jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cook with me and be my love...


This week's topic at Poetry Thursday is synaesthesia. It's the intermingling of our senses, an ability — or gift — some people have. I totally agree that writing with the senses is the key to good writing. I also love the idea of the senses co-mingling. If you can drink in beauty, taste and smell fear, peel your eyes (one of my son's favorite things to do), taste the rainbow (oops, Skittles commercial), wear your heart on your sleeve, then why not smell your delight? Why not hear the love? Touch your disbelief? Why not run your fingers up the sleeve of caution? Take a risk. Look regret in the eye. Write a poem. And so, in no reference whatsoever to my own marriage (really!) here is my synaesthetic offering...

Why It's Important to Cook a Meal Together

They say you can feel the unraveling
of a marriage as surely as a blind man reads Braille.
You will see it coming in the way your fingertips
no longer brush, hear how even your knives
and spoons refuse to clash in the sink, smell
how one pair of underwear accepts
the fresh breeze of fabric softener,
one, still clinging, embraces
static, denies scent altogether.

A cooling union makes no sound.
The end will be soft and raw,
surprising, like a fork sliding into a risen muffin,
pulling roughly out, covered in batter.

In your white dress, in your black
tails and tie, stinking of new love, clean
kisses, you have no idea how sense
will betray you. It will not be so obvious
as apple pie without sugar,
macaroni and cheese with no elbows.
No. The spoiling of a marriage tastes
more like meatloaf without the bread
crumbs holding it together.
The egg, beaten, is there. The meat, mashed
into shape, is there. It is the loaf crumbling
off your fork, falling all over your plate,
missing your mouth completely
that lets you know you’re hungry.

So tell me, ladies, gentlemen,
what are you serving for dinner tonight?

18 Comments:

Blogger Catherine said...

I love it. But are those last two lines part of the poem, or your added comments? Because I think the poem really ends before those last two lines.

11:32 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

jilly jilly jilly. This is so good. I think this prompt was a wonderful idea!

11:50 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

Catherine- I was wondering the same thing. Originally partof the poem, I may have to snag them!

pepek-Thank you! Definitely a cool prompt. I'm going to try more!

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn’t see the prompt, but whatever it was this is excellent. I do (also) think that the last two lines sort of betray the tone of the rest of the poem, if they are indeed part of the poem and not an unattached question. If the latter, I’m afraid I had cinnamon life cereal.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stinking of new love..and clean kisses....the wloe poem is strong but this is where it becomes a tour du force. everyday eloquent! love it!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Very well observed poem and beautifully written. I agree though that the end may be superfluous.

2:47 AM  
Anonymous leonie said...

Excellent poem. I love it too.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous madd said...

Jilly, I loved the images you evoked, the spiraling down of a relationship is not always consciously preceived until there it is, laying crumbled on your plate, thanks

10:59 AM  
Blogger Carolee said...

well, it seems unanimous about the last 2 lines. for me, they disrupted the sense-ual place you took us to.

i think so many of your poems actually invoke texture of "things"--senses, included, so it's no surprise that this prompt worked so well for you. it's amazing how your work has that quality always.

speaking of work . . . can't believe it's thursday already! I never used to be late for anything. now i'm never on time. i started my PT response but left it somewhere in the stack of field trip permission slips and school picture order forms.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Verity said...

Food and love, food and life, have always been so strongly linked for me, it was a melancholy pleasure to read the way you used these every day details to paint a picture of a crumbling marriage so beautifully!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Fabulous!!! "Like no elbows in mac& cheese" and the meatloaf were perfect. Enjoyed the visit!

I liked "run your fingers up the sleeve of caution" too ;)

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmm, I like this one. Gave me the knowing chills.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Nic Sebastian said...

Wow -- a great original take on the nature of relationships. So many great lines -- stinking of new love is just one. Much enjoyed. Nic

1:27 PM  
Blogger jen said...

that is delicious. the spoiling of a marriage....glad i found your blog.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous SB said...

Very nicely done -- & I'm with the others on cutting the last two lines. Maybe even tightening up the rest a bit? Some very nice images in there.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous my backyard said...

the food images work very well

3:50 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

JillyPoet – I’m here via the poetry slam! I can see why you picked this. This is fantastic! Sad, but fantastic. The analogies are just so perfect – Some favorite lines :

A cooling union makes no sound;
stinking of new love, clean kisses;

The spoiling of a marriage tastes
more like meatloaf without the bread
crumbs holding it together;

It is the loaf crumbling
off your fork, falling all over your plate,
missing your mouth completely
that lets you know you’re hungry.

Just a fantastic collection of metaphors. You really brought this all together and captured what it’s like.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Sharanya Manivannan said...

This was great! I loved how you carried the food metaphor throughout. I do have to agree that the poem seems to end before the last two lines, though.

Came here via the poetry carnival, which I'm also hosting on March 24th. Hope you'll contribute again. :)

7:00 AM  

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