Tuesday, August 7, 2012

OpenLinkNight: How long we can hold our breath under water

Gas Works Park, Seattle by Reena

There is no way
what passes for cheese, on the nachos
at the city pool
has any nutritional value

the way skin forms on its surface
within seconds
more brown than artificial
orange

I explained sex
to my nine year old this morning
across the kitchen table

a warm & cooling cup of coffee in my hands,
his, gripping the wood top, tight

using words like sacred & milky liquid,
how to treat women & waiting, how exciting
it can be & responsibility when—later

he told his mother
it made him feel barfy
but he asked

after kids at school filled his mind
with something more akin to the cheese,
growing ever thicker, hardening into inedible
cement on stale tortilla chips
worth all the $2.25 they charge

as my sons splash & play,
loud with squeals, in the crystal water


over at dVerse today, it is time once again to break out you poetic flair---bring what you got and get your poetry fix---OpenLinkNight, where anything goes as long as it is poetry. Smiles. Write...3 pm EST doors open...and we will be waiting on you. Smiles.

personal update: no luck on the school job...today i will start canvasing other counseling companies to keep doing what i am doing. there is a definite lack of male counselors so hoping that will be an easy transition. we'll see.

the picture today is by blog friend reena when i saw it i found it rather fascinating and she obliged my request to use it. smiles

127 comments:

Mary said...

One

SueAnn Lommler said...

Now that is a comparison...knowing the artificial explanation for sex or the real deal!!
Ha!
Loved this...a face full of smiles!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lorraine said...

wow I'm impressed...geesh Brian the perfect job for the world for you will come, I have no doubt

Tabor said...

Wow that is certainly an interesting contrast. Maybe a little barfy, but he will get over that.

Mary said...

Explaining sex over breakfast seems a healthy place for such a discussion, Brian. More healthy than all the fake cheese out there today. Nice metaphor. Keeping your job search in my thoughts and hoping a good opportunity presents itself THIS week.

Dave King said...

I've heard a few into's to sex, but this one's new to me - as is "barfy". Shall have to research that a bit. Thanks for both!

kaykuala said...

It's no more the birds and the bees kind of thing. Nine year olds would find it elementary.Friends teach them better these days! That I've been told! Nice write Brian!

Hank

Heaven said...

I like the nutritional value here, sacred and responsibility, to young children. Lessons are priceless ~

Good luck in your job hunting. Hubby has interviews this week, so we shall see ~

christopher said...

Felt 'barfy' but listened...and that's what counts.

Daniel said...

Love this. The analogy is entirely apt. Oh, and the picture spoke to me too.

Baino said...

So cheesy...if I could I would...however, I think by the time you explain it? They already know

Becky Sain said...

So THAT's how it works! ... and I love nachos. Well done Brian -- love the contrast. And also... the barfy.

the walking man said...

Ha ha ha I took the easy way out with my kid, I knew when he was just about to sexually active, trusted he had learned what passes for right and wrong, respect and kindness in a teenager, so when I felt it appropriate I dropped two dozen condoms in front of him and told him I don't condemn or condone anything sexual as long as both partners are for it. But you will use these.

Must have worked, he never gave me any surprise talks.

Tina said...

GREAT analogy. The Engineer has taken each of our boys during their fifth grade year, in October, on a special camping trip. He's not the talkative type, so he's used a program from Family Life called Passport to Purity. Great program - I of course listened to the whole thing. BUT, I have curious kids, and I've always told them I'd answer anything they asked, honestly, but with only enough info for their age. They both knew mechanics and vocabulary, but hearing all the stuff about relationships and how to treat women and what sex is really for came through their Dad. It did open a floodgate of questions in jake, and I'd guess a rather barfy feeling in YellowBoy, who is a very young innocent for his age, while his older brother has always had much older friends. Still though, he'll ask me anything. I'm talking questions that would make his Dad faint. I just answer matter of factly. Works for us.
You're a great Dad, Brian. it's been a pleasure to watch from the side your relationship with your precious family, and with the boys you counsel. Best of luck in the job hunt. Somebody smart should snap you up!
Tina @ Life is Good

mrs mediocrity said...

That made me smile, big. Out of the mouths of babes...

