A Man’s Idea of Romance. #AmWriting #MondayBlogs spencermichaelsbooks.com/blog

Does it differ from women’s?

Our publisher seems to think it a bit odd (maybe just uncharacteristic?) for two men to collaborate on a Romance novel. I realize that most Romances are marketed for women and written by women, but the question of why is sort of interesting to me. I guess the bigger question is whether or not there is something essential or unique to the genre that male writers simply lack in perspective. Perhaps most male writers are intimidated by writing a female protagonist (I know I am). But certain readers might suggest that men and women perceive/act on/think of love differently. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d tour you through a short series of poems I wrote years ago that provides my voice in terms of love and passion. Maybe my male perspective is inherently different than a woman’s–but I don’t think so.

These three poems go together and are designed to demonstrate how a person’s idea of love changes as they grow older or wiser in a relationship. I think this is true for any person, that relationship context and life position are what create the distinctive ideas about love we develop.

The first poem is indicative of the sort of blind devotion people experience either at a young age (first loves) or during the honeymoon period.

Adam Didn’t Fall He Jumped

I would give up Grace
in lonely heaven,
shed my hollow wings
by the vacant throne of clouds,
to eat from the self-same fruit
which touched your lips.
This so that I may see my body
and yours.
This so that I can feel my calluses
and yours.
This so that I can stand
beside you to endure
barren fields,
shivering nights,
blistering days,
labor pains:
these toils beyond the wall.
This so that I may follow you—
(You, the only shape I’ll pray to)
I only wish to follow you
into the dark.

As you can see, this poem is on the heavy-handed, melodramatic side. But we’ve all been there right? So sure that the relationship you’re in is perfect and unassailable, so sure that you’re willing to burn bridges (sometimes very important ones!) just to prove your allegiance to your partner. The truth is, this poem is reflective of a naive attitude about love. This is the kind of romance that appeals to preteens and the star-crossed lovers out there.

Now, once those angsty youngins mature a bit, love tends to become a bit more carnally focused. This next poem might be the spot where men and women differ in their writing about love/sex–but honestly I’m not sure. The next poem is more aloof in tone, plays with cooler jazzier sounds, and has a pretty graphic sub-text.

Silk Dance: Chamber Duet

grips lipped
in push-pop

mouth southed

stache mashed
In juice-jam

face placed
throat bass-note

Pleasure electric.
Percussive jazz.
Positive tension.
Perfect circuit.

Did you get it, did you get it? That’s right–it’s about a 69. I chose that image originally for two reasons: first, as I said before, a maturing adult relationship is heavily influenced by sexual compatibility. Second, the 69 is a symbol for collaboration and unity, ideally. Most adults agree that successful relationships take the form of partnerships. If two people work hard enough and are compatible, they can conceivably achieve a certain harmony.

But what happens when…erm…well, when the fun parts stop working so good? Well, the two psychological categories of love are passionate (as seen above) and companionate (the third poem will reveal this concept). Companionate love is, perhaps, the truest form of love as it disregards the sexual or hormonal. Companionate love is simply based on appreciating a person for who they are and not wanting to leave their side. This last one is definitely my favorite and I think the reason why is because this is the sort of maturity I look for at my age in a romantic partner.

Our Bodies Are Not Villains

A ring
is not a guillotine
A child
is not a time-bomb
A wrinkle
is not a battle-scar

Our bodies are not villains
for doing what they’re designed to do…

Seeing your face
shimmering through my cataracts,
is just a new hue to admire—

Feeling the folds of your sagging skin
dragging across my liver-spots
excites me—

waking up to your brittle fingers
trembling through my white hairs
(the ones you always assume you
planted in my scalp)
delights me—

hearing your raspy alarm-clock voice
whispering in my ear the words
“We’re out of milk”
is a whole new first kiss—

running to Walgreens
for Fixodent and Metamucil
instead of Airborne and Tampons
is a whole new way to wash your feet—

Our bodies are not villains
for doing what they’re designed to do…

We may be growing old,
but we are still growing
in this neon garden
until the day
we squeeze each other
tightly enough
to return to dust.

You can see why these three work well together, right? The last lines of this one indicate a full life cycle from garden to garden, from young love to old, crusty, companionship.

Anyway, my goal for today was to share some love poems and demonstrate a male perspective on the concept, Maybe these are incredibly different from what I female would write. If they are, please, post a reply and let’s discuss. If you hate or love the poetry and want to talk about it, you can post that too,

Happy loving, everybody. And thanks for letting me share my work.


Dad’s Dime

This section should be called Percy’s Penny this week as there really is nothing for me to say.  My son, as usual, eloquently illustrated through his use of poetry, not only how the male perceives romance, but showed how it changes throughout a lifetime.  But to put this in my own poetic terms, No One Give’s a Rat’s Petutti about a man’s idea of romance.  We accept the preconceived ideas and learn to live with it.  Of course we do.

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