Friday, September 24, 2010

Starving for Love

I dived into a frenzy of editing my most recent poetry manuscript this past week. It was a total blast, maybe because it had absolutely nothing to do with my mother’s business.

I have a file for all the poems that don’t make the final cut. One of those caught my eye. Written 23 years ago as a relationship came to a cold-hearted end, it struck me as having a decent bone structure and a pretty universal theme, those lonely nights of lying awake and knowing it’s all gone wrong. So I got out my paring knife and started carving.

It ended up being exactly 55 words long, including the title, and that made me think of the mighty G-Man and his Mr. Knowitall’s Flash Friday 55 stories, which you can find here. I’m away in the forest, sleeping on the ground, without cell phone or wi-fi.

The Starvation Diet

I dream of Grandma’s pie.
Love lies at the bottom of it.

Some nights I lie in the dark
staring at your back, aware
how gaunt I've grown
from an absence of pie.

Where lies love? I wonder
at your tight-lipped back.
As always, I let the silence
deepen, afraid to know.


e said...

There are far too many people on this sort of starvation diet, and some of them have difficulty putting into words what they're missing. You do that very well here. Enjoy the forest.

Brian Miller said...

love lies...nice double meaning there...smiles.

the walking man said...

I like this. The voice is mature and the structure tight. This one should languish no longer.

Dianne said...

Accessible, conflicted, and a clear loser in the battle! Well written in 55.

Syd said...

I have been and have wondered at a tight lipped back. Profound. We know inside what is right and still cling to what is so wrong in a relationship.

Totalfeckineejit said...

More brilliance.

Magpie said...

Very concise and to the point in 55 words. Love..."I wonder at your tight-lipped back." Speaks volumes to me.

Beth Niquette said...

How powerful. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

The absence of love is possibly the coldest, darkest place of all.

You've captured it's very essence here, powerfully.

TechnoBabe said...

I can so understand the "tight lipped back". Ouch. When someone puts up walls it is so hurtful.

RNSANE said...

Sounds like a bit more pie is in order...berry, pecan, key lime..whatever. The poetry is superb. A little vanilla on the side, please.

martine said...

Thank you for this one, so poignant, especially the ending
"As always, I let the silence
deepen, afraid to know."
definitely pared down to the bare essentials, not a word out of place.

Woman in a Window said...

Oh my, Chris. Real poetry lives here. LOVE the pie imagery to tight-lipped back imagery. Yes.


Shakespeare said...

Cool stuff.

Reminds me of the film Waitress, and the main character's "I Hate My Husband Pie." Only in this case, he's withheld his love... and you've wasted away without it. Beautifully rendered.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of one of my favourite songs, "China", by Tori Amos. Your poem captures the sad feeling of distance that can grow between two people who are only inches apart. Lovely poem, glad you brought it out and dusted it off. - G

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...


Jinksy said...

Ooer - starved of love - how sad! :)

Marla said...

I can feel the silence in this.