So much info everywhere these days, loved the comparison to the cheesy cheese.

Sorry about the job, but hang in there, the right one is out there waiting for you.

Vodka Mom said...

oh my God I love this.


barfy.


my new favorite word.

DJan said...

That is so good, Brian. I too will begin to use the word barfy, it's so perfect. Nine years old? The world moves on without me...

manicddaily said...

First, best of luck on job search. There is a definite shortage of male counselors and I am sure you are a great one. Then, wonderful poem-- all kinds of milky substances here including that of human kindness. K.

Valerie said...

So pleased you talked to your boy, so many don't bother. Not sure what he meant by barfy. Good luck with future applications, I sincerely hope you find something suitable for your special talents.

ayala said...

Funny what kids learn at school...hubby had the talk with our little one when he came home with stories his friends told him...Good Luck with the job!

Eva Gallant said...

Good luck with the hunt!

Monkey Man said...

good dad....and even better write, amazing in both counts.

best on the job front

JANU said...

Cheesy explanation....thought you had already got the school job. Good luck.

Rachel Hoyt said...

LOL. :) Love the analogy, although I may never look at cheap nachos the same way again...

Claudia said...

not easy to find the right time for the sex talk with the kids.. some say you should wait until they're asking but then it can be they have asked others before they ask the parents and not everything's good what they hear..love how you took the opportunity and i like that you included waiting, sacredness and responsibility..

ecogrrl.net said...

Love it and love the pic. My old flat back in my 20s in seattle had this great view of both Gasworks +the Space Needle .

Job note - I'm a recruiter & career coach by day and have some decent contacts in academia and a company I know who does counseling. Drop me a note and I'd be happy to chat!

She Writes said...

HA! If only that barfy feeling lasted longer than it will :). I love that you had "the talk" with him. He will hear so many things on this topic he will forget them, but your words will linger through the years. And the cheese thing--how perfect.

Gloria said...

Oh dear explain sex to kids is not easy.
Im really open with kids but when I try to explain somr things they say: Mom we know that!!!!
Maybe they think im too much I dont know but I tjink in the age they are think they know all lol!
Today I include in my prays for your hunting by job dear Brian; at night always pray for some special persons.
You are a nice and smart guy Im sure God has a work for you:))

Pauline said...

You're a good papa.

Annmarie Pipa said...

the stuff they hear in school is definitely on the level of that nacho topping...pretty funny! the stuff they teach in school is not too much better...parents are the primary educators of their children.

Pat Hatt said...

Oh it was time for the talk
Well at least you didn't have to illustrate with chalk haha
Interesting comparision too
Sucks the job never came due
Hopefully you find one soon
Or strike out and dance to your own tune

Archna Sharma said...

Wow, if there was any sort of texture or color to use in describing the imitation of intimacy, it would have to be artificial cheese, that's so awesome! :) I'm glad that your little one stopped and asked, doesn't seem like he chewed on those chips for long, smart kid. Our oldest is ten and I didn't imagine having that talk anytime soon, but I guess we are right around the corner, hooray.

Wishing you lots of luck with your job search, as an aid to children seems like a fitting placement for you. :)

LadyCat said...

At that age, girls and the facts of life are icky. At least that's what they tell us. The water park sounds fun on these dog days of summer.
Sending positive thoughts your way on the job search.

LadyCat said...

At that age, girls and the facts of life are icky. At least that's what they tell us. The water park sounds fun on these dog days of summer.
Sending positive thoughts your way on the job search.

Jenny Woolf said...

Very wise poem. It's best, albeit difficult.

Sure hope the job search pays off soon. You have such valuable things to offer.

rosaria williams said...

This is as good an explanation as I ever heard. You are a good papa, and you know just when to set the record straight.

happygirl said...

The talk. congrats. I love the way you threaded it into the cheese. I'm sure that barfy feeling with pass. :)

Susan said...

Brian, Is it crazy to set up your own practice?

On your poem: I'm getting used to taking great leaps with you--from the barfy cheese to "I explained sex
to my nine year old this morning
across the kitchen table" and already
starting to compare (not fake cheese please!) before you kick off the wall back to your comparison. Fantastic and True!!
I wondered how parents counter all the "learning" kids get from friends. If I were your son, I wouldn't even try to share what he heard at home--how do you explain "sacred" there? I'd just smile in those groups and know better--or would I smile at you and know better. Hmmm.

Dana Dampier said...

My oldest has begun asking questions (all basic)already. I'm doing my best to answer them honestly, but the older he's getting the tougher the questions are becoming! I might be asking your opinion very soon!

I love how you used the nacho cheese as a metaphor.

PattiKen said...

Oh, my. When my oldest was ten, and had never asked, a friend told me he'd filled her 10-year-old son in one sex. "And he had it right."

No breath holding required.

Laurie Kolp said...

Those conversations are never easy, but it's best to start early before they start hearing the cheesy stuff (couldn't resist)... had to laugh at his hands "gripping the wood top, tight" reaction and:

he told his mother
it made him feel barfy

I, too, like the cheap pool cheese metaphor.

Thanks for keeping us posted with the job deal... I know you'll find your place soon.

Susan Daniels said...

Brian--I simply just love this, in all its cheesiness and authenticity. I don't think I'd be interested in the nachos at the pool--or the comments of 9-year-olds explaining sex to each other. Glad you had "the talk." Well done. Also wishing you the best in your job search.

Natasha Head said...

Scary when that cheese makes its first official attack on the impressionable minds of our young...you've really got to catch it before it transitions to that sticky brown state...love that you recognized it before it got there...many ignore the warning signs way too long...

Daydreamertoo said...

Ahh... the birds & the bees talk. lol
Chloe knew everything there was to know about sex when she was that age. She even told me ever so adamantly that oral sex was exactly the same as having 'normal sex...it happens the same way..*rolls eyes* LOL
We had to have 'the' talk to try and put in simple terms that she would understand, they were not the same thing at all.
Glad you had a cuppa cawfee in your hand.
Good luck on the job hunt, I just know you're going to find the right one you and those you help, need.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Loved the scope, breadth and subject matter of this piece. The comparisons of schoolyard wisdom to cheeselike foodstuffs is perfectly apt!

Best wishes on the job hunt. You'll find something soon, bro.

moondustwriter said...

that's always a fun conversation to have with children
way to go dad - one down
be the model that's what they remember the most
~blessings

Teri M said...

So good to tell him yourself! AVOID the nachos!! :-)

Mama Zen said...

"I explained sex
to my nine year old this morning
across the kitchen table"

Oh, hell, Brian. I did NOT need to read that.

Good luck with the job search. The need for male counselors cannot be overstated.

Poet Laundry said...

after kids at school filled his mind
with something more akin to the cheese,
growing ever thicker, hardening into inedible
cement on stale tortilla chips
worth all the $2.25 they charge

...so good...a great write, excellent. Love it!

Unknown Mami said...

Being a parent is hard even with coffee.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

I love that photo as well as your poem that goes with it. Kids growing up...losing their innocence. It makes me feel kind of barfy, too! I bet you are a really good dad, Brian. Good luck with your job search. I know it is tough.

lookingforroots said...

Brilliantly done. I love the juxtaposition of the innocence of the kids at play with the explaining going on here.

Very much hoping not to have that conversation with my girl for a while yet...I need more time to think about what needs explaining and how.

David Francis Barker said...

Loved this one Brian, especially 'I explained sex/to my nine year old this morning/across the kitchen table...'
I will have to explain it to my twenty one year old!

darkangelwrites said...

"Barfy" hahaha! My ten year old asked last week. I told her we'd have a talk when she gets back from her Dads. I'm sad to take this step as I know it will change the way she views the world and interacts with males, as it did for me.

Uma said...

I can intercept it many way.And as usual you are a master in your own works...Great!

Fred Rutherford said...

what a fantastically creative simile between the two. I never had to have this conversation with anyone, and don't really look forward to it, but the way you put it, as uncomfortable as it may have been, the idea of learning it proper and not like some nachos at a pool, makes the idea a much more appealing speech. Great write.

Anne said...

Oh I remember these conversations. There was a big difference between what happened when I talked to my son and daughter. My son already knew it all. My daughter knew nothing and was horrified when I told her. But I was told nothing as a child so regardless of how they took it, I knew I had to have the talk.

Linda Kruschke said...

Sounds like you gave some sound advice. Love the comparison to the cheese. Peace, Linda

hedgewitch said...

Sometimes you have to weigh in on the side of reality and chuck the cheese. Straight shooting with kids is always best, I think. Best of luck going forward, bri, and thanks for the help today.

hedgewitch said...

PS I love that pic, too. Goes perfectly cuz that is as much a "park" as those 'nachos' are cheesed.

Kavita said...

Gaaawwdd.. the title made me think of Phelps (whew!).. and then came the TALK! And all I did was try to visualize the look on your son's face :) Barfy, says he? Hmm.. still trying to bring up that look ...
As long as it didn't sound "cheesy" to him, you're good :)
What say?

moonlitpoetic said...

i enjoy the rollercoasting feeling your poems evoke. oh and i especially adore 'using words like sacred & milky liquid'. a smile here, for sure :))thanks!

Heather said...

Loved your comment on my blog! Was thinking the same thing...and that I should have asked you to write something to coordinate with it!
next time!
be back to read all of your new stuff later tonight!

RMP said...

just from the glimpse you gave of this moment, I can imagine it was a very insightful (and yes, I'm sure for a nine year old, barfy) conversation.

@ami said...

Oddly, I think the fact that he felt barfy means you're doing it right.

{Ami}
http://sundrysumthins.wordpress.com/

Andrew Kreider said...

Never an easy task - and rarely comes up at the right time. Way to go in turning it into the right time, however barfy! Love the purity of the ending - somehow very reassuring and innocent.

Beachanny said...

Love the contrast between the cheesiness and the authenticity, tied to a day at the pool where you can see your children play in crystal innocence. Very touching and apt in tone and metaphor. Thanks Brian.

Ginny Brannan said...

I think the questions always come sooner than we, as parents, expect them to. Better we explain to our children in proper context than the crap and fodder they hear at the playground. "Barfy" yeah, that about sums it up for a 9 year old!! Great analogies in this, Brian.

vivinfrance said...

Nobody told me, which led to all kinds of misapprehensions, so I made sure my kids had the right end of the stick.

Your poem has a happy feel about it.

^.^ said...

Good luck, B ... ok, give it one try, if you feel obligated ... then forget about it ... why ... because they already know ... just let them watch your fav movies ... any movies,really ... our kids learn from what we say and live and watch ... and keep in mind that they absorb ... everything ... dirty ... clean ... in between ... plus, don't forget about the good old schhool bus education ...

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

What a good dad! I can almost imagine the look on his face - bless his heart. Wonderful take on real and artificial - wonderful - K

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A very interesting poem. You had me right there with you. I love the way you tie in the pool and the swimming. Beautiful last lines!

Polly said...

I love that you were able to reframe your son's expectations ... funny re the 'barf' comment, yet I'll bet he'll recall your words when he needs to ~ good luck with finding the right job for you Brian :)

Gwen Dubeau said...

I enjoyed this one a lot and I think we can relate to the cheese. I have yet to have that conversation and I hope to be as cool as you were about it. Best to you Brian!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Brain when you least expect it , that teaching job will there. I promise. I will pray for you friend. that not to long you may have good news to tell us.
P.S. that must have been some talk you had with your son. I like how you use milk for words of explaining to him. Good write.

marousia said...

Hahaha, explaining sex to children is precious - barfy is such a typical reaction :) Love all the little details that bring the scene to life - masterful as ever

Geraldine said...

Oh, that must have been a memorable conversation. I can picture you being there with your little one....

As far as the job search, something will come along that's perfect and they will be lucky to have such an intelligent, free-thinker on board.

sending good thoughts your way for a rockin' week!

rallentanda said...

Beats
" the man has to play his part son, now read this book!"
OR
for girls
"It's a frightful business darling but we all have to go through it,just don't expect too much"
PS
My crystal ball says job coming you way.

hoofprintsinmygarden said...

Brian, I love this! You have so accurately captured that awkward barfy conversation. Thanks for the big grin as I read this. Sex and nacho cheese -- so alike -- who would have guessed?!

