love be thattaway

My name is DoRag and I’m a bad boy… at least that’s what the women who have touched my life labeled me. I might add that these women, who touched my life, touched it with the proverbial sledge hammer… at full force.

The men I run with, the street homies, they don’t think I’m a ‘bad boy’… they just think I’m DoRag. I agree. You can change the name of a watermelon but that don’t make it high in protein.

But this ain’t about me, my homies or those sledge hammering women. It’s about love. And we all know it’s easier to find a space alien in Wal-Mart than it is to find love. And yet… people keep on looking (hopefully not in Wal-Mart).

I’ve had my share of the Love Bug; and the virus it leaves when it moves on. The only cure for it is time and reflection. And if you reflect and learn nothing from it, then brother and sister, prepare for the next viral infection ‘cause… as sure as Mother Goose follows gander, you ain’t built up virus-battling anti-bodies.

Anyway, I’m betting some of you can relate, some of you can hate, a few of you can debate; but we all know that love, be it good or bad, is like death and taxes… inevitable, costly and filled with consequence.

And to prove my point…

love be thattaway

the club is not so crowded
that I’d miss you standing there;
those piercing eyes
i remember so well…
that manicured hair

so often on my pillows;
I once had all of you…
as you were
when you were,
but now

you’re no longer mine

instead you wear him,
the new him,
like a pink suit
on Easter Sunday;
like a beret on a Frenchman

or that permanent red on a bloodstain

he smiles with his too perfect teeth
as you pull his head down to meet your lips,
a kiss to show ownership;
him to you…
for me to see

that’s the way it is,
how the game is played;
yet i know to give in
is to be taken and when taken…

your eyes seek mine…
through heavy smoke,
whiskey breaths
and jazz-drenched sounds…

a search for pain and longing


fuck you, i mouth,
my own smile appearing
like resurrected Christ,
for i never forget
that love is the predatory Beast

as it hunts, kills, feeds

yet never satisfied,
never sated;
always ready
to pounce…
with or without warning.

© 2017, Gregory Shipman. All rights reserved.
The author has granted, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Author Notes

Hello, hello... in conversation with my know-it-all young daughter she informed me of the trap laid down constantly by the ever-present 'bad boys'... the scourge of the planet (after they become 'the worse half of a ruined relationship'... while I listened politely and offered no advice (I may not be smart but I ain't stupid!), I formulated a new character in my head. DoRag will soon headline a new short story... for now this poem speaks for him...

Happy Whatever

4 Comments for “love be thattaway”

reigny dai


Pat Benatar told us, “Love is a battlefield,” but it’s also those who come to our aid after we’ve received wounds. Your piece is fun with serious parts, and I enjoyed it. Plus, the name Dorag is killin’ me. lol

Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Greg

Rather interesting, unique take on love, especially its comparison to a predatory beast that hunts, kills and feeds. I think this image would be at odds with the Valentine Day’s image of love. Well done. Enjoyed the read.

Take care and stay safe,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *