Saturday, June 11, 2011

1SS - Operator, I...


one ringy-dingy, two
operator, can you,
no, the phone sits silent
in cradle, unable to overcome
the weight, wait-
ing, why should i

be the one to
express
remorse,
apologize or
act like this relationship means
shhhh---

i mean what will you  think of me,

weak,
that you can get away with this again,
that it was ok, whatever
it was

it's not my fault, they---we-

you-i---i can't,
won't,

dust collects in crevices, cracks in the
ever-widening abyss, becoming bunnies
that taunt my waking dreams, with big ears,
what has come between us---

(sister, brother, mother, father, lover,
friend, neighbor, whatever we once were)

you don't care,
you would have called,
it's over,
that's all, i should just---

do you know how many times
my finger lingered over that last number,
i've worn them off with each caress,
but i still remember the pattern

& if you get a hang up, please,
it's me

i...i...i'm

waiting on you
waiting on me

to get over myself
or death, whichever comes first
before it's too late for
me-we-us-you
one ringy-dingy, two

The picture above is by Rob Hanson, who is featured again this week at One Stop Poetry.
Sorry Monkey, I could not even do it in 160 words, much less characters this week.

94 comments:

Reflections said...

Rob's images hold such a deep essence... you have captured it well. How many hide beyond the lines, waiting, wanting, yet still too afraid, too stubborn, too angry, to shy to carry through to the last button.

How many moments lost forever!

Tulika Verma said...

Wonderful! You express all the dilemma, the hurt, the pain, the confusion just so well! Very well done Brian! Love it!

lucychili said...

mm what is it about these tools for incorporeal connection?
sometimes they simply illustrate the distances

dustus said...

Great cut offs, starts, and halts to your language that fit the frantic chaos of speaker. Awesome work, Brian

haikulovesongs said...

okay, the "one ringy-dingy" had me expecting a Lily Tomlin-type humorous post.

this is my favorite-to-date of your poems, Brian! absolutely brilliant transitions and so much vulnerability. is there anyone who can't identify with at LEAST one time in their life when they wanted to call...didn't want to be the one to call...wanted the other person to want to call enough to actually do it...

REALLY a great One Shoot!!!
d

Monkey Man said...

You ran that gauntlet of emotions the mind wanders as it ponders in picking up that 300 pound phone.

itslovelyannie.com said...

reads like the constant crazy chatter in a chaotic mind...Perfect! I could feel it...went straight to my head!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Reminds me of The White Stripes song "Hello Operator"

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

You've beautifully captured something most have us have gone through at least once. Nice job!

Bernie said...

What a wonderful message in this poem and it works for every relationship......:-)Hugs

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

A bounce of banter in who was wrong not to call, great write my friend

Valerie said...

Oh the weight of indecision! I've changed my mind, THIS one is my favourite. It is very, very clever.

Just Be Real said...

So much can be shared through the lines. Thank you Brian.

Kat_RN said...

I like it. Say it before it is too late.
Kat

Dulce said...

love how you capture moments Brian

Louise said...

How many times have I done this?? Curse my shyness & pride. Well written Brian!

slommler said...

Brings back memories of waiting for a call...attempting to make the call and then hanging up...so much angst!!
Love this one Brian
Hugs
SueAnn

the walking man said...

all one need say is talk no more to me and I will acquiesce. *shrug* One never need go where they are not wanted.

Friko said...

Oh, dear God, how I know that feeling!
You have it exactly right. I might even copy your poem and send it to the person whose number I never quite dial.

Anna said...

The weight of words not said... You captured well this all-too-familiar scenario. Nice One Shoot!

ashwini said...

First of all thank you for visiting my blog. Second the poem is so perfect in terms of showing anxiety. Best wishes to you!

Lorraine said...

This is beautiful Brian righting a wrong whether yours or the other person, doesn't matter, it's the best thing to do

Glynn said...

The dusty telephone as a symbol of a smashed relationship -- beautifully done, Brian. (And I smiled at the Ernestine/Lily Tomlin reference.)

Gemma Wiseman said...

The poem gives the dilemma of indecision a wonderful cameo role to play! Mixed emotions strut the boards! Great drama!

ladyfi said...

Brilliant capture of obstinacy and prevarication and an explanation of how feuds start and carry on ...

Syd said...

My fingers have lingered over the dial too. Being impulsive then, I walked into the pain willingly. Now I understnd my boundaries better.

Heather said...

all i can say is FABULOUS...wow, really good...can i have a new favorite?

Helena White said...

"A gracious good morning to you...Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?" (snort! snort!. lol! Wow! those were the days... I must admit, nowadays, I just may take the easy way out by sending an email or fb message rather than experience the angst of incision that may lead disappointment...
Wonderful write, so glad I stopped by Brian.

