As I said at the time …

Perhaps the reason the love poem, as a genre, has been so difficult for me to perform within arises from the fact that I am laboring under a host of false expectations. That is, my mother’s roots, on one side, of promiscuous Virginian Cavalier and rutting-prone Scotts Highlander with its Robert Burnsian romantic veneer, are immediately conflicted by her other side, with its “you-only-kiss-the-one-you’ll-marry” indoctrination that raises the stakes of adolescent yearning to impossible standards: in it, there is no room for experimentation, or even much playfulness: the dance of the sexes is all-or-nothing, high-stress salesmanship. Unfortunately, I was relatively impoverished: I could not see my own value when competing with rivals draped in tailored clothing, swimming pool club memberships, or new cars. My mother’s heritage, thus short-circuited her golden son from lady’s man into mamma’s boy, except for my rebellion and escape. Nevertheless, so much has been a denial and shadow boxing: no matter which move, she set up the game.


Diane Wakoski’s brutally honest poetry of attraction and mating struck me as revolutionary, a realistic encounter within a culture I, too, experienced. What a relief! And, at times, what fun! To say nothing of what inspiration …


Blue Rock

For your own copy of my love poems, click here.


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