Sunday, August 5, 2012

Magpie Tales: dinner conversation

John Singer Sargent (via Magpie Tales)
'do you remember when---'

begins my least favorite conversations
like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written.

this is impotence to a writer.

there comes a point they stop waiting
for the next & tire of hearing
of the last----

stories don't write themselves
& blaming the muse

is like telling your lover you lack
the energy, your hair is wet or----

any other convenient excuse

'but you don't understand...'

no really, i do,
can you

pass the rolls please,
i can butter my own.

written for Magpie Tales

93 comments:

kaykuala said...

On top #1

Hank

Kathe W. said...

excellent! I agree-except when I was a kid I did love hearing the family history from my older relatives!

kaykuala said...

It's like playing the old record again. May cause you to lose your appetite! Nice write, Brian!

Hank

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL...I agree.
"Not tonight Josephine, I have a headache' As Napoleon was once said to have uttered.
Pass the butter and stop with the excuses.
LOL
A very fun read ;)

Daniel said...

I love this piece. It speaks to me on several levels. Bravo! Do you remember when we started our blogs? (smiles)

DCW said...

"memories of a history no longer being written"

I like that.

Gloria said...

I love this; love memories; sounds lovely;)

JANU said...

this is impotence to a writer...some things are more interesting than repeated memories. But, I used to love them.

zongrik said...

i don't know, she looks like the kind of woman who would ask for the margarine.

Mary said...

Hmm, I like those "do you remember when" conversations and wish now I had written some things down that older relatives reminisced about. Not dating only sharing memories, but I've never benn one to mind this.

Anne said...

This has a definite European flair to it Brian and I'm reminded of Napoleons comment to Josephine as well.

Sue said...

We do need to keep writing our own stories (love and otherwise). It's all on us.

And besides, who else is gonna get the job done?

;)

Catfish Tales said...

...and jam is always nice on that roll too. :)

Monkey Man said...

I have my moments that "history lessons" from an aunt or some other relative keeps my interest...but then I have days that all I want is to be here,right now, not looking back just basking in the moment :)

DJan said...

I enjoy "remember when" with my family members, but that's about it. Yeah, you're right: I've still got a bit of living to do, so I'll concentrate on the Here and Now.

Pat Hatt said...

Do you remember the time you used gas
And even ass
Over at my place
Wait! That comes at a steady pace.
Sometimes thinking back can be fun
But doing it over and over a ton
And all you have to talk about is the past
Makes me want to run away fast

Other Mary said...

Oh, lots going on here Brian. Excellent piece.

Claudia said...

oh heck...i have a "do you remember--" in my last poem and in one i've written today..so already starting to feel impotent but then..i never blame the muse and i never excuse myself with wet hair..so...smiles..can you pass the rolls please...smiles

She Writes said...

Wow, Brian. I have a feeling, as I often do, there is much below the surface of this write. And for those of us who write, writing IS a lover, or a mistress at the very least.
Almost a thread of anger lies in quiet tones upon this table. I want to mix the stanzas up:


is like telling your lover you lack
the energy, your hair is wet or----


there comes a point they stop waiting
for the next & tire of hearing
of the last----

I read this multiple times. As good writing draws one to do.

Linda said...

The picture is of old and dry images, like the conversation and the relationship. The rolls on the other hand are fresh and hot, melting the butter.... such a nice contrast here.
Wonderful work, Brian. Thank you for sharing.

hedgewitch said...

Every picture tells a story--but this one is a bit revolting--I love your very real and constructive response to something totally manufactured and artificial. The old jokes are the best jokes, except when they're not. Roll on, my friend, roll on.

Heaven said...

"impotence to a writer" - you got to have the heart and energy to do this every single time, and not blame the muse....nice tale Brian ~

Happy Sunday ~

Gerry Snape said...

that last line says it all....I can butter my own. Great one this Thankyou Brian!

Dana Dampier said...

After a short vacation I do believe my muse is back. I guess everyone needs a break sometimes!

I do believe we need to stop with the excuses and move on with life.

Gail said...

Fantastic as usual!

Somehow I got my wires crossed and wrote about a drummer. I need new glasses!!!

Susan said...

I just howled with laughter and promised myself to do twenty "do you remember when poems" in a row just to show you how cool it can be to have a shared history!

But that is not what this poem is about, is it? There she sits, the part of you who gloats over past achievements and then dreams about things not yet done WHEN you should be getting up off your ass and getting to work instead . . . go ahead! Make some new memories and poems instead of visiting, butter your rolls later.

Christine said...

just had friends out for the weekend, and did ALOT of do you remember when...I really don't...some memories are better left, there...nice one.

izzy said...

" ...of a history no longer being written" That created a flash of
dread and warning- Very weighty...
(We have a thunderstorm crashing around here-)summer storms quite
sturdy in nature- thanks.

Stafford Ray said...

I like how you read the body language and of course, you wrote it up couched in excellent poetry.
However, I think you misinterpreted what he meant by; "How about a roll?"

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

I hope we never tire of history, hearing about it, or writing it. and yes a muse is like a love one. i enjoy this more lighter worker of yours Brian .

SueAnn Lommler said...

I will take jam with mine. I so love the old stories and odes!
Do tell dear friend...well done
Hugs
SueAnn

Irish Gumbo said...

Bam. Pow. They certainly do not write themselves, good sir. This really resonated with me. And I love that last couplet.

ecogrrl.net said...

ooh, sassy last lines. dig it.

Kutamun said...

Ah very sad, indeed , losing contact with the muse like a marriage that is over, thats why i do what she tells me, and take out the trash . When she is in season, things are hunky dorey , and other times, it can be quite boring.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Jaded, and "...thank you very much...." Who hasn't had this happen is a lucky one....!

Fragrant Liar said...

Yes, this occurs a lot at family reunions.

Wander said...

Brian...I thought it was better if the hair was a bit wet?

I could read a bit of frustration here...

Hope all is well with you, also still think portland would be a cool place for you to work from...

Smiles

Magpie said...

The wonderful thing about the oral history of a family...it's being added to all the time. And soon, we're the ones walking uphill, in the snow both ways to school. :)

Leovi said...

The stories are not written into oblivion, in limbo time.

Raven said...

And I have reached the stage in life where I am repeating myself ... I like it!

Marie Nicole said...

Do you remember when... in my family that is always an overture to shared laughters and more wine glasses being filled.

BUT your comparison to the lack of metaphor and lover's wet hair - sheer poetry.

adan said...

hey, where's part 2! ;-)

kidding aside, this felt like slipping open a good book and hitting a really good chapter and saying, yeah! gonna read the whole thing!

so, how 'bout some more of this story ;-)

Ravenblack said...

Hanging out with old friends start getting tiresome when all we can talk is about is what happened in the past. I experienced this with friends I used to be close with in school. It's sort of like trying to hang on using threads of the past when there's no longer anything in common to bond with at present.

Like how you make this a metaphor related to writing and ideas. The staleness that may come from always drawing from past.

cloudia charters said...

butter my own. . . .



Wishing You a Sweet Week
with Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
<(-'.'-)>

> < } } ( ° >

irene said...

Like that ending..that that this is really about writing, Brian. Bravo!

PattiKen said...

But sometimes it IS the muse's fault. No, really.

insanebloom said...

haha!!! love it!

ipenka said...

Its an interesting thing when I meeet up with my old college buddies.

We have plenty to reminisce about and since I've only been out a few years it doesn't get old.

The good thing is though everyone is developing new stories in life.
I could see how it would be bad if people didn't move forward in life.

ladyfi said...

So true! Nice piece of writing.

flipside records said...

"like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written" ... This is thought-provoking, Brian.

And I love your ending: "pass the rolls please,
i can butter my own."

I always enjoy a short poem, and for you ... this is tiny! :) But it really punches.

ninotaziz said...

Oh so true, Brian. And yet at alumni dinners, this is all we can do?

Cheers!

Lorraine said...

Impotence to the writer, gosh you're brilliant

Valerie said...

The older you get, the worse it gets...lol. Enjoyed this immensely, Brian, it makes me think on.......

Dave King said...

Oh, that final couplet is so delicious. Wonderful!

Tara Miller said...

Guilty as charged!! Memories are special and enjoyed most when shared with others. I do enjoy sharing stories and reminescing as much as I enjoy dreaming about the future. Sorry, love, if I do this a bit too much...

Keep writing!! :)

Ginny Brannan said...

Not good to wallow in the past or you'll miss the present! Excellent take on the prompt, Brian.

ayala said...

I love this...love to talk about the memories even while making new ones..can't help it. :)

Sue J said...

I sometimes like to reminisce. It often gives rise to a great deal of laughter. Remembering isn't always about regrets or sadness or regurgitating the boring. It's best done with someone who shared the experience though.

Mama Zen said...

I love the truth of this!

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

Hi! Brian...Tks, for sharing...John Singer Sargent (via Magpie Tales)

'do you remember when---'
begins my least favorite conversations
like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written...

...and your [very] poetic words, speak volumes and ring so [very] true...too!
[By the way, I like when do you remember when begins a conversation...Because I always find that question to be [very]bitter-sweet!]

deedee :)
[I hope that you, and your readers, have a great week-ahead!]

The Empress said...

I like to think of all the surprises coming up. They do, every year...things I can't even imagine.

Thanks for the tickle that brought this excitement back today.

Poet Laundry said...

begins my least favorite conversations
like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written.


...sagely penned Brian. I like the way you have captured and interpreted this. Good write!

flaubert said...

Brian, so much truth in this piece. Sometimes memories are best forgotten. Nice writing.

Pamela

happygirl said...

I actually like stories that begin, do you remember... Maybe because it is getting more and more difficult to do so. :)

Betsy Brock said...

aww...I love the reminiscing!

Mrsupole said...

I love to remember the past if it is of good times or if it is with someone no longer with us.

The one thing about why we should try to remember the past is because "History always repeats." and hopefully lessons are learned and we do not make the same mistake twice.

Here's wishing you luck at the school.

God bless.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

A bit of truth there!

Fred Rutherford said...

excellent piece. Completely agree. Love the return to the meal at the end, in one line you encapsulate the piece itself, add depth and refine the overall setting. Great piece. Thanks

Lyn said...

Blaming the muse..you mean that's not valid? ha...Brilliant...must change my pattern!!

Susie Clevenger said...

there comes a point they stop waiting
for the next & tire of hearing
of the last---I have sat through these conversations. They dine on what was and never ask for the dessert of what might be...great piece!!

Okie said...

Very good. I love the language in this one. I can certainly relate to the impotency of these situations. :)

tera said...

Yes, but we'd be nothing without our history, eh? :)

(Although I have heard my hub's family's stories like a thousand times each... !)

Tess Kincaid said...

But it's so easy to blame the muse...I really like the wrap of the last line...

Unknown Mami said...

I like this one very much. "Do you remember when" we met and didn't used to talk about our shared past, but instead built a present that led to a future? I mean not you and me personally, but you know what I mean.

Bee's Blog said...

"Ah yes I remember it well" Just a one liner!! Laughing...........Hermione Gingold and Maurice Chevalier!

Some things about you and your formative years, (I use the term loosely!), mothers and friends should not tell your children!

Laurie Kolp said...

I just love this, Brian... especially the first 4 lines.

farmlady said...

This poem got under my skin. Like people living "...lives of quiet desperation". It seems sad and unforgiving.

Janice said...

Those opening lines really hit me, such truth there.

Sorry you didn't have better news today. Carry on with the business of creating your history. I hope good fortune is right around the corner.

Little Nell said...

I loved this. You captured the mood of the weary listener perfectly. The rolls at the end say it all!

Sandi McBride said...

as always I came for the poetry and stayed for the conversation...you're quite something Brian...
Sandi

PammyMcB said...

Wonderful take on the painting. There are far too many people who stop living long before they cease to exist. They get stuck in the past and survive off of pure memories and saunter through their day to day existence. Thanks for reminding us to make new memories and continuing our own histories.

Archna Sharma said...

In this narrow space, you've stretched the mood far with a draining lack of passion. Whether it be of romance or writing, there is no growth in dancing around, waiting for hair to dry or pinning it on the muse. Thanks for this interesting thought, maybe a rapture of strong emotions will come from an infertile scare.

TheDhjax said...

like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written.


And memories are powerful bookmarks, mementoes that are all we can take away at the end of it all.. Brilliantly done!

turtlememoir said...

with some people this seems the only conversation possible (beyond weather) - as if the ability to remember somehow validates the self... but watch out if you happen to remember the particular 'when' differently ;)

Karen S. said...

Okay I confess, I so enjoy wet hair, especially mine! As for buttering my own bread, now that depends who is offering of course! I really enjoyed this! For me it felt like I was taking in a conversation that I wasn't meant to hear, and just couldn't walk away, until I knew what they would do! Very cool!

daydreamerdreams said...

I love it! So many excuses... sometimes you just smile and nod!

Helen said...

... 'memories of a history no longer being written' ~ I found this line most fascinating. I put my sister on a plane back to Ohio earlier this afternoon. We hadn't visited in person for almost two years. We had an incredible two weeks together. Visiting old memories was an important part of her visit ~ I believe we also wrote new history.

Myrna R. said...

You're so darn honest. Now I have no excuse but to butter my own rolls, write what I must and the muse - well, she's got to get with the program.

Goofball said...

she does look very bored & annoyed indeed

Syd said...

I have to wash my cat is one of my favorite excuses.

Tumblewords: said...

Stellar piece - perfect ending!

Margaret said...

Perfect! This painting just seems so... well, just as you wrote it! and tying it into creativity ... ingenious.

jane.healy said...

We used to call them "Whenwes" Lovely response to the prompt