Dating Again

https://entropymag.org/on-weather-dating-deluge/ Read it on Entropy…

The anxieties of senior dating…

5272195369_67ec31ee3e_b.jpgI am sixty-five years old and dating again. Way too old for starting over.

The rain lashed down on slick San Francisco streets as I drove across town to meet my fourteenth online date through OkCupid. Dating was the only way I could keep my mind off Kenji, my on-and-off partner for the past twelve years. I missed him fiercely, but he wasn’t coming back. Cheetah, one of my closest girlfriends and the high priestess of advice, kept telling me that the only way to mend a broken heart was to distract myself with someone new. When I complained about the wimpy coffee dates I’d gone on, she explained online dating like this. “It’s a numbers game. You have to put in your time. It’s best not to expect a whole lot. Just think of it as business. That’s the only way to do it.”

I navigated through the streets while hunched over the steering wheel. I squinted, the wipers clacking back and forth. A perfect night to stay at home and read a book or watch one of my favorite French videos. A perfect night for anything but this.

When I’d buckled my seatbelt and left the Richmond district, I stationed my cell phone on the passenger seat next to me. I texted my girlfriends before and after meeting someone. It helped to ground me, helped to give me the confidence I sorely lacked and make me feel I wasn’t all alone. The fab four, of which we called ourselves, would soon be receiving my group text. The three of them would hear from the one of me who communicated thusly: I am going in.

South of Market. Thirty minutes later and the cafe still eluded me. The windshield fogged up and I turned on the defroster and cracked a window. Unfamiliar with the directions of the one-way streets, I kept getting lost. Was it Folsom Street that shot away from downtown or was it Harrison? Or both? And if I was on Bryant Street did that mean that I had gone too far? I drove in circles, looping around the rainy streets while trying to find the Epicenter Cafe. I couldn’t seem to get my bearings.

The guy I was about to meet: Italian, divorced, a New Yorker fairly new to the city. He had written me first, and his email sounded light and funny. I liked his photograph, his dark hair and eyes.

As I drove around, more lost than ever, my mood spiraled. One minute I could be fine and slip into my grief the next. How was I ever going to have a relationship with someone new when I was emotionally unavailable? The idea of having sex with someone new horrified me. Could I really move on? Move on. My hand found its way to my heart. My breath caught.

At a stoplight, someone honked when the light turned green. “Sorry,” I said, as if they could hear me. I hooked a left and once again hunted for Harrison Street. I felt myself sinking, spiraling out of control.

“I can’t do this,” I said aloud. “I’m not ready and I may never be. I have to go home.” I was far too old for online dating and even if this guy was nice, I couldn’t stand the possibility of getting my heart broken again.

Moments passed. I actually found the cafe. Shock of all shock I also found a parking space right across the street. I pulled into it, turned off the engine and unbuckled my seatbelt, sitting quietly for a few minutes while rivulets of rain streamed down my windshield. “You can do this,” I said firmly. “You can do this and you will do this. Pull yourself together.”

With this I managed to open the door. The cold air swirled around me. I grabbed my purse and umbrella, eyeing the cafe across the street. A dark-haired man sat near the front window. Maybe it was him. Poor man. Look at the mess he was about to meet.

I hoisted myself up to a standing position, giving myself a pep talk. I was attractive enough. I could be funny sometimes. I had a lot to offer. As I was almost ready to lock my car I remembered my cell phone. Sitting back down in the driver’s seat, I momentarily thought of fleeing, of starting the engine and driving the hell away. Get out while the getting was good.

I waited a few moments and then reached across the seat. In a burst of courage, I grabbed for my cell phone. I texted my girlfriends. I am going in.

I love you, grand-dog…

I love you and am so glad you are in my life. You are so sweet and loving and handsome. Your ears make me smile. When you spend the night and I wake up in the morning and see your adorable ears I feel so happy. I love seeing you run up and down the stairs, taking them three at a time. I love your goofy smile when I rub your stomach. I love taking you for walks and watching you smell the flowers. I love how you hang your head out the window of the car. I am trying to understand your fears of other dogs and how you like some and really don’t like others. I am trying to help you with this.

I feel blessed to have you in my life.

Who is the best boy in the world? Who is the most handsome and the funniest? Who gives the best kisses? You are such a good kisser. Who loves to go shopping with me and to the bank? Who loves to go to Walgreens to pick out a new toy? Who goes through my purse for treats? Who, who, who?