Eva Gallant said...

Excellent!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Well, Brian, you tore the heart out of this one (and my heart out at the same time)! Absolutely bang on point... but I'm still not going to make the call first, even though my hubris has been rubbed in my face.

to get over myself
or death, whichever comes first
before it's too late for
me-we-us-you
one ringy-dingy, two

So be it.

Pat Hatt said...

Cut off just like the phone
And a great tone
Rotating your words around
Hoping a ring is found

The Turning Point said...

Nailed it!
When I let the "gaggle between the ears" in I'm a 2-time loser. The time spent in mindless argument and the relief the call gives...yet

Jim

adeeyoyo said...

Brilliant, Brian:

weak,
that you can get away with this again,
that it was ok, whatever
it was

it's not my fault, they---we-

why can't we be open and honest with one another, instead of fearful of being taken advantage of? I love this write!!!

David Allen Waters said...

the first line made me think of Lilly Tomlins character...but as the words unfolded and the depth became clear all giggles disapeared...a truelly brilliant piece

C Rose said...

so many of your pieces make me smile Brian, this no exception. I think its interesting that we both went to the lonely soul waiting for the phone to ring...what does that say? :) Great write ~ Rose

ScottF said...

awesome piece Brian! been there, done that!

Claudia said...

why should i or him or her...? you excellently captured the pride that destroyed so many relationships because no one was brave enough to do the first step again..

Mary said...

Brian, sometimes it is hard to be the one who actually dials that number, makes the effort to bridge the gap. Your poem says it well...

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Just like I mentioned to Claudia, the first words that came to my mind after viewing the photograph were...[What was or What use to be...Or What Could Have Been...]

Brian, you have also captured that same feeling perfectly, between two people in your poem through your words.
Thanks, for sharing!

[editor's note: After reading your poem I did add the words..."Or What Could Have Been..."]
deedee ;-)

Lynne said...

Oh this is good. really good.. It reads like an internal conversation (spoken out-loud).. How many times have I gotten down to last digit and hung up.. this was a good early morning read.. I like good reads:-)

Fireblossom said...

Lily Tomlin would be proud!

This is really nicely done, Brian, not only for the wise message it contains, but for the sound of the words themselves, the way you have arranged them here, conveying all the doubt, desire, and fateful hesitation of the situation.

Bravo. mister.

Hope said...

what really goes on within the dead air of conversations? Or the hesitations of dialing a number or what makes one decide to end the call? mmm...the lifespan of a telephone... if only they could tell the true story :)

wonderful write Brian!

LadyCat said...

"that you can get away with this again,
that it was ok, whatever
it was"...that is always the concern when we forgive. Does forgiving mean we are saying it's ok? And how many times do we forgive, before we become the fool? But what else can we do? You bring up so many questions here.

Randy Behavior said...

It so fun for me to see what you will do next with poetry. Your style is so varied but always excitedly communicated.

wurdz said...

wow...you took more than 160 but it was a necessary and good evil!days of wanting to call her,the arguments that were no fault of either.memories i thought were bottled up and tossed to the sea...thank you.

Bonnie said...

Wonderful concrete example of how our ego fears can create useless distance. Just lovely Brian.

kez said...

amazing how even in this technological world,distance,whether it be emotional or physical still remains ....we have all been in the situation with regard of shall we ring or not.Think this comes across so well in your poem. Thank you

Mama Zen said...

What a great response to the picture! Well done, Brian!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. thanks randy, i do try to keep it fresh and come up with new creative ways to tell the tale...think my mind is a bit cracked...

Linda said...

You've captured beautifully something we have all wrestled with at one time or another.
Great job Brian.

Myrna R. said...

Human pride and fear within relationships. Sad. What a great response to this photo.

farmlady said...

Brilliant!! Thank you.

TALON said...

That is such an awesome piece of writing to go with that amazing photograph. I remember the weight of those phones...and the long, long, spin of the dials.

hedgewitch said...

You nailed so much here, beyond 160 reasons, excuses, feelings, spoken and unspoken on that phone that never rings. Excellent piece, my friend, with a lot to say to anyone who picks up the receiver.

repressedsoul said...

There is nothing worse than waiting on someone to call, and when the call is an anticlimax where you have so much to say but can't ahhh well, you know ;) Fresh write Brian, thoroughly enjoyed

Louise Gallagher said...

This is FABULOUS!

The sentiments are soooo true -- having been on every side of this equation -- it hurts no matter which side we stand on broken down lines of communication.

PS -- thanks for dropping into my place.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

The true of so many calla

yellowhousecafe said...

Your write took me back to the days of dials/buttons/receivers that needed to be held, holding hope that it was the line that was broken...
Excellent response the prompt ~

JL Dodge said...

