Monthly Archives: November 2013

Three Short Strands


Every time I do, I’m glad I did.
Every time I don’t, with myself I’m livid.
Perhaps someday my gladness I’ll learn
To follow instead of letting my stomach churn.


One winter night
On her memory a blight:
Seized as I stood;
The result would not be good.

Pulled from a fall,
I turned to see gall:
Certain it was my choice,
To sorrow her feet gave voice.


Over the edge he leans,
The river’s eyes gleam.
He tries to let it run through,
To bid its warm touch welcome,
But fears what he’d become
If nothing grew.

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

Cathartic Ventures

The whistle of a teapot
As the painter adds another spot.
The spillway with water flows
As the writer pens some prose.

Steam exudes from the dryer vent
While the poet works out what he meant
And what he said from what he intended,
For fear the meaning was upended.

But tonight well after dark,
This guy, he was a madman in the park:
Singing at the top of his lungs,
A full concert was sung.

He sang some old favorites, some new
In full pursuit of cathartic stew.
Twenty songs later, he left for home
Solely because his smartphone battery groaned.

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

The Metronome and the Score

I demand your attention, first and foremost.
Do not consider Melody, don’t with Harmony cheat.
At your party, I am the host.
You can find me after the key: I am the beat.

Relentless am I, so mind the ligature.
And unless you see bird’s eye view,
Sequence keep and count me true;
Else reap the sequitur
Of ignoring my signature.

Should you try to force my hand
Doting on members of the band
Or giving devotion to the tempo,
I’ll plant no jealous seed, give no heed—
We’ll fail to find crescendo.
Annoyed? Take it up with Jack Dempsey.

Try again my affection to win
By focusing on a riff
The riff will be lost in the din
And my affection in the rift.

But keep four on the floor
Or accentuate the off beat in four-four
You may begin to feel
The tapping of your heel
And find that you more than the score I adore!

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

The inside of a guy’s mind

A page telling women how to flirt says:

A guy’s mind is simple. He wants the attention of all attractive women. If he knows you like him already, he’ll lose interest in wooing you or impressing you.

If it seems too obvious that you like him already, he knows that he doesn’t have to work harder to get your attention and he’ll forget all about the chase.

Clearly, they’ve never seen the inside of my mind (nevermind why I was reading the article, that’s a story for another day, like probably never). They don’t know that all the flirting games become too apparent to me. The more these rules are adhered to, they don’t make me more interested, but less. The tips claim to guard against it being too obvious, but if I’ve already figured it out (which doesn’t take reading the article), and you flirt with another guy to try to get my attention, it does exactly the opposite: makes it too obvious. Plus, I have a tendency to say fine, flirt with him, if that’s what you really want. Don’t be fake on my account.

Take, for example, a young woman I was pursuing a few years ago. We were sitting in church, and I was sitting at the sacrament table to bless the sacrament. This meant I had a clear view of this woman, who was sitting on the same side of the building. The meeting had not yet started. As people were coming in, my attention was drawn to another guy coming in. Of this man and his brother one of my friends said that no guy wants to invite either of them to his own wedding, for fear their fianceé will abandon them at the altar. They were significantly taller than 6’0″, muscular, handsome, secure jobs, well-paying jobs, talented, athletic.

So, in walks one of these brothers, and my attention is drawn by the color of his shirt (pink, I think). This young woman I was pursuing notices the shift in my eyes, and turns around to see what I’m looking at. When she sees him, she she looks back toward me, then tries to make it look like she’s ogling him, and trying to get him to look at her. As he passes the row she is sitting in, his eyes focused on whatever his goal was, she gives up and shrugs her shoulders. I had to stifle some laughs. No matter how highly I thought of this woman, he was still out of her league. Saying that makes me think of a line from a nursery rhyme: “The little dog laughed to see such sport.”

If I already know you like me and you try too hard to be coy, I’ll think maybe you don’t like me anymore, or at least not as much as you used to, and I’ll be singing along to Blues Traveler’s Run-around: “But you, why you wanna give me a run-around? Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up, when all it does is slow me down?” I won’t start thinking, “What can I do to continue the chase?” No, I’ll start thinking, “What did I do or say that resulted in her choosing to lose interest in me?”

On another occasion, this same young woman, again at church, was heading from the back of the chapel toward the front. The meeting was over; I was cleaning up the used sacrament cups and putting the cloths away. The ward choir had performed a few musical numbers; I was a bass in the choir. I knew, as I saw her approaching, that she was coming to compliment me on the performance. But, there was no one else around, as they were all in the gym behind the chapel socializing. This made it so that when I smiled upon seeing her coming toward me, she stopped, contorting her lips to the left side of her mouth (ladies, please know that this doesn’t look attractive, it just looks like, well, like you’re trying too hard), and turned to the left, exiting out the door on that side.

The effect this had was not to make me try harder. I spent many hours trying to figure that one out, and yes, eventually came to the conclusion she was playing by the rules at the above site. Have I mentioned I don’t like playing games? I don’t consider flirting to be a form of playing games; I do consider flirting with someone else to try to get me to chase to be playing games.

2022-09-03 Update: did you notice how much of the above included in-person interaction? I’m not good at picking up on interest signals over text. I’m lacking all audio and all visual cues, which apparently I rely on heavily. With audio only, I figure I have a 40% chance of picking up the cues and interpreting them correctly. With audio and visual, I figure it goes up to 75%. Audio and visual, in-person? Up to 85-90%, as long as Captain Oblivious doesn’t get involved. With text only, I figure it’s at an abysmal 5%. Unless it’s made very obvious, contrary to what that page says to do.