Ocean’s 11 (“Are you in or out?”)


From my book, A Man Looking at Women found at: http://www.blurb.com/b/2133990-a-man-looking-at-women:

The shadow of someone you knew

The last freckle of time

It would be over as it started

In light like this.

The morning after

There was no use in arguing about not remembering names

Because it was in not remembering that you knew the answer.

She was as perfect as impossibility,

That was the truth in this.

You knew even at the beginning that it wouldn’t last.

She turned away because she had hoped you would get the message,

You didn’t.

How could you?

I am at the same point now.

I would never leave this vista

That is why it is so painful.

It is an addiction to beauty

The beauty of truth

The truth of beauty.

She doesn’t even have to say a word.

She’s a stranger.

In the shimmering moon light

Oceans away.


  1. Hello Mario

    We have read Ocean’s 11 and we like it very much.
    But it is a little complicated for us because of the vocabulary.
    But we have taken the idea of the poem.

    Why is this love not being reciprocated?

    And is it possible that the poem reflects on your own life?

    Thank you for your attention.

    • Hello Loli and Roger,

      I think the issue is one of having had sex and known that it was a mistake. At least men, I think, have sex because of the need and then realize the implication that love is so much more. Women know this. That is why they are so pissed at men. When you can’t remember a name it means you weren’t truly interested from the beginning. See: “You knew even at the beginning that it would not last.” The woman, in this case, “She turned away because she had hoped we would get the message,” but we can’t. In my case, I am drawn to beauty, an often shallow indicator of compatibility or hope that you could measure up to what that beauty can afford. We fall in love with beautiful people, those who have their way in this world, there is truth in beauty and there is beauty of truth in understanding how the world works. “She doesn’t even have to say a word. She is a stranger” no matter how romantic: “In the shimmering moon light,” we are so far away from ever consummating, and if so, maintaining a relationship, which is the hardest thing in the world, because one is always conspiring to leave. It think this may be the greatest sadness in the world. We love for very short times, while most of our lives are spent pinning for love to come. And when it comes, we are deluded as to its longevity. My father died, for example, when I was ten. My mother took care of us (2 children) the rest of her life and sacrificed herself. When a child sees this, he cannot plan nor ever hope to maintain love. He fears she will be left alone to fend for herself. Is there any freedom to love in a world like ours?

      I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for reading the poem and issuing these questions. I have a recording of this poem as read by an Irish/Scottish woman in a cafe whose voice and beauty struck me as relevant. She had a cold and I guess was with her boyfriend. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind reading the poem and letting me record her. The impossibility, “She was a perfect as impossibility,/That was the truth in this” and as she did that would be the only record of her and all I could ever keep. You will find the recording at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mda7QMTv09M, and the woman’s voice will appear at 3:54 minutes in. Unrequited love is a theme of mine if you haven’t guessed and I think it is tied to watching one’s mother flounder and knowing that you could never keep her safe. My father died and there was nothing I could do. Plus, she was a runway model. I have been picky all my life. All the women I have loved have not loved me.

      • ( comment written by Patricia, Marga and Loli. As we had technical problems to log in, I allowed them to use my account in class):

        Thank you so much for all the explanations and details concerning this poem. We wish you luck with love and that you find the right person. It is never too late, so we wish you the best in this. We also thank you for writing this lovely poem. We have watched the youtube video and t we agree with what our teacher Marta says. The letters are too small. Besides, we are English learners and sometimes it is difficult to understand some words. However, on the whole, we have enjoyed both your books and videos. Thank you again.

  2. Beautiful and poignant for its sad truth, what you comment here. Love this:

    “The beauty of truth

    The truth of beauty.”

    As for the movie on youtube, your music and her voice are lovely, so ethereal, perhaps to match the words of your poem:

    “She was as perfect as impossibility”

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