Aidz Giannini said...

the line "made him feel barfly" was so kewl.

Thoroughly enjoyed the pace and feel....

jackie dick said...

So you did the deed, dad...brave man! Wonderful juxtaposition of the real thing...responsibility and the sacred against the phony cheese..clever...cuz he'
ll probably remember that more than what he learned from his buddies in the school yard. Bravo!

Jennifer Dougan said...

9 years old, wow. Talking to kids about sex and their sexuality is such an important thing, though. Good job for walking into that carefully, and teaching him the joyful, exciting, responsible truths there.

The coffee sounds good too... :)

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Arron Shilling said...

Outstanding Juxtaposistion brian -
such an apt contrast . . .

A sandwiched snatch of truth
to go !!!

I have a feeling, barfy or no, that
your words will stand in good stead

a great write

C Rose said...

What is with that yellow goo anyways ?!?...I adore the sincerity and poignancy you provide of that moment between a father and son and sandwiched in the imagery of the icky cheese, so fitting. Always appreciate your expression Brian ~ Rose

Fragrant Liar said...

Explaining sex to a nine-year-old? Considering the cheese element in this poem, I'm sure there's a hidden entendre there somewhere, or should be! ;-)

Fragrant Liar said...

Good luck, BTW, with the canvasing. I'll cross my fingers for ya.

pandamoniumcat said...

Obviously you can tackle the toughest of problems over the brekky table... so I'm sure you'll find the right job for you very soon... great poem and good luck! :)

pandamoniumcat said...

Obviously you can tackle the toughest of problems over the brekky table... so I'm sure you'll find the right job for you very soon... great poem and good luck! :)

ds said...

That cheese is a great metaphor. You're an excellent dad, giving him the proper nutritional balance...
Have my fingers crossed for you re the job search (yes, there are too few male counselors, particularly of your caliber). Best of luck.

Susie Clevenger said...

Nothing like nacho cheese and explaining sex to a nine year old. Kudos Brian!

Wander said...

Congrats to you man for not avoiding the subject :-)

jen revved said...

Believe me, this will stick with him, lol. But seriously, what a loving poem, such a human moment. At nine I got my parents' copy of Lady Chatterley off the shelf and read it and it made me feel barfy too... I didn't understand why in the world any thinking woman would twine flowers in a man's pubic hair, hah hah! xxxj

jane hewey said...

the cheese! absolutely the best living metaphor for a 9 year old. ya can't make this real life stuff up. better n fiction.

Semaphore said...

Someone already said it... what an amazing metaphor you have made cheese to be - genuine or inauthentic - for not just sex, but for life.

Kamana said...

what a way to approach this subject. maybe i will borrow that metaphor when having that talk with my 10 year old.

me_duress said...

That's one talk I will be glad never to have! The scene is brilliantly brought to life.

me_duress said...

That's one talk I will be glad never to have! The scene is brilliantly brought to life.

irene said...

You do masterly strokes with a scene and a conversation topic. Impressive style, Brian.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

I can definitely remember the sex education lessons from young friends. It's a good thing I didn't listen! I never got "the talk" from either parent, just figured things out the natural way. The only sex talk I ever got from my dad (more of a warning) was, "If you're gonna do it, make sure it's with someone you want to look across the breakfast table at every morning."
Another fine write, Brian.
Hang tough on the job thing; the right one is there waiting for you to come get it.

Steve King said...

This is a wonderful snapshot...

Wolfsrosebud said...

aw... sweet and so much more powerful than hearing it from the kids at school

anglachel27 said...

An interesting juxtaposition, uncovering what's real from the artificial muck. A bit of parental tension I'll face when my own is older.
Gene

Nancy said...

Excellent post! You are a good father, Brian.

Steve E said...

There is only one image I conjure from those two words--*sex and *kitchen table--and it certainly doesn't (didn't) involve a
nine-year-old--grin!

My parents--both of the poultry genre--believed I would learn all there is to know from observation of the bulls with the heifers. Did I learn? NO!

But I did learn something on the kitchen table--NEVER to try that circus stunt again LOL!

PEACE!

Do U live in Richmond? Email fiddlemn@gmail.com.

joanna said...

love the way you compare the kids-at-school version of sex to the fake cheese on the nachos-- priceless!

good luck on the job canvasing-- fingers crossed for you.

flaubert said...

Brian, I always love your "slice of life" poems. Nice one.

Pamela

Leo said...

I've often wondered about those nachos or fries...

Myrna R. said...

So cute, your explanation of sex to your nine year old. Nice to fill him with some truth to counter the fake cheese.

Good luck with your job hunting. Know how stressful that can be. Wish I could give you a reference and tell prospective employers what an asset you are, how creative and innovative you are. But you tell them okay?

farmlady said...

Priceless!

poetryinverse said...

Wow! An unlikely comparison but you deliver it exceptionally well! Well done!

Stephanie said...

Your conversation may have made your son feel "barfy" ( a word I adore lol) but am so glad to hear real mean are talking to their boys.
PS Best of luck on the job hunt!

sheila said...

I will never look at nacho cheese the same again - lol. Had the sex talk with my oldest around that age, too, after we saw that she googled the question "how do you have sex?" YIKES!

Hope the job hunting ends for you soon. And I am not sure if you got my message about those lyrics I sent you back in May. I always respond to your comments on my blog by sending you an email since I know that you aren't on wordpress to see them, but then I recently realized you use different email addresses, so I thought maybe I sent it to the wrong one.

Anyway, take care, and thanks for all you do at the pub. I didn't link up this week, but I always stop by to see who is hosting and scan through the comments.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

My son at six told me the details of how it all works. As he is deeply in love again I must have painted in the rest correctly!

Magpie said...

Barfy...love it! I'm glad you're there to guide them along with your lovely wife to see the way a relationship can and should be.

flipside records said...

Oh Brian, you've just horrified me and cracked me up at the same time. My daughter is 9 and we've yet to have the talk.

I love this line: "using words like sacred & milky liquid"

Seriously, so hilarious. How you could connect nacho cheese and sex ... but you did it, framed beautifully. You are masterful.

Syd said...

Hope that a job will work out. Having that talk with your boy is a good thing. I smiled at his take on it.

SaraV said...

Brian, great analogy the fake cheese and fake info--absolutely loved that phrase "barfy" I'm sure that you did a great job :-)

Jennifer Dougan said...

Brian,

Yes, I understand that... the times my messages have been hard to hear, hard to receive, hard to do -- for myself too-- I admit my stomach tumbles inside and I wonder at the response. But if he tells me to speak, I'm trying to obey. :)

Keep speaking and word-crafting, Brian. It's often convicting, and/or encouraging.

School jobs, counseling... keep us posted!

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

turtlememoir said...

love the analogy, brian, and i'm glad kids still ask their parents, rather than just believing whatever they're fed by their peers... ah, and i'm even happier when parents are forthright in their responses

Goofball said...

at the age of nine it might make him feel barfy...hope your message sticks around though for later. Thanks for not sharing artificial cheese with him!

Tara Miller said...

Good job love, on your talk and on this write. Your words of sacred and how to treat a woman will resonate with him and be ingrained in his heart and mind. I'm glad you were able to share this special time with him and know it will mean more to him as he grows into a man and looks back on that day. Love you! One down...one more to go!!!

I'm really glad he thought it was barfy and hope it stays that way for a loooonnnnnggg time!

Alice Audrey said...

It hits early. I had to do it a dozen times before my kids decided they knew it all. I'm wishing I'd stressed the waiting part a bit more.

Margaret said...

Just had me laughing! Oh, we have six kids and "the talk" is different each time. (not that we say anything different, but each kid is different :) Didn't know you were out of a job... or are you looking for a new one. Well, hopefully someone will snatch you up quickly as you are quite a find.

adan said...

there ain't much better way of broaching it ;-)

Zuzana said...

I guess I got my my answer to the job hunt here.;)
So you had that father to son conversation.;)
I agree with you on the image. It is haunting and interesting; it is beautiful and simultaneously disturbing.
xoxo

Megan Willome said...

I remember those days! I love how you linked it to food. That works on several levels.

Stafford Ray said...

You should be a counsellor! :-)
I always feel the depth of your understanding and appreciate your honesty. You have lucky kids.