You!32925539732_67bf96f504_b

A Skinny poem by me…

6936733468_7c8dc0c37a_bI like writing in new poetic and prose forms. Therefore, writing a skinny appealed to me. Here’s the definition of a skinny:

“The Skinny Poetry Journal (TSPJ) seeks new poetry. TSPJ is a literary journal that is dedicated to The Skinny poetry form. A Skinny is a short poem form, created by Truth Thomas, that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, those words can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical.

The point of the Skinny, or Skinnys, is to convey a vivid image with as few words as possible. Skinny poems can be about any subject. They can also be linked, like Haiku, Senryu or Tanka.”

Here’s my skinny that they published. They are easy to write, and fun. Try one.

https://theskinnypoetryjournal.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/a-new-skinny-in-by-eliza-mimski/

 

She even wears her pussyhat to bed
Watch
out
for
kitty
Watch
her
slay
dragons
Watch!
Even to bed she wears her pussyhat

PS Here’s my first submission, which they rejected. When I looked at it more closely, I realized I hadn’t followed the format correctly. Do you see where I screwed up?

https://elizamimski.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/760/

Marilee

Write a story in exactly 100 words…not easy!

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I submitted this to 100 Word Story. It was my first attempt at writing a story in 100 words. You have to get in, make something happen and get out very quickly. Hard to do, but many of the stories are quite moving and definitely an art. Read some and try writing one for yourself. This one wasn’t accepted but I will try again.

http://www.100wordstory.org/

Marilee wasn’t perfect but close to it. Her silky black hair, her almond-shaped eyes, and her generous lips. One of her legs was shorter than the other and she walked with a hitch. Her father told her it gave her character. Her mother advised her to use it to her advantage. Marilee exaggerated the movement. She was a human slinky toy. The girls at her school imitated her. The boys thought of her as a work of art. Marilee’s lips pouted as she flung her hair off to the side. She struggled down the hallway, one hip jutting, then catching.

So excited to find this out tonight!

This is for the writing contest given by the 2017 San Francisco Writers Conference. I submitted the first chapter of my novel…  Yay!!!!!

 

2017 SAN FRANCISCO WRITING CONTEST FINALISTS (in random order)

ADULT FICTION FINALISTS:
Cult of Savage Hearts by Amy Lampe
Dead Man’s Shirt by Bruce Campbell
The Upside of Dark by Catharine Manset Morreale
The Man Who Lived In Silence by Chelsey Dannielle Monroe
Only The Lonely at the Geezer Beauty Pageant by Eliza Mimski
Plumb Undone by Kelly Allen
The Taste of Names and Other Things by Masha Sukovic
Bash Chelik by Masha Sukovic
Simon’s Still Point by Scott McGaraghan
Over The Coconut Trees by Shymala

A poem I wrote in response to the ban on Muslims…

They are coming for the Muslims

now,

airports

passports

detainment

now.

Anti-

Muslim

violence

now.

They are coming for the Muslims.

 

 

Two Hearts (for Kenji)

 

 

*I wrote this for Enclave’s #final poem.  Here is the premise:  “If the world were to end next week, what is the final poem you write, the final poem you give away generously, treacherously, genuinely, fearfully, necessarily, beautifully? That tomorrow it may very well all end, and we would know to bear the pain as the day rose and broke. That the present is undying yet death awaits us all. That words can still connect and touch, that we still know how to offer to others a piece of our soul. That space yet expands and we know when to keep breathing and when to stop. That poetry can yet be given and received, from one human being to another.

****

For so many years you were my oxygen
My breath
My conversational mate
You made me laugh

My heart inside your heart
My hand inside your hand

Before we knew each other we were lost
Two halves wandering
Steps searching
Traveling toward a place to call home

You found me
My arms were wreaths
My intentions were circles
Our laughter was a room filled with jewels

You spoiled me by listening to me
I spoiled you by laughing at your jokes

I hope I gave you enough
I did my best and that was all I had

You were/are/will be
My everything

Nothing will change
Nothing
When the world comes to an end

Funerals for Fetuses

 

 

 

I wrote this poem about my experiences with having an abortion in 1969, and the humiliation I went through. Unfortunately, politicians are now trying to turn back the clock and outlaw abortion. They need to get their grimy hands off our bodies!

My poem was published by New Verse News on January 18th, 2017.

https://newversenews.blogspot.com/2017/01/funerals-for-fetuses.html

1969. Nineteen years old and pregnant.
I couldn’t afford to keep the baby.
In those days, before Roe vs Wade,
you had to prove to two psychiatrists
that you were mentally unable to go through
with the pregnancy.
They wrote letters to the medical board of the
hospital performing the abortion.
Insurance didn’t cover the psychiatric visits.

