The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)

The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)
06/29/2017, Deon Mumple

It’s still not good enough, I’ve written the same poem four times now.
I keep trying to say it just right, keep trying, but I don’t really know how.
How do you say this thing, this feeling? What are the right words?
I don’t want to say the same sounds I know you’ve already heard.

It didn’t turn out those times before, when your hope needed fulfilled
And those last two times, when you swore, no more, after the dream was killed
I don’t want to be that way,  I want to be different, and never see you hurt
But I know the times I’ve failed before, don’t trust me,  trust me, you’ll get burned

I’ve written this poem five times now, just trying to say it right
I want to make the promises and keep them, so we always win the fight
I want to be superhuman, and be heroic, but at the same time, be real,
But I don’t feel real; I’m up and down without flying, can’t even control how I feel.

I’ve written this poem six times now, and it’s never going to be perfect
The same as I know about you and me, but I’m not, and you’re not, and we’re not.
I’m afraid, you’re afraid, it’s not going to work, but I hope you’ll give it a shot.
Like this poem, I’m trying to write it right, and keep on writing it wrong,
Me versus verses that don’t have choruses, and a form that’s far from correct
Sometimes even the best composers build a bridge to write a decent love song.

I’ve written this poem seven times, this is the last time, then I’m through.
It may never be exactly right, about like trying on the wrong sized shoe,
But if a hope is just deferred but somehow I know it was meant to come true,
Maybe mixed up words will make the longing fulfilled, so I can win and keep you.


My wife, the lovely and talented Mrs M, is not just lovely and talented.  She is more often irritating to me than she is irritable at me.  I let a few people close who flip that, just not quite as close.  I figure if she’s patient enough to not have killed me in my sleep yet, she’s probably ok to have around.  The drawback is she can be annoying sometimes, most often when she’s reminding me of something she asked me to do earlier that I didn’t do yet.  She also dabbles in being opinionated and critical, most frequently when I either tried to do something and failed to meet her expectation, or when I didn’t even bother to try.  A guy I used to hang out with used to say, “Stay away from ‘puppy love.’  It’s the beginning of a dog’s life.”  As I recall, he was the preacher who officiated our wedding…  Thanks for the warning, pastor.  I kind of like this one, though.  Not sure if anyone else would put up with me as well)  She is also a savvy shopper, as smart as she is beautiful.

She can find random shit that comes in handy later, if we can find it when the need arises.  I have no idea how.  But I know why:  to give me more work.  The most recent example is a paper shredder.  What with identity theft becoming so prevalent along with hijacked computers and ransomware, it seems the fuckers who have nothing better to do with their time and genius decide to  harassing people out of their comfort zones and their cash through even less upstanding ways than say, politics, medical and dental insurance, contractor labor, car sales, car repair, human resource management, team management, or being a pastor.  In no particular order, these are probably the people who irritate me the most in life.  Anyway, that’s the reason I celebrate that she found, and purchased, a paper shredder.  Not only did she find an industrial quality shredder, but she found it at a garage sale, for $8.  It’s not a little crappy shredder.  We had the crappy model a while ago, and it fell apart screaming in agony and died.  The little teeth just couldn’t handle anything more than one sheet at a time. I’m not testing this one’s endurance, but I JUST priced this thing at between $70 and $80 online, and she bought it some time ago.

I’m working from home now, and I’ve been sort of cleaning here and there when I feel ambitious, and I ran across the stash of old things that needed shredding. She hasn’t run it, but there it’s sat, waiting for purpose.  I honestly don’t know why it wasn’t run, except she was waiting for me to do it. An enormous pile of paper was sitting over in the corner like something you’d see on an episode of hoarders.  Don’t get me started, or there’ll be another rant.  Anyway, I started, a little at a time, when I had time and my attention focused on that and not one of the other pressing things that MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY OR THE WORLD AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT WILL END!  Like, taking the dog for a walk, lest he crap or mark his territory ON MY CARPET, which offends me almost as much as it offends Mrs M, but then, who cleans the fucking carpet? (I’ll give you five guesses and the first four don’t count, since there are now five living things in the house, and no, the dog hasn’t mastered scrubbing, he’s only got the spraying down.)    Or, taking out the trash lest Mrs M’s fragile sniffer should be offended.  (No, clearly, hers doesn’t stink, people, work with me here! I can say it, and I actually LOVE her.)

