What is love?


Twenty-nine years ago today the law finally caught up with us after a decade on the lam. The commitment forged by my love for Nancy, and hers for me, became a legally binding one in the time-honored ceremony known as marriage. We made our declarations in front of our dear family and friends, and asked one of our oldest and closest friends, Terrence McDonnell, to say a few words. These are the ones he came up with:


What is love?
What is love?
Love is an unconditional commitment of the mind, body and soul
Love comes in many different facets,
many different meanings and
many different ways.
Love is not always kind
Love is not always gentle
But love is always shared
and love is always everlasting

Wishing love for each other is a power that grows and strengthens with
every passing day,
every passing moment,
every passing year.
But wishing love from oneself is the most important
The exchanging of marriage vows begins, reinforces and continues the gift and the overwhelming joy of love.
This is love. This is love

I do take this man to be my husband.
I do take this woman to be my wife.
I do take this person to be my friend
to be my companion
to be my love
This is love
This is love
This is love

Happy Blogiversary

My name is Mike, and I’m a blogger. Two years ago today me and the Words & Music staff (I hope to have it tattooed one day) first dipped our wick in the blogosphere. One of the things I’ve learned blogs do best is making lists, and anniversaries are a good time to look back and quantify. So here goes.

In two years of Words & Music, I’ve posted:

    3 obituary tributes
  12 sketchbook selections
  14 original poems
  14 Fictional Humans of New York installments
  15 reviews of literary/music/art events
  45 flash fictions pieces
  62 original recordings of songs in
104 weeks for
230 total posts across
730 days

And, thanks in part to whoever is reading this, I’ve had almost 30,000 page views.

I cannibalized one novel for short fiction pieces to serve up on the blog and just last week finished writing the novel that’s been my main creative project and bête noir over these last two years, and the two before them. I visited Paris, Cancun, Sicily, Wildwood, and the Catskills, and put a few pieces of each on this site. I lost a job and more precious things than I care to remember, even if I could. I got older trying to figure out how to get wiser.

I’ve done my due diligence, paid my dues to sing the blues, saw the light in the strangest of places if I look at it right, looked at the stars from the gutter, and found inspiration and love over and over and over again, sometimes just from the knowledge that someone was reading this blog.

So thank you for that.

Happy Blogday

One year ago today I posted the first entry to my blog. Titled “(Just Like) Starting Over,” it was about quitting the band Late Model Humans and trying out this new adventure.

For the first 9 months I was religious about the blog, posting 3 times a week: music on Mondays, fiction on Fridays, and a wild-card thrown in on Wednesdays. There’s nothing like regular writing (or regular practice of anything) to develop technique. It developed so well that I’ve been devoting most of my writing time to a novel and haven’t been posting to the blog as often, though that’s about to change for a couple of reasons.

The first is, I’m out of work, for the first time in about 30 years. I’m hopeful that the counterweight to financial anxiety will be expanding creative opportunities. The other reason is my renewed appreciation for the abundant creativity in my hometown, NYC. In the last week and a half I’ve been to 2 gallery openings and 2 readings, one by a novelist and another by a pair of poets. I plan to continue attending events and writing about them in the second year of this blog. I also hope to finish my novel and find an agent and publisher before the 2nd Blogday. Yes, I’m an optimist.

Since November 25, 2013 there have been 12,000 visits to Words & Music. I’m grateful for every one. Drop by any time.

The Love of You – Mike’s Musical Monday (Anniversary Edition)

Twenty four years ago today I married my best friend. Not to be crude (OK, to be crude), as John Lennon said of Yoko Ono, “It’s just handy to fuck your best friend.” For 34 years now (including the decade we were together before we got married), this handy relationship has been the foundation of my life. And all that time I’ve been a songwriter (talk about a long-suffering wife!) but not the type who writes love songs. Maybe because I didn’t feel the need to sing about it.But lately I’ve found love creeping into my lyrics more and more. Maybe after all these years I do need to sing about it. I wrote this song last year. For the love of you.

My heart’s worn out
It’s worn clean through
All for the love of you

For the love of you
With everything you do
You make the world brand new
With the love of you

It can’t come as a surprise
When you look into my eyes

And see the love of you
With everything you do
You make the world brand new
With the love of you

And sometimes, baby, when the world’s gone mad
The only thing that I have

Is the love of you
With everything you do
You make the world brand new
With the love of you