Monday, June 18, 2012

Of Clean Drains and Failed Food Journals--with Poem!

It's a strange day to be at work.  Faculty are off for two weeks, but I need to be here for a variety of reasons.  Later today, I'll have to track down the faculty who haven't turned in grades or who don't know that they had problems with their grades.

They are cleaning out the drains or doing something that's making strange smells.  Why do I think it's drain cleaning?  Because of the vans with signs that declare the company's skill at drain cleaning that are parked outside my office  and because of the snaking tubes and because of the slight sewery smell that's in the air. 

I'm trying hard not to see it as a negative sign.  It's good to have clean drains, even if one must tolerate the odor of sewage in the morning.

I expect that at any moment they'll start testing the fire alarms.

Well, at least they didn't do this when classes were in session.  Then, not only would I have had the strange sewery smells, but all sorts of complaints from people.

If only I had a tenth of the power that people seem to think I have!

I've fallen away from the power of keeping a food journal.  I've had mixed success with this process through my life.

I've been thinking about the idea of food journals because of this post of Kathleen's.  She has learned many lessons from a recent encounter with cinnamon rolls and wine, including this important one:  "Do not think that just writing stuff down will help you resist temptation."

It reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago after a time of failure in keeping a food journal.  I don't think it's one of my best poems, but it's amusing.  So I offer it not as evidence of my skill as a poet, but as something to bring a smile to your Monday:


Useless for a writer to keep a food journal.
I understand the principles behind the practice:
accountability to the page will force
me to make the right food choices.
Well, I have plenty of experience in avoiding
that judgmental gaze which just provokes
the opposite reaction in me:
“Do you really think you should be eating that?”
No, you’re right, I think the portion entirely too small.
Give me a triple serving.

Perhaps we chronicle our eating to gain
insight into why we eat. I try
to mark my motivation. Three pages
later I’ve not only analyzed my current mood,
but my entire history of my self-medication,
my relationship to that particular morsel,
year by year, bite by bite.
I also write about its symbolic possibilities,
the metaphors and meanings.  I sketch
poem possibilities and how the food might function
in a piece of fiction.

Worse yet, I find myself eating to write.
I look forward to returning to the page
after every meal, every snack.
I fill one notebook in a week
and quit this chronicle.


Kathleen said...

Hey, thanks! I enjoyed this, and your poem, and now I am pondering how drain cleaning and sewage smells can curb the appetite. If that leads me to a poem, it will be light verse!

Wendy said...

I love the poem. Makes me laugh out loud!