Saturday, November 24, 2012

Poetics: Preparation H (for the daughter I never had)

errrr....

They say Preparation H will heal
scars & help your face,

sounds like a joke, but you'd be surprised
what people will try to fix what's been given,
my nose for instance, a broke down cadillac
in my internal peripheral, mental superhighway

what can i say. it's the first thing in
when the fists start flying--though that's been
a while, i'm thick---imagine all the hemorrhoid
cream they'd sell if that got out

(i should say, doctors don't recommend it
a disclaimer for those willing or praying
for something to help the mirror present
a better picture)

'Beauty is unbearable and drives us to despair,'
Camus, you don't know how right you were
scribbling that in your notebook,

we set the bar high & dream, all the while be-little-
ing our self, worth like hamburger on the back
of the meat grinder-my nose, your mole, lips,
wide hips, no tits, cheeks, gut, flat butt, or bubble,
ears like Mickey Mouse, SCream

'Who would want this?'

run hands down our body and resort to putting ass cream
on our face despite the risks---and if, and if
i could find the ones that taught babies they're ugly
i'd throttle 'em & lead with my nose cause i don't
give a damn & won't get cheesy saying
'we're all beautiful', maybe we're just all equal-
ly ugly in buying the lie

how we look, makes us worth-less,
love-less, and
             STOP this
clearance sale of selling ourselves cheap
if for no other reason, then the sake of our children
cause what you reap you will sow and another
generation---then reap
                            

Over at dVerse Poets today, Mary has us all in 'preparation' mode for Poetics and I jokingly told her early in the week I was going to do something completely different with the word 'preparation'...hehe...but don't worry, this prompt won't be a pain in the butt to write about. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

83 comments:

Mary said...

One

Grace said...

Your title post made me think what if Brian had a daughter...smiles ~

That line from Camus got me, indeed everything seems to be skin deep nowadays. And the things that leave us with scars and broken noses, give us character, and yes beauty too.

Happy Saturday ~

Mary said...

Haha, Brian. I was prepared for your poem, wondering what you would be doing with Preparation H. Smile.

And I do agree that looks don't make a person worth more or worth less than the next person. And parents and society need to push that message strongly with children from the time they are young.....as they prepare them to be adults in this world. .

Kamana said...

the thing with having children is that they take the focus of everything else in your life. even something like a regular beauty routine (or lack thereof) makes you think of how the children would take it and the impact it would have on them.

Manicddaily said...

Ha! Brian - your nose is fine!

Glad not to know what goes on faces!

Agh. Could not agree more with your message which is funny and powerful. Have a great day! k.

RMP said...

I don't know that throttling is necessarily the correct answer–although it's hard to look down your nose at someone when it's broken.

Though it might be a start, changing such a perspective would go well beyond targeting those who "determine" beautiful and ugly...

"her beauty faded
—as too often is the case—
when her looks began to shine"

farawayinthesunshine said...

After so many years, I have come to think it's the inside that really matters...What I was told as a child does not matter anymore...It has made me stronger :-)
Nowadays beauty is just another big $ industry and having us thinking we're ugly is the only way beauty products (preparation H?...) can sell
You are right we need to break this cycle

Pat Hatt said...

So nosey as well as a gawker?
Might end up with a walker haha
But yeah thanks to the media crap
All have to take the plastic lap
Fixing this and that
Nuts to the cat
Could Prepare with H away
That would be funny if they believed it at your bay
But yeah so much is skin deep
It seems at many a keep

sage said...

Like others, the title made me curious... Interesting lines, Brian.

Cheryl said...

Powerfully true and I've never quite understood why so many go to such lengths to hide their character.

Brian Miller said...

RMP...yeah i know throttling is not the answer...much more a peaceful warrior these days...went that route to accentuate the anger or frustration at the superficial...and those that perpetuate it...

JANU said...

Putting ass cream on face....LOL, someone should really do that. Well, we have '18 Again' gel in India...feminity restoring cream. All girls want is to lose their virginity...who wants it restored!!!
Loved your poem...it is a wake up call, yet cosmetic industry is thriving all over the world.

Laurie Kolp said...

Only you ccould make preparation into Preparation H and still wow... I agree, too much emphasis on looks. My middle child broke his nose when he was little, and now it's like a magnet for accidents.

Grandmother said...

I read a (serious) suggestion to use preparation H under your eyes for baggy eyes from not getting enough sleep. I worked on a psych unit for teenage girls and saw the damage that can be done when we emphasize looks and size to the exclusion of character. So I liked your message here!

Daniel said...

I can feel you bubbling over with righteous anger right before my eyes. Powerful message and right on the mark my brother.

California Girl said...

That Camus quote sure strikes home.

Ass cream won't help now.

The Empress said...

"ass cream on our faces."

And people have resorted to even death.

To please whom???

Clever what you did with Preparation prompt. WAY TO GO. Love that.

James Rainsford said...

Brilliant Brian. When they changed the design of my usual toothpaste I nearly cleaned my teeth with Preparation H. Only nearly though!
;-)

Eva Gallant said...

wow that is so true! I hate when I see women on talk shows saying their daughters need to lose weight or have plastic surgery! They need to be taught to love themselves...especially at that age!

LadyCat said...

Beauty is fleeting, so better have more than that to pin our identities to in our aging years. Otherwise we will end up like the elderly ladies with bleach blond, long hair and a pulled "too" tight face. It's hard to smile with your face lifted so high and tucked so tight.
Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we can't change the beholder's eye. But our inner eye needs to stay 20/20.

Alice Audrey said...

I was blessed with elders who believed elegance was better than beauty. Elegance is learned, and lasts a lifetime.

Rebecca S. said...

Well done, Brian. A great ranting poem. Maybe we should all realize the truth of what you say about what the real ugliness is: the pervasive lies about 'beauty'. Your poem made me think of poor Michael Jackson, so it's not just for daughters :)
A good one to follow Black Friday, too!

tera said...

"...ass cream on our faces" reminds me of when Geraldo Rivera had the fat removed from his butt and injected into his wrinkly forhead - a true "butt head"!

I agree, it is sad that we are so obsