a poem about taking a break from romance (or damn, winter can be cold)

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as you know, i’ve been contemplating the light and romance and poetry mojo. they are three of my obsessions. how they ebb and flow. most recently, how they dwindle. i would be hard-pressed to tell you which absence is most disheartening. but i can say that i’ve lived long enough to know that neither light nor poetry really disappear. romance, however? and love? phftt. i have little evidence that either persists.

with one or two exceptions, i have a long record of sex without emotional connection, including, even, the longest relationship of my life. sex, of course, has its own value. i’m not discounting it. but what i’ve started to ponder is something that comes from my gut: “what things do you accept, allow or tolerate from men that your instincts say are wrong rather than doing the hard thing? do the work!” ok, so that isn’t what my gut said. that’s a near-quote from iyanla: fix my life on OWN (oprah’s channel).

laugh if you want about pop psychology. one day i’ll tell you the story of why oprah means so much to me: i guarantee it’s not what you think. but whether who speaks to you is iyanla or the dalai lama, i don’t judge. it’s a damn pity women (myself included) don’t demand more from men. and vice versa. as a culture, we are way too easy on one another. why are we afraid to insist on more?

i don’t have the answer for that. but i want to have it. in the meantime, what i have is a poem. i don’t know if this is the poem i’m going to workshop tomorrow night, but it’s what i was playing with at lunch today:

[poem removed for editing]

p.s. they’re interviewing the MFA students over at the st. rose english blog. here’s the one featuring yours truly: What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview With M.F.A. Student Carolee Sherwood.


      1. Nah, most of the time I’d rather enjoy an evening with a good book and a good beer than have to endure intimacy with someone I don’t especially care for.

  1. Does the fool who wouldn’t leave his/her name have a name for men who have sex without commitment? Just wondering…in any case, CB, ignore ’em!

  2. Hoping the negativity doesn’t detract from your writing, from your poetry…or from people’s focus here. Hoping whoever this coward may be grows up. You are brave to post the comments, positive and negative. Love you Sis!

  3. I’m disapointed our editor would allow a blaitent chavinstic remark to stand, signed or not . Knowing the courage it takes to broach such delicate regions of the heart,then publicly share them, far beyond most

    1. there’s no editor here, rick. it’s just me & it’s my own writing … so it’s only me to choose to be intimidated or not by such comments … and i’m not. i believed it was important to share because #1 it’s an important discussion to have & #2 because some people told me i’d been imagining heckling all year. they didn’t believe that people were this judgmental or cruel …. so this one had to come out into the light!

    1. not demanding anything except courtesy. people can think what they want, but they should keep it to themselves. when they attack me, they’re not asking for me to tolerate their opinion … they’re using their opinion as a weapon.

  4. I thought I couldn’t live without it. Now I am living prorof that you can.
    Told my son they should put a plaque on a certain building – Lauren’s last sex spot, 1994. As for the poem – I like it, and I suggest you try a different cheese each week, just sayin’…..

  5. Hi Carolee, You got me thinking. I think we don’t demand more of men because we sense that they are fragile and they might break. Then we wouldn’t have one? Kinda lame, but I think there’s some truth to it. Then we realize that we’re being broken in the process and we finally get out so we don’t shatter. I especially love the last 4 lines of your poem. All the best, Linda

    Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 01:48:49 +0000 To: lindabacon@hotmail.com

  6. Once again, one hell of a poem. I’m so glad to have found my way to your new digs, and sorry it’s taken me so long to get here. The poem is gorgeous. I love

    attempt meal after meal, hoping to stumble upon the right combination: / onions from the produce section, noodles and broth from aisle nine, / chicken from the butcher. Surely, the next man who buys me a drink / will be both take-me-home and call-the-next-day, though proportions vary.


  7. oh the dissapointment ! I got all the way up for a 9/16th but it was a 5/8s I needed; get the 5/8, and its a worn-out 15mm ! up & down
    fooled again ; if only someone would standardize the sizes & & &

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