As I said at the time …

My turn to apologize for the delay in corresponding. At least you know how that goes. Only eighteen zillion things cooking at once? I was about to ask how you work everything in, but then recognized it’s the same vortex I live in—any one of a dozen facets could be a full-time occupation, no? People ever tell you, gee, you’re intense? It’s a compliment, actually. Would you have it any other way? Hah!

Will assume the dilemma on the Romance Front has worked itself out by now. If not, here’s my (not the least bit unbiased) counsel: dump them both and run off. Oops! You asked about what wisdom I could offer, not what advice. Two things both jump out as red flags. As my ex-mother-in-law used to quote, “Kissing don’t last; cooking do.” In other words, the fact that he and the mother aren’t still hooked up this soon after the daughter’s birth raises some deep questions. And you, my dear, love to dwell in dreams and fantasies, which is fine until we reach the fan … and all of its stench. Life can be a long-enough journey as it is: stick with college, to its conclusion. Just what kind of jobs are there out there, in places I always think of as rich-hippie-kids’ commune locales, which no doubt dates me, but hey! Just say Duma Luma!

Actually (very strictly confidentially here), as a parallel insight, I’ve recently found myself quite attracted to a woman just separated from her husband. There’s a mutual flirtation, yes, but before making any moves, I spoke with her best friend, who counseled me to wait — that to swoop in and rescue her now, before she has a chance to work out some longstanding issues on her own, would leave her a very angry woman thirty years from now — with that fury directed at me, right or wrong. Zap. Crinkle. Pop. No thanks! I’ll wait. Please stand by.

Would hate to see you filled with similar anger arising from having your life’s direction turned aside too early. And so, for both of us, this reminder: let’s enjoy what life deals us, without forcing anything. Ride the Good Karma.

On this end, have been “out of relationship” nearly two years now, after a long tempestuous one-on-one finally exploded — that bond, itself, originating after a whirlwind year of four intense romances (one of which came very close to marriage, before she freaked, realizing she could fulfill everything she had always said she wanted, to return back South). Actually, this has been the first time in my life I haven’t felt a driving need to be in love, and it’s allowed me to focus on myself for a change. (With dividends in the rising bank balance.) Not that I’m not keeping my eyes open! In the meantime, a number of my Real Love poems seem to be finding favor out there: pieces based on the conflict, betrayals, and all the other good stuff the traditional love poem seems to ignore. Back to Square One.

The astro-link does become intriguing. The majority of the women in my love life have been water signs — perhaps because of my “wiring,” in which I could not (notice, past tense) claim my own emotions, except through my Significant Other. (We’re talking deep-seated Mother Issues, my dear.) (Yes, I know what you mean about the wonders of having an Italian father, “you gotta love ‘em.”) Last winter, on a Sunday afternoon when I sat down to dinner in a great little Italian restaurant in Portsmouth and took the first sip of the red wine, I really got misty—nowadays, I miss them more than her. The stories there!) Why all the water-sign aspects, then, when I’m supposed to be with Geminis, Libras, Sagittarians?

O, the one thing that really scares me when I see all of the genius you have at your fingertips is this, the potential so close to breaking through to the Major Leagues. At some very deep level, the panic. (Believe me, I know both art and classical music thoroughly — the latter, better than many trained musicians, actually. Not bragging, just relating what some of them have told me.) So here’s hoping you remain cool and centered at your core, regardless of what happens outwardly. There comes a point of deepest fear, when work is moving forward, a fear of standing naked before the public and risking everything – of perhaps having to change completely, in that transformation. Did you sense anything like that before the chapbook came out, or the next issue hits the streets? (I’m quite relieved, by the way, that the narcs didn’t move in on you after your little dope survey: name your sources, or else!)

And yes, your latest edition is a pleasure, not just because my work’s in it. The kind of reading I just couldn’t put down till the last drop. Your “Goodbye, Starr” is heartbreaking in its intensity and accuracy – reflecting, too, the pain arising from the death of a closest friendship when the Other vanishes. (Ask me about my best friend from my Baltimore years sometime.) And how many other poetry journals also have a sex survey? None I can name! (“Tickle my pickle”?) My favorite song about sex? “Plaisir d’amour”—the pleasure of love lasts but a moment; the pain, a whole life through! Am I being too cynical? Realistic? Self-pitying? Sorry!


Blue_RockFor another take on romance and relationships, click here.



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