So, tonight, any stray and unpleasant aromas shall be covered in a layer of air thick with chocolate molecules.  Leave the deodorizing spray in the cabinet tonight.  Oh.  Don’t click play if you don’t like it, but HEY LYNYRD SKYNYRD! Wanna make a little extra dough? (Please say no, please say no, PLEASE SAY NO!!!)  This song would go well with a certain air- and fabric- and other- refreshing product.  (Please say no!)

That cleaning/freshening spray product, which shall be nameless but rhymes with something in the song title, works pretty well on carpets and the couch cushions.  I know because I don’t smell dog “markings” or  other dog issuances which have occurred.  Anyone else do that instant word dissection thing and notice that “cur” is part of “occurred?”  Just me?  I just don’t want them to play the song with fucked up lyrics to shill the product.  I’ve had enough of that.  Good songs get my hatred, and bad songs receive my loathing, when they’re sold to product-selling companies and overplayed until I’m saturated, which doesn’t take very long, especially whenever I hate the song to begin with.  That Lynyrd Skynyrd, though… my favorite of their songs today is  “Gimme Three Steps.”  A great story, woven skillfully into a poem, with a musical setting?  That’s my kind of thing.  I could write like that, for $10,000 a month, if someone wanted to hire me.  No, seriously, who wants to hire me?  (I may have to trademark that question, if someone doesn’t hire me soon.  Maybe a certain kind of cryptozoologically named company will pay me to use MY slogan.)

Mr. M probably still stinks, but we’re used to that.  And the dog needs a bath.  Maybe tomorrow.  Mrs M and the kids won’t do it, so that’s another thing the dog and I get to do together.  I hope the shampoo doesn’t irritate him.  But tomorrow morning I have to deliver more girl scout cookies, so task on task on task, before work, hooray again.  I wonder if he’d feel better, or bite the crap out of me, if we sat in the tub together while I washed him.  I grew up with cats, and I like that they bathed themselves.  I hope the trust we’ve built holds out.  Where’s my  swimming trunks?  And chain mail armor.  That suit will almost completely protect against shark bites. But who protects the sharks?

Holy shit.  Look at that cool Neptunic/shark logo emblazoned on her arm, and bonus, also on the top left side of the top.  They sell this suit, if you want to look this good before and after diving in the shark-infested water and not-quite serving yourself to the sharks like an hors d’oeuvre. Here’s the link you need, to read the entertaining article and if you want to buy one, email the sales team from this link.

Yeah, I don’t want a shark suit.  I’ll never, ever, willingly jump into shark infested water and play “feed-the-fishies.”  NE.  VER.  But I knew the suits existed, and I figured maybe including the photo would add a hint of something to my blog.  What’s the word for whatever that hint is a hint of?  Quality?  Never noticed that HERE before.  Beauty?  Um, I looked in the mirror today, and I know how dazzling I am to all of you, but when I look at myself it’s half and half, and when Mrs M looks at me…hmm.  I’ll have to ask her.  Anyway, I’m sure there’s a better word for it.  Let me know in the comments below.  Just keep in mind, the photo isn’t mine, the model is probably smarter than any stupid comment, AND, she knows people who can take you to where the sharks swim, that is, if she doesn’t have her own boat, so don’t.  You know what I mean.  Just.  Don’t.

