• Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love •

Love Poems by Charles P. Ries

Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love: Love Poems

“This book is meaningful, sad, witty, intimate, delicate, and extraordinarily good. These poems are written beautifully, have such a unique and quiet voice to them, and read like little elegies full of heart.”
—Gloria Mindock,
Editor-in-Chief at Červená Barva Press

“They’re complex,
these things we
build our hearts around.”

Times change. People change. Places change. The good and the bad comes and goes. We move in circles; we move in lines; we move in slow motion; we move like hurricanes. The more things change, the more they remain the same. But one thing remains constant through all of time and place:


Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love is a meditation on the ebb and flow of love in these changing times. The screw-ups, suck-ups, epiphanies, black holes, celestial awakenings, and confusions of the thing considered mystical to some, and impossible to others. Told from the perspective of a middle-aged lover-in-training, these poems have all the joy and all the pain and all the wonder, but resonate through eyes that have traveled a few miles down that sometimes-lonesome highway of romance.

A book of meaning, wonder, laughter, and tears that women will adore … but don’t be fooled, men, because you’ll root for it, too! Relatable on every level with tales of woe and joy; while the women are smiling in romantic bliss, you men will be wondering where this “guidebook” has been all your lives. Romance is not dead! Knuckleheads still abound! Love, sweet love, is still the kindest medicine of them all.

While the young may suffer from love, it takes an experienced traveler to understand what to make of it. Charles P. Ries is guide, guru, therapist, participant, and equal-opportunity opportunist, as well as the blind leading the lost. Yet, through it all, his true north remains love, and his destination remains this singular realization of what it is to be fully alive and human.

Perfectbound Trade Paperback $11.99

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Praise for Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love

“In this book, Charles P. Ries successfully turns trope into transcendence. As he debunks the mythology of Cupid with deft humor and insight, Ries simultaneously invokes the nine muses, morphing himself into a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, an inimitable inamorato brimming with Bodhisattva wit and Casanova charm. Forget all you know about Venus and Mars! Here, you’ll find eros, phileo, and agape kindled in brilliant coalescence, ready for the reverential caress of your mind’s naked eye. Make no mistake, these are poems you’ll want to know by heart.”
—Charles Nevsimal,
editor at Centennial Press and author of Risen and The Misadventures of the Paisley Cowboy

“Charles’ poems reveal a certain vulnerability as he reflects on his relationships. These poems are written beautifully and have such a unique and quiet voice to them. His search to have the mystery of love answered, is answered. This book is meaningful, sad, witty, intimate, delicate, and extraordinarily good. These poems read like little elegies full of heart. An honesty we all crave.”
—Gloria Mindock,
editor at Červená Barva Press and author of Blood Soaked Dresses and Nothing Divine Here

“You’ll want to take Ries’ narrator home and feed him milk and cookies. He’s that adorable. Here’s a man who can laugh at his gender and at himself, at what he appears not to know about the opposite sex. But don’t be deceived. Hidden in the humor between tightly delivered, deadeye lines are truths learned from the experiences of a man who has lived in love’s war zone and survived to show us how it’s possible to diffuse such relationship grenades as divorce, depression, alcoholism, anxiety disorders, and the everyday ammunition triggered by life. And it’s not only the landmine of romantic love that Ries maneuvers, but also platonic, familial, illicit, sexual, and fantasy loves ... even love for his female cat. This is an uplifting read, and at finish you’ll want to toast Ries’ honesty, humor, wisdom, and resilience with something more fitting than milk.”
—Ellaraine Lockie,
author of Midlife Muse and Finishing Lines

About Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love

• Love Poems
• Published by Alternating Current Press
• 5½” x 8½” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Cream Paper, 78 Pages
• Also Available in PDF Digital Format
• Print ISBN-13: 978-0615764344
• Print ISBN-10: 0615764347
• Digital ASIN: TK
• Digital eISBN: TK
• First Edition: February 12, 2013
• Cover artwork by Mike Pavelich
Permalink | Short URL: tinyurl.com/girlfriendmysteries

• Available at University at Buffalo Special Collections Library; Buffalo, New York
• Available at Woodland Pattern Bookstore; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
• Available at Steins Garden & Gifts; Wisconsin
• Available at The John Michael Kohler Art Center; Wisconsin
• Available at Z-Spot Espresso & Coffee; Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love

Images for public use for Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love

Click here to view/download high-resolution front cover.

Click here to view/download high-resolution photo of Charles P. Ries by Dan Bishop of Dan Bishop Photography.

Sneak Peek at Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love (Scroll inside box if blank.)

Reviews & mentions for Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love

Reviewed in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Blurbed on Sheboygan Press
Reviewed on Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

9/13 M Magazine
Quill and Parchment, Vol 144, June 2013

About author Charles P. Ries

CHARLES P. RIES’ narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and poetry reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing and is the author of six books of poetry. He was awarded the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association Jade Ring Award for humorous poetry and is the former poetry editor of Word Riot and ESC!. Ries is also the author of The Fathers We Find, a somewhat-fictionalized memoir of his growing up on a mink farm in Southeastern Wisconsin. His work is archived in the Charles P. Ries Collection at Marquette University.

A citizen philosopher, Ries lived in London and North Africa after college, where he studied the mystical teachings of Islam known as Sufism. In 1989, he worked with the Dalai Lama on a program that brought American religious- and psycho-therapists together for a weeklong dialogue. He has done extensive work with men’s groups and worked with a Jungian psychotherapist for over five years, during which time he learned to find meanings in small things. He is also a founding member of the Lake Shore Surf Club, the oldest freshwater surfing club on the Great Lakes.

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