The first psychiatrist asked if I would kill myself
if I didn’t have the abortion.
I said yes, I would take my life,
even though this wasn’t true.
He jotted some notes on a yellow legal pad.
He asked me little else.
The second psychiatrist asked if the sight of a penis
frightened me. I said yes. I lied that the sight of a penis frightened me.
He wrote that down.

My fate was in their hands.
They determined
my future . . .

The state of Texas now requires women
who have abortions or miscarriages
in hospitals,
in abortion clinics
or in other health facilities
to bury or cremate the fetal remains.

In Indiana, Mike Pence signed legislation
to force women to have fetal funerals
for abortions or miscarriages.
This can be carried out by the facility.
A name for the fetus during
transport to the burial ground
is not required.

 

A Poem for John Lewis

 

 

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(Written after Trump tweeted that the Congressman was all talk, no action…)

1–

We don’t have many heroes here
It’s not that people aren’t great but not that many fight so hard
Martin Luther King Jr went to jail 30 times for acts of civil disobedience and
John Lewis 45 times…
30, 45 times inside of a jail cell for what they believed in

We have small heroes, everyday heroes, but the big looming ones don’t come around that often and I wonder what makes a hard-fighting hero, one who takes the risk of being beaten and jailed for what they believe in

2–

My personal heroes are often writers,

writers like Jennifer Weiner because she writes about big women and

that makes me feel good because I grew up as a fat kid
Or writers like Maya Angelou because she was never racist no matter what
Or writers like Erica Jong because she advocates for women’s sexuality,

makes me feel that it’s okay to be unapologetically sexual
Or writers like May Sarton because she wrote about living alone and

enjoying her own company. Imagine!
Or writers like Janet Mock because she eloquently explained what it was like to

be born a boy when you’re really a girl
Or writers like Anne Lamott because she finds spirituality in just about any situation
Or Sylvia Plath who put words to mental illness
Or Toni Morrison who introduced me to Sula and writes about friendship
Or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre who forgave those who hurt her
All these writers in some way made me feel I existed

3–

I am an everyday hero

I am addicted to sugar and haven’t touched it for over 15 years

Kenji is an everyday hero

He’s getting off Klonopin after being on it for 30 years,

living through that nightmare and he will make it

Becky is an everyday hero

She won’t say anything bad about anyone we know even when I try to get her to

Deborah is an everyday hero

She is bouncing back and finding love after a nasty divorce

My students are everyday heroes

The autistic girl who wanders on the playground

The autistic boy who wanders down the hall

The special ed students who try so hard

The students who can’t speak English and ask for help

The students who help each other

The girl who told the acting-out boy to stop it because she wanted to get her education.

The kindergartner who was suspended and asked if it would be okay if she danced for me

The teenage girl who reported to the class that she had found her G spot and it was a really great thing

4–

Dear John Lewis,

Thank you for your heroism

It’s a big heroism

It touches us all

Thank you for saying that you don’t regard T•••p as a

legitimate president because of allegations
of the Russians interfering with the election

Thank you for your fight for black voting rights

Thank you for your brutally hard work during the Civil Rights Movement

Thank you for your work in Congress

Thank you for putting T•••p in his place

And thank you for showing us that someone can still be going strong at 76 years old

Let’s Make Water Sports Great Again

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My poem is in response to the news — fake news or not –that Donald Trump paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on each other for his pleasure.

My WikiLeaks

My dickie leaks

My pickie leaks

Hey!

My prickie leaks

My hickey leaks

My sticky leaks

Hey!

Lickie

Mickey

Hey!

Lickie

Mickey

Wow!

Lickie

Mickey

Yay!

Urine trouble now!

My Putin leaks

My smutin leaks

Fig newton leaks

Hey!

My shootin’ leaks

My gluten leaks

My tootin’ leaks

Hey!

Golden Gate

Golden Hate

Golden Tate

Hey!

Golden mate

Golden date

Golden rate

Hey!

My bladder leaks

My ladder leaks

Mad Hatter leaks

Hey!

My vagi leaks

My veggie leaks

My wedgie leaks

Hey!

Golden Shame

Golden Blame

Golden Aim

Hey!

Golden Fame

Golden Dame

Golden Came

Hey!

Putin

Shootin’

Gluten

Rootin’

Prostitutin’

Hey!

Vagi

Veggie

Vagi

Wedgie

Vagi

Veggie

Hey!

My WikiLeaks

My lickie leaks

I don’t know who to blame.

Shame shame shame — that 

Bed will never be the same!