I’m Probably Not the Marrying Kind…


“My love is like to ice, and I to fire;
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolv’d through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?”

– “Sonnet 30,” Edmund Spenser

I’m Probably Not the Marrying Kind

Man child, man child
open up your eyes
trapped in a grown man’s body
strapped with a grown man’s pride
filled with a grown man’s eager swagga and ground eating

conquer-the-world stride

do you even know where you’re going?

man child – man child!
open up your ears
listen, man child, listen
that’s the sound of passing years
under the sound of your empty boasts, wild carousing

the voice of your fears

begs the question: are you ready, and do you know who you are?

man child   o man child
what is this you’ve done?
dare you say this carnage is a sign that you have won?
who is it you’ve crushed and battered, who is it you’ve killed
when your fear and pride and loathing stubbornly refused to yield

to hands more kind and cunning, and infinitely more skilled….

open up your mind
confront your insecurities and know a world more vast
than your vapid patriarchy, more lovely than your sordid past
understand that sea and sky are less forgiving and more cruel
than this little land you’ve conquered, these cities that you rule

the generous heart of this brave woman you’ve taken for a fool

the price of what you want far steeper than you’re prepared to pay but

worth more than should be granted to such an empty jar of clay

open up your heart
accept your flaws and failures – after all, you’re but a man
amend your lesser blunders (avoid repeating, if you can)
acknowledge that you feel things: you’re a human, and as such

let love brush up against you with its subtle magic touch

open your hands
do something that matters, forget your quest for fame
a thousand years from now, will anyone recall your name?
and if they do, the stories that they tell will all have changed
try to be good. And give the ones around you peace

For such a man, I’m sure there’s some reward

At least…I think


I have never been clear about what I want in a man. You know how girls have that conversation (guys, too): “he’s not my type, or ” “She’s not for you.” Some people are so advanced they have full lists of desired traits. The really smart people stay open-minded but know what their deal-breakers are, the real red flags (because – come on, you can’t treat people like that – not really seeing them, but evaluating if they check off the correct number of boxes). But not me. I could never be a part of that conversation. I don’t have a preference for height or looks or strength or size or occupation or even race. It took me a while to figure out that this meant I don’t really want a man, so I have never bothered to consider what I want in one. I don’t have a man-shaped hole in my heart….and that’s strange because I was married once (strange? sad? let’s not quibble about the appropriate adjectives). But I had worked out this much: I knew how much I would want to matter. I would want a man to play a song for me when I left (notice that I’m assuming the relationship ends at some point). Not a long song, or a particular song or even a song on repeat. But a perfect song. The notes would start when I walk away, they would linger in the doorway with me, and they would echo down the walk, the long walk to my car, while I take with me all the things that are mine, only mine, and could never be shared or belong to anyone else. I know that that’s silly. I know it can’t happen: real life has no soundtracks. But that’s what I would want: to be remembered for only those 3 minutes in only that one song. Then he could forget me, as a movie is forgotten even as the end credits play after the closing scene. Which is actually more a statement of his attention span, not my inherent worth.

Also, I don’t seem to have a very high opinion of men in general (just in general. If we get to specifics, I know some quality cats). But really: yikes.

Note: This is actually an older piece. I updated it because it read a lot like lazy poetry in the first draft…from like 5 years ago.


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