“My Unbelievable Man”

“His shoulder next to my shoulder / is warm pressure communication”

The Laurel Review
vol. 50, no. 2
10 October 2017

All about a man, an unbelievable man. An imaginary man?

My poem “My Unbelievable Man” was published in the latest issue of The Laurel Review and it’s my first poem in print (and now available online, too)! I received my contributor copies in the mail this week. The experience of reading one of my poems in a physical paper journal is surprisingly different than reading it in a digital document or online. I’m not really sure how to describe it except that the journal has heft that makes the poem feel more real and very special.

What a beautiful cover!

I wrote the poem last July, revised it a few times, and submitted it to potential journals last August.  Before I had heard back from all of them, I revised the poem yet again, something I really don’t recommend doing. I thought that the new version was better, but when The Laurel Review accepted it, I was reluctant to ask if they would consider a new version instead. It’s a good thing I didn’t ask; comparing the two versions now, I like the earlier and now published version a lot better.

04 September 2023 Update: Since the poem is no longer available online and the issue might be difficult to come by, I have reprinted the poem below.

To see a man
             My man
             Invisible man
I plan accidentally to
meet     every     day
I attend activity
with pre-hour jitters
having imagined our meeting
             My man
             Really a man
how we proceed cloy as
romantic meet cute comedy

and just as sentimental
a flutter ahead of time
             My man
             The disappearing men
how fleeting in reality

His shoulder next to my shoulder
is warm pressure communication
             My man
             We're discussing my man
the color of his eyes
             His indescribable eyes
the hair on his chest
earth scent human electricity
his hands to hold heft and weigh     me

             My man
             Indescribable man
             An unbelievable man

With nothing to show for
             My man
 this makes either of us not
             A man
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