I’ll let you know how the dog’s bath goes.  We’ll both be cleaner, because I’m climbing in there with him.  With some kind of clothes on…where’s my denim shirt?  It’s probably the closest thing to chain mail I own.  Well, he’ll be clean.  I may be eaten alive.  Maybe he’ll go for the jugular vein.  Best case, he’ll just freak out and freeze like he did last time we bathed him, and endure until the bitter end.  In between, a number of dog-bite scenarios come to mind. You haven’t heard this tiny 25lb  dog screaming crazed bloody murderous hatred at the neighbors, their kids, or their dogs.  He’s scared, but he tells the other, bigger dogs, and people, to fuck off or die.  Anyone else dissect courage and see “rage?” Just me? Maybe it’d be better if I had a dog the size of a shark, so one bite would end it.  But no.  My dog has teeth that bear closer resemblance to a piranha.  Honestly, I don’t think I’m afraid, but it’s possible.  I’m a bit nervous, truthfully, but I think he’ll behave.  He trusted me through a trip to the veterinarian, so maybe he’ll trust me through the bath. Maybe it’ll be a bonding experience, as if we weren’t already totally perfectly psychologically paired.

At least it’s not an anal probe.  Holy ass-fucking HELL.  The stupid veterinarian KNEW our poor dog was having digestive difficulties, irritated from front to back, knew he was already suffering after we described his discomfort, symptoms and, um, discharge, and could have just done the blood chemistry to figure that out, but no, she had to get a temperature, from the core, where he was already sore.  I haven’t had the pleasure of hemorrhoids, but I think the dog had one, and she wanted to poke at it, for fucks sake.  And that was just in the entry hall of the Hound’s House of Hellish Horrors.  He cried and I wanted to.  That wasn’t enough, so she took him into her back-room torture chamber to get the blood sample and then she tried to get a stool sample, that buggering bitch.  He cried some more; I could hear it through the damned doorway to doggy distress, and I almost did too.

My blood sample for the doctor’s little experiment is (in installment payments because I don’t just have that lying around) costing us $700 because my insurance is bullshit.  I knew the fucking results before the test was collected. I called everything before they called me, Mrs. M heard it, not that she showed me any sense of being impressed when I was spot on about everything.  And the dog’s session in the canine chamber of crises and cataclysm was around $300, and what did they tell us?  He’s got an irritated lower digestive tract and an upset stomach.  Um…  No shit, mutt mundunugu!  Neither of those will ever happen again.  I can’t afford to let them experiment on me, and I won’t allow them to torture the dog ever again.

I’ll check in after the potential shredding. I may just go with the ragged, rugged look. Mrs M hates it when I try to go out with any kind of holes or shreds I didn’t pay for, but our daughter has a pair of jeans that looks like it’s been through the shredder and that’s considered “fashionable.” I mean, what the fuck?!  My ego, not to mention my very mortal soul, goes through the shredder on a regular basis.



Hot, isn’t it?  I look exactly like that.  Except for the likelihood of bloodshed and mayhem.  Maybe you just can’t see the scratches because they’re eclipsed by how fine I am.  Just ask Mrs. M.  Because she needs a good laugh.

Suggestive Search

I searched for images of strawberries and scrolled.  I sometimes do design layouts and need a random image, or want to see how others have handled a subject before I do my own.  Or, I’m craving something and want to see pictures.  More often than not, I search because I’m craving.  When I was a kid, I thought cravings were a girl thing because I didn’t experience them.  As I got older I thought cravings were mostly related to pregnancy.  And then a little older and I started experiencing them myself.  Fried Chicken. Chocolate.  Steak.  Fruit.  Pork.  Steak.  Bacon.  Turkey.  Fried Chicken.  Biscuits with honey.  Buttered toast.  Alcohol.  Cheese.  Peanut butter.

I got married, and after a while the craving thing got weird.  In a nice weird way.  At work I’d think about a specific dish all day, and then I’d go home and Mrs. M would have that specific dish on the table without us ever communicating about it.  Anyone else ever have that happen?  I can say weird, but I get it, because it’s in the Bible.  It’s in Matthew 19.  If we’re “one flesh,” it makes sense that we both want the same thing.  But if we’re “one flesh,” I do have some specific cravings that don’t make sense in that way, sadly.

