My Secret

Plain, ordinary people
Sometimes fall in love,
Something that feels like love,
However brief.

It feels like love when it happens
To plain, ordinary people like me,
Who are not what you might call,
Good looking.

I go through life’s errands
Mostly unnoticed,
And then it happens.
I fall in love with a face,
With the gentle curl of her hair,
The liquid flow of her neck,
The sculpture of her fingers,
With something I cannot describe.

She notices me noticing her,
So I pretend not to notice
While I imagine she sees through
My plain appearance
Into my unclaimed heart.

Introductions are made,
We speak.
She shows no sign of knowing
That it is my wandering spirit
That has lingered here
To absorb the sound of her voice,
The light in her eyes.

She is formal and polite,
Quick to withdraw.

My secret is safe.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Men Are Hungry

O young women be careful
How you smile at men.
You may think it common courtesy,
Or a simple act of friendliness
To be openhearted and cheerful,
But you must be careful
Because men are hungry,
Though they will try and disguise it
In a thousand different ways,
Men are hungry.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Maria Something

She doesn’t know why her car stopped.
I don’t know why it ran,
A thing many times discarded,
Salvaged only by her desperate situation.

From Mexico she comes,
This young, sculptured woman,
To work the rag trade
In secret sweaty buildings
Where all generations labor
Behind rows of blunt, brutish machines.

I cannot help her,
Knowing little about cars,
Less about miracles.
I lend her my phone.

“Gracias,” she says, smiling so sincerely.
Her eyes are black stars in a white-hot sky.

A breeze riffles her pleated white skirt
With hot and dusty Sunday afternoon air,
Revealing her long, leather-brown legs.

She is calling her cousin,
Waiting for him to answer,
Leaning against the warm metal skin of my car,
Pressing her carved, callused fingers
Against her feverish forehead,
Pulling her burnished brown hair away from her moist neck.

She waits for him to answer.
I wait for him not to answer.

I want to be with her
In some flickering candlelit room,
Her lips brushing against my ear as she whispers.

I want to touch the source
Of this inviolable beauty.
I want to know how she can smile
So killingly sweet,
Knowing what America would do
With such a life.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Magnificent Illusion

Your hand touches mine,
An accident,
And your electricity surges into me.

You say something ordinary
And look into my eyes,
And I am entranced,
Barely listening.

You laugh and smile
And do a hundred different things
You do every day,
All day long,
Without thinking.

But when I am with you,
Everything you do is illuminated,

O the magnificent illusion of love.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Madness

A madness some have described it,
Yes, it feels like madness.
I’ve never wanted anything in my life
The way I want her.

Yes, it feels like madness,
Not the absence of reason,
But the defiance of reason,
For reason is here before me,
A constant voice,
Warning me:
This is impossible.

It is reason that twists the knife,
Madness that pushes the blade in deeper.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


Nature has made us hungry,
The necessary motivation for procreation,
Assuring perpetuity,
Even when reason resists.

By design or accident,
Or design of accident,
Over and over again,
We are born.

Modesty shames our unchecked explosions of lust,
So we attach the appropriate fig leaves
And walk out of the garden,
Into the world,
Imbued with socially appropriate decorum
Disguising our baser animal instincts.

Yet secretly,
Or not so secretly,
We cast the wandering eye,

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Songs

You’re way too sophisticated for love songs
And roll your eyes at all the familiar phrases,
The clich├ęd expressions of romantic euphoria,
The saccharin melodies of longing and desolation.

It’s been a long time since you fell in love,
If ever,
The kind of falling that has no end,
No reason,
No control.

You think yourself too mature for such adolescence,
Such fairy tales.

But if you’ve loved a princess
And lost a princess,
Only the inarticulate language of a love song
Can speak to your broken heart,
And every word rings true.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Is A Vibration

His pocket is vibrating,
On and off all day long
With messages of love
From his eager new girlfriend,
Vibrating with urgency
On his cell phone.

But he is at work
And cannot stop.
The words don’t matter.
The vibration is enough.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Like Emily

She has decided to be an artist,
A sculptress of words,
A poetess.

Her tribute "To the Hungry Children of Planet Earth,”
Read in somber tones to her reluctant friends,
Such a moving expression of television-inspired grief.

But what do they know of art?
They are lost in contemplation
Of the rise and fall of her breasts,
So invitingly ripe,
While they feign appreciation of her nobler qualities.

