“An Honest Man’s Profile for Internet Dating” by Bruce Cohen

Bruce Cohen


I like to call my women Cookie or Doll, but never That Dame. I expect them comfortable with self-service, able to pump high octane in an evening gown while sipping a ginormous Blue Raspberry Slushie. I like my chicks to be twins at least, or triplets, interchangeable. I like my girls talking on their cells while speeding over the limit, the radio cranked up, doughnut crumbs multiplying in their laps. A gentlemen, I could lick the crumbs off but only if they want me to. I like my ladies okay with pouring hydrogen peroxide and warm olive oil in my ear to loosen the caked in wax. I like women who say words like ditto to amplify a retort, or back at cha’ to definitively end an argument that’s going no where. I like my date to order her steak rare-blue with a double martini, three olives, no sides. I appreciate a gal who knows the difference between lay and lie but keeps it to herself, confident enough to pick up hitchhikers, order a beer and a bump at a dive that smells like sour urine and sawdust, who is way too good at pool and has no qualms about asking for a fist full of quarters and shaking her moneymaker over to the juke box. Do you like Tony Bennett?, she coos. I like my broads tough yet still able to take a damp cloth to the baby puke on my shoulder before I’m out the door to work! I like the kind of woman who stares in the mirror and sees someone else, who tries on her friends’ dresses and perfume when they’re not home, who riffles through medicine cabinets at business socials, who doesn’t carry a pocketbook when solo. I like my ladies with southern polysyllabic names and I abuse every single syllable, slowly. I like my dreamboat sweating on the treadmill, singing to herself. I’m not old fashioned but I like my women to be cheery and well groomed in high heels when I come home, my dinner on the table, wisps of steam rising, linen napkins, the children already bathed, read to, spanked, threatened, who refer to their breasts as “my girls.” I like my ball and chain working two jobs and funneling the cash into my pockets while I nap. I like women who are accustomed to talking to a dead sister, not related by blood. I like a babe who says especially yes without any pre-thought. I especially enjoy careful thinkers. I like how my other half turns the ignition key after the motor is already running and when it makes that horrible noise says, what’s that horrible noise? I like women who recognize it cannot be this way, who take charge then back off. I like a lady to take my elbow when we’re walking on an icy sidewalk. Across the street, other women are bobbling fatherless babies and holding blank picket signs; their mouths are sewn shut; they’re wearing secret dark contact lenses. When I meet women in gothic lipstick or Little Bo-Peep dresses entire continents break off from their lips and their mode of escape appears to be as poetic stowaways on cargo liners. I like it when they cry and when I ask what’s wrong they say it’s nothing, mascara running. I like my baby on time, waiting for me; I like my baby to show up when I don’t expect her, sometimes. I like my women to be paper cookie cutter cutouts, and the rare one, in flesh, who doesn’t know she’s so, so beautiful.

from Rattle #30, Winter 2008


Bruce Cohen: “A friend, after some profound frustration with meeting eligible bachelors who matched her very esoteric criterion of perfection, and after years of dating what she defined as ‘losers,’ signed up for an internet dating service. She was bemoaning her utter disgust and surprise that not one of the profiles of the men she met were remotely accurate or honest. Perhaps, like everyone, they were delusional, I told her. However, their lack of self-awareness or dishonesty struck me as quite predictable. So, as an artistic contrarian I decided to write a poem from the point of a view of a man who was trying to be completely honest. It sort of took on a life of its own and became a little outrageous.” (web)

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