To answer your inevitable question, no, there are no internet pictures of Mrs. M, but the craving is there.  No, the craving is NOT on the internet.  You people and your dirty minds!  I don’t even know what you mean, but honestly, I’m shocked.  I suppose I shouldn’t be, given the nature of my cravings doesn’t always involve food.  That’s right, sometimes I look up clothes or shoes.  Or a new drink I might like to try, or cute kitten pictures or memes.Lately, even searches for kittens and kitten memes have been corrupted because people have recently boasted about grabbing them.  FFS, what is WRONG with this PLANET?!?  Not that Orange Boy ever actually did that, because, eww, unless it’s your wife and she wants you to do that, ewww ewww ewww.  Not to wax political but I HATE all the politicians, in any given election for any given office.

When I scrolled down I saw something that wasn’t a strawberry, and I had my search settings on *moderate*.  Sure, you’d expect to see actual strawberries, and drinks, and pastries, and cakes, and weird craft projects.  I even saw strawberry fields, which then put a delightful eternal earworm in my head, and now it’s in yours.  You’re welcome.  But back to my search results.  It turns out that even on a moderately restricted search, the internet is low-key prurient.

lowkey (ADJECTIVE) 1: quiet and relaxed: not very forceful, emotional or noticeable
2: of low intensity: restrained; 3: secretly (perhaps somewhat shamefully) wanted or felt
“I lowkey wanna eat an entire cake.”

pru·ri·ent  [ˈpro͝orēənt]  (ADJECTIVE) having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters.  Synonyms: salacious · licentious · voyeuristic · lascivious

(Thanks, Bing, and Urban Dictionary)

I say that because I didn’t just see pictures of strawberries and strawberry related things.  I saw this:



One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
(Joe Raposo, Jon Stone, © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.)

I did not search for “Berry.”  I mean, come on, internet!  I didn’t even see Strawberry Shortcake, that old cartoon, before I saw Halle Berry.  She’s not even a berry.  She’s a peach, but not a berry.

Peach (NOUN):  (informal) A particularly admirable or pleasing person or thing.

So what am I supposed to do if I’m surfing?  The internet knows almost everyone has ADD, but what the fuck, internet?  I was looking for fucking strawberries, and no, I wasn’t looking for “fucking+strawberries,” I was looking for “strawberries,” or damn it, I’d better see a pair of strawberries, fucking.  So what was it for, internet?  You put her face in my head so later (or now) I’ll go look for her?  I am not going to do that, so cat-tongue-out (51)


I don’t particularly have a “thing” for Halle, or I might have gone off on that tangent.  Instead, I made the connection that the internet helps people to go in directions they possibly shouldn’t.  I think the internet low-key WANTS us to.  Unless you have your search engine settings to “off,” or “don’t filter,” or “allow mature content.”  Then, it’s probably high-key pushing you toward porn.  I’m afraid to try allowing mature content, because I might see strawberries, pastries, cakes, shortcakes, Halle Berry and even vegetable pictures, because God only knows what the internet will throw up on my screen.  I might even see things that aren’t porn!

I don’t want porn, I want Mrs M, in any compromising way I can have her.  Compromise? It means, loving her even when she says, “no.”(FML, grumblemumblegrumble)  But I’d prefer “yes.”  Here’s hoping.  Maybe I’ll go to the store and get some strawberries and whipped cream.  Don’t think about it.  Wait, you’re thinking about it.  Stop that, I’d never do THAT!  I did get a few craft ideas from the search though; maybe we can try a few of those…

Oh, and that earworm?  You’re welcome:


I like playing with words when my brain slows down long enough, or when it’s not bogged down in the shit of day-to-day existence.  Or sometimes when I’m too tired and it just comes to me without my wanting it.  Like an earwurm or an awareness of my elbow.  You know what I’m talking about.  Charles Schultz knew what I was talking about before I even knew about it, in fact before I was born.  Consider the following published February 3, 1963:

I play with words, take them apart, put them back together, think about other words with the same or similar construction, if you do it you know what I mean.  I’m aware of


Inspiration.  Perspiration.  Expiration.  Aspriation. Respiration.  Got any?

