the deck of his million-dollar home with my doctor friend as our wives wander around in the yard below us picking flowers and chatting.
Doc and I are sipping glasses of wine when he says to me, “Your wife is kind of a trophy bride, huh?”
My wife, Patti, and I got together when I didn’t have a “pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.” (I know, not very original but too perfectly to the point to pass up here.) that was when Patti and I were 45, we’re now 67.
So, once again, after 22 years together and now senior citizens, Doc’s asking if she’s my “trophy bride?”
But of course, his remark is largely complimentary and goes along with many other men friends’ comments about how oddly impossible it seems to them that Patti, pretty and smart and classy as she is, could have ended up with me, despite the presence, these days, of my enormous ego and grandiose sense of self-importance.
But she did and here we are, and so my 67-year-old Trophy Bride is carrying some long, orange fox gloves across the beautifully manicured lawn below and being admired. Which works for me, so I answer, “Yep… kind of.”
Wet, Wet, Wet
“Turn the water on Harder, Turn it on harder, harder.” Your clitoris said to me. And the ocean, Overhearing, Thinking Clit meant him Obliged, roared. I cranked the shower handle Harder, Harder, Hot and hard, As the ocean’s tongue Gathered, got set — And you were wet, wet, wet.
Touching a woman’s hair vs simply looking at her and her hair in certain light
I just got-up from a July 4th daytime nap. I must have dreamt about beautiful women with gorgeous hair. My sister will be returning a holiday phone call to me shortly and as I try to wake-up, I’m thinking about what we’ll talk about: who we are now, who we once were. I am also looking for something to write for this new site, for my new friend Claire. What a lovely name, right? I mean Claire...who can resist a woman named Claire?
but I digress.
I came across this little read and little noticed poem written for my second wife (out of the 4) and who never had particularly beautiful hair but was and is a beautiful soul.
So the poem:
Poem For Her Hair
One strand is a length of thread I’d use to tie dead leaves together. twisting one way on the wind, rising to me Smile, eyes, blonde hair, rising to me rising to me.
My wife Patti has gorgeous hair. My mother had gorgeous hair. My sister has gorgeous hair.
I’m almost all the way awake now, and I'm happy that I’ve written this little love poem based on a previous little love poem.
Shakespeare and His Rose
Yeah, okay, sure...but
To call her lovely as a flower, you know, like Shakespeare and his rose is all right I guess, but we know that flowers die just as she and I will die someday.
And before flowers die they start to fade and once that begins they lose their beauty.
I suppose the same could be said of her may be true of her for some. But not for me. In my heart she hasn’t lost her beauty at all.
I know this sounds too sentimental, too sweet, too romantic and like a lie, this idea that her beauty, part of nature is immune to the rules of reality. I know it sounds unbelievable, a violation.
It may be false most everywhere else but not in the hidden places of love, not in those shadows of light that exist in our souls through our willingness to believe and will them to be true. And to feel and know their truth that such love is eternal, like Shakespeare, like his rose.