Tottally awesome Brian ! I always love to read your writes, you capture more than the ordinary everyday, you find ways to open up to the extraordinary...
Thank you so much for adding yourself to our Mr. Linky !! I hope others will too !
YOU ROCK my friend !!
ENJOY !

JL Dodge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Wow man, I know this one. This is about me and captures so much emotion that it is palpable.

brenda w said...

This is deeply sad, and exquisitely crafted. A Lily Tomlin sandwich. LOL

Sue said...

One of your best, as far as I'm concerned. Not because of the artistry...that's always present...but because the theme means so much to me.

Thanks.

=)

Barbara said...

"...why should i

be the one to
express
remorse,
apologize or
act like this relationship means
shhhh---"

It's so sad that this is so true.

Bristol said...

I loved the rhythm of this one. So expressive and moving. Great, Brian! Your creativity is such a gift!

Margie said...

*you don't care
you would have called,
it's over,
that's all, i should just ---

Oh, gosh those words take me to another place, another time when that was me.

Wonderful write, as always!
Wonderful, all of it.
How many will relate, many I'm sure!

Margie :)

KB said...

Excellent take on the pic.

CM said...

There, now Blogger will let me in...weird.

Anywho...

Oh yes, I can relate to this one big time. However, sometimes the healthy choice is to NOT dial that last number. I think you may have just inspired a blog post for me.

Christine said...

Sat many a years with the phone in my lap waiting....

River said...

Man Brian, you took the words(well your words) right out of my life today. lol Great piece that so many can relate too. :)

Cindybrown said...

I know this too well!!Wonderful Brian!!

Pseudo said...

forgiveness is always a great theme to go with.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

This was something I once could understand more than i'd like to admit. This was really moving for lack of better word. #Great

Lolamouse said...

Your opening threw me with this one. I, too, was expecting a humorous poem ala Lily Tomlin and then got socked with this one! How many of us have had this experience? Why should I be the one to call? He/she should call me! Why is it so hard to just say "I miss you?"

kkrige said...

ringy, dingy ...

Patricia said...

Such a creative mind you have. Who of us cannot relate to lingering over that last number and waiting for the other one to make the first move. Yes, a knowing smile on my face.

Pheromone Girl said...

You had me breathless, waiting on the next line. It's obvious 160 couldn't begin to tell this story.

WOW.

sultrysoliloquy said...

Fabulous read!

ds said...

"i still remember the pattern"
That says it all. Nicely done.
Thank you.

Mijayami said...

Aside from the usual greatness at capturing the emotion of the moment, I love the "one ringy-dingy". It brings happy memories of my dad saying that when I was little. Thanks for putting a smile on my face (despite the unhappy and conflicted tone of the piece).

She Writes said...

OMG. yeah. Pride in relationships is a killer. I have enough of my own to see it. UGH!

And I see you commented your mind is a bit cracked. Yeah :). Just a side note to your alligator string!

Ann Grenier said...

A wonderful poem Brian. It's interesting as a little story that touches the essence of the old phone, our common feelings about saying we're sorry, admitting wrongs---just so much in the poem imagined from a dusty antique.

lori said...

At first, I thought of Lilly Tomlin, and then I was right there in the conflicted mind of a tormented soul. You never disappoint :)

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I felt like I was right in the middle of a lot of party lines AND thoughts running through heads. Loved this!

Magpie said...

This piece flows so nicely. It's sad thought, isn't it?
"waiting on you
waiting on me...."

TechnoBabe said...

When I first started reading this it reminded me of the Lily Tomlin skit.

The photo is grand. As old as I am, the type of phone on the photo is before my time. Ha.

Your writing reaches deep into each of us as we remember the pain of waiting on another as we are not strong enough to reach out first.

blueviolet said...

That call needs to be made!

Henry Clemmons said...

I'm the same way. I ain't callin'. I'll wear my hiney on my shoulders all day. I'm tempted, but pride gets in the way. Why I don't much like phones. Sometimes not getting calls is worse than getting them. Too much of an an answer, eh? Loved it

Steve E said...

"This is your operator."

"I must have dialed a wrong number."

"Sir...all you dialed was...ZERO!"

"Yup...I guess that's also MY number"

Thanks Brian
--ZERO

Captain Dumbass said...

Damn. Just damn.

PattiKen said...

Your words fit perfectly with the photo of the dusty phone. It makes me remember the days when phones were phones, connections to happiness and pain, joy and sorrow.

elisasspot said...

OH! You captured that well! Experience! My gut is even doing the queebling thing roflmao.

Rivenrod said...

Good!

RR

Matt Coughlan said...

Dig this! The back and forth conflict is super, as is the universal theme of a relationship on the fritz.