Just to get it out of the way, “aspiration” means breathing, it means inhaling in the process of respiration, or it means exhaling making a sound.  When you die from inhaling something you’re not supposed to, you die by “aspirating on” whatever it was. Anyway, if aspiration can be from breathing in OR breathing out, why do we have “respiration?” which is the process of alternating inhalation and exhalation.  (halation, another word to rabbit trail, not going to do that today)  *GROSSNESS ALERT* skip over the next part if you’re any bit squeamish*  Rock stars are famous for dying by aspirating on alcohol induced vomit.

Did you skip it?  Good.

Perspiration, you all know, is sweat.  When I was a kid the women around me used to talk about how “men sweat, boys perspire, and ladies merely glow.”  Yeah, bull shit.  Women sweat.  But it built on the whole feminine mystique thing I grew up under.  When your skin exhales, it either releases the sweat or something really icky. I don’t want to know what the -piration word is for zit expulsion. Thank you, no thank you.

Now we get to why I wanted to write.  It seems to me that Inspiration is the opposite of Expiration.  From,

inspiration (n.) Look up inspiration at Dictionary.comc. 1300, “immediate influence of God or a god,” especially that under which the holy books were written, from Old French inspiracion “inhaling, breathing in; inspiration” (13c.), from Late Latin inspirationem (nominative inspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inspirare “blow into, breathe upon,” figuratively “inspire, excite, inflame,” from in- “in” (see in- (2)) + spirare “to breathe” (see spirit (n.)).

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. [Gen. ii.7]

The sense evolution seems to be from “breathe into” to “infuse animation or influence,” thus “affect, rouse, guide or control,” especially by divine influence.Inspire (v.) in Middle English also was used to mean “breath or put life or spirit into the human body; impart reason to a human soul.” Literal sense “act of inhaling” attested in English from 1560s. Meaning “one who inspires others” is attested by 1867.


Holy shit, another word that means “breathe in,” except it’s literally holy!  Someone tell me again, why does Mrs. M assert I have too much time on my hands?  Shut the hell up!

When you expire, it’s the end, you get thrown out.  When a food product expires, you throw it out.  When you’re inspired, it’s the beginning. And then you work until you expire, trying to do whatever you were inspired to do

I feel like I’ve outlived my shelf life.  Anyone?  I wish I could inspire others, and maybe I do, but nobody tells me shit.  Maybe they’d feel like they were confessing.  I’d make one really fucked up priest.  Don’t be telling me about your shit, OK?   I have enough of my own shit to confess.

But how could I hope to inspire others when I’m so uninspired myself?  I’ve been broken on the rack that is human existence.  My dreams are not coming true, I can’t re-dream anything, or at least I haven’t re-dreamed because the last set of dreams went to shit. I tried, I really did.  And then life happened instead.

Fuck that.  I hate when things fall apart and when dreams don’t come true.  I want to be expired, if it’s the opposite of inspired, if being inspired means I have to work to make something happen.  Every time I do that, the mudslide (for FUCKs SAKE, PLEASE don’t tell me it’s not mud!!!) comes and either buries me or shoves me farther away from achieving the dream than I was when I dreamed it.

Let me be expired. (But I don’t mean “dead.”)

Before I expire, here’s my favorite earworm, and possibly my favorite inspiration, second only to Mrs. M’s aspiration (exhaling while making a sound).

Torn Down

If you could see the demon claws
Shredding my soul, the way I know,
Exposing the real me, all my flaws,
Everything I try to hide, out for a public show,

They are just her innocent words,
Attacking me without intent.
She speaks them, not feeling how it hurts,
I misinterpret words she says, it’s not what she meant.

But my soul is torn down, bleeding,
I love her heart, her true purpose,
I hate her words, her tone,  its’ meaning,
I hate my feelings more:  me, the freak in hell’s circus.