She knows they only half listen to her words
And her thoughts are drawn back to Emily Dickinson.
She prepares herself
For the many years of indifference
That will most certainly come.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Light Burning

My secret love comes home.
I see her from my window.
She parks her car and opens her trunk,
Bags of things
For her secret life.

I walk by and say hello.
She says hi and smiles,
A long smile,
Watching me slowly walk away.

My secret love leaves a light burning,
Late, late into the night.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Kiss

After the kiss goodnight the world was glowing.
How wonderful to wake each day,
He thought,
Knowing there is someone in the world who loves me,
Someone I can kiss.

He fell asleep on a cloud of bliss.

After the kiss goodnight the world was threatening.
I will never let that happen again,
She thought.
In the morning she would send him a message,
Something about friendship.

She fell asleep on a cloud of regret.

O the power of a single kiss,
What it starts,
What it stops.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Gifts Of Christmas


A gift,
For me?
Oh you shouldn’t have!

Is it really a selfless expression of your affection?
A gesture of love?
Or an obligation?

Is it genuine?

Does your gift reflect who you think I am?
Who you think I should be?
Perhaps it’s more about who you are,
Who you want me to think you are.

Is it an object of serious intention?
Designed to awaken?
To arouse?
To cause a reaction?
Or is it just for fun,
A playful reminder of the inner child?

Am I taking this too seriously?
Giving too much thought
To what is impersonal?
Is it merely generic?
A gift that says:
We are not close.

Did you wrap it yourself?
With your best paper?
Or was it the tail end of your least favorite roll,
Reserved for those who do not matter?

Have you actually touched this present,
Or did someone else purchase and wrap it for you?
Did it come by mail from a warehouse?


Will those I love most
Disappoint me with thoughtlessness,
Or will I bask in the warmth of their intentions,
However artfully or clumsily conveyed?

Will my more slow-witted relatives
Prove true to my expectations?
Will the superior intelligence of others
Be clearly demonstrated
And make me feel stupid
For the lack of imagination my gifts reveal?

Will the ego of the gift-giver
Overshadow the generosity of the gift?
Or will the giver’s inferiority complex be manifest,
So sadly displayed by the soullessness of what is given?

Will the gift be of use, of value,
Or merely a cheap trifle soon discarded,
Donated to the local thrift shop?

Perhaps the most important gift of all will be absent,
The gift from the one I love most.

Or perhaps after all the wrapping is cleared away,
When the communal ceremony has ceased
And the gift-givers dispersed,
I will steal away to some private place
And press my lips to the gift I treasure above all,
It’s meaning so fervently constructed,
Without form.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I've Changed

Oh my darling,
I was so foolish,
Such a selfish, weak and unfeeling bastard.
Can you ever forgive me?

I’ll do anything to make it up to you.

I hope you can find it in your heart to understand.
I never meant to hurt you.

Oh my love,
I’ve made so many mistakes,
Won’t you give me another chance,
Now that I’m pretending to be apologetic, contrite and sincere?

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Into The Heart

When we meet,
Something awakens in her,
Something glows.
She is translucent.

Her smile comes easy and lingers.
She feels the urge to stretch and arches her back,
Tossing her long, curly black hair to one side
Of her bare, sculptured shoulders,
Flashing her dark, penetrating eyes,
Looking long and deep into mine,
Weaving her articulate fingers through the coils of her hair,
Inviting me.

She ties a blue and white scarf around her forehead
And becomes someone else,
Showing she can be beautiful in so many ways.

Her burnished olive skin filters the light
And I touch her cheek.

Something ancient and eternal now guides us
Into the heart of night.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Winter I Scarcely Remember

In winter I scarcely remember
The long and languid days of summer,
The delicate yellow dress
And how its straps fell
From your thin, sculptured shoulders,
How it melted away
From your golden body.

We were perfect together,
Bathed in sunlight,
Love and lust.

We had all day,
All summer,
And the days were long and languid,
Without end,
Without consequence,
So long ago,
Those summer days I scarcely remember.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Eyes Of A Beautiful Stranger

In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is a kind of paradise,
A release
From a life full of things
Too familiar,
Worn out from overuse,
Exhausted by constancy.

In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is another life,

Ah, to awaken one morning
And not know
What the new day will bring.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Think Of You

When I grow weary of you,
Thinking of you,
Longing for you,
Resigned to exhaustion and defeat,
I think of you.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Do Not Dream Of You

I do not dream of you,
For by the time I finally fall asleep
I am exhausted,
Weary of longing for you
Every waking moment.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Can’t Explain Passion

I can’t explain passion,
And if I could,
I wouldn’t.

I can’t explain passion,
And if I would,
I shouldn’t.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Awaken

Ordinary life,
A blessing really,
For those of us who have it.

Yet something sleeps in ordinariness.

That is why I love you,
For when you look through my eyes,
Into my heart,
I awaken.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Given Up

This portly, stubble-faced, middle-aged man
With uncombed random remnants of hair,
Hastily dressed in laundry hamper attire,
Wrinkled and stained,
In semiconscious disarray,
Blunders his way through supermarket aisles,
Finally finding the dessert section,
The gallon of strawberry shortcake ice cream
Which he cradles in hand
While making a mad dash for the quick-check lane,
Stumbling past summer’s bronzed young woman,
All curls and curves,
Home from college and ready for fun.
She is a stunning vision of youth and vitality,
But he does not notice,
Having given up the idea of romance so long ago.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Giving Up

Easier to give up on love,
Forget about love,
Than to wake each morning
With an ache.

I’ll start tomorrow.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The First Time

This is the spot,
Beneath this ancient oak,
A perfect climbing tree
With low, outstretched limbs,

Beneath this ancient oak
Is where you spread out your blanket
On the cool shaded grass.

A swaying patch of filtered sunlight illuminated us,
Lying so close together on the blanket’s gentle cushion,
Your name sewn in fancy script across the top
By some Chinese factory worker
Who will never know how lovely you lay
Beneath your beautiful name,
A name so beautiful to me
In the fading light of that passing summer afternoon,
When you first wanted me.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


When at last the lover leaves intensive care,
All is a fragile balance on the edge of relapse.
One must re-learn the enjoyment of simple things:

The bitter spark from a cup of coffee,
The sweetness of sugar on the tip of the tongue,
The penetrating warmth of the sun
Shimmering through the crisp afternoon breeze,
The pleasure of another hour,
Another day,
Filling, filling, filling
That dark and dangerous place
Where love was.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


It’s not in the words,
All the words we say to each other.
It’s not in the obligations,
All the obligations we place on each other.
It’s not in the memories,
All the memories we keep of each other.

It’s not in the past,
Not in the future.
It’s here,
In this moment,
In this embrace,

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


When we made love
You may not have anticipated
I would write it down
And send copies out into the world.

You may have thought
It was no one else’s business.

You are right,
Of course.

But I just can’t help myself,
Love’s enthusiasms being what they are.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


The light in her eyes when she sees her love
Illuminated beneath a streetlight,
Knowing their evening of romance has just begun,
Believing it has no end . . .

How quickly they come together,
So tightly embrace,
Looking deep into each other’s eyes,
A long kiss without caring who sees . . .

Their fingers entwine,
Their bodies stay close walking down the sidewalk
Into the enchanted night,
Arm in arm,
Heart in heart . . .

When I see them I think of you,
Of our eternal moments together,
Alive within me still,

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


All the hours of anticipation,
The preparations,
Imagining his face,
His eyes,
So close.

You will wear your special perfume,
The dress that reveals the curve of your breasts.
You will touch his cheek with the palm of your hand
And say,
And say,
And say?

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


It was a friendly hug,
A hello hug,
A nice-to-see-you hug,
For her.

For me,
It was love,
It was touch,
It was lust.

O this vast desert,
O this oasis,
These few drops of water,
Keeping me alive.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Clock Strikes Three

The sound of an old clock,
The rhythm of the pendulum,
The striking of a tiny hammer
Against a metal coil.
The lonely hours after midnight.

The memory of your touch,
Gentle, yet firm,
You penetrate my soul.

The clock strikes three.
I am wide awake with longing
For your fingers on my skin.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Men Want

When I see her
I hold myself a little tighter,
A little straighter,
Appearing more attractive,
Flexing all appropriate muscles,
Contracting all inappropriate flab,
Making myself desirable,
For she is my sweetheart heartthrob honeybunch sex machine
And I want her,
This girlish saint whore athletic fashion model intellectual.

I want her.

I am enraptured by her thin boyish sharp-shoulder-bladed frame,
Her overexposed unashamed voluptuous fantastic flesh,
Her long short medium-length hair,
So glossy black chestnut brown honey blonde pumpkin red
Curling straight.

I am lost in her mysterious bold naive uninhibited forbidden
Eyes of swimming pool blue chocolate bar brown
Charcoal briquette black London fog gray
Emerald chameleon green banana tree hazel.

She walks toward me away not moving,
This short long-legged tall small woman girl,
So delicate and strong.
She sees me and smiles
And I am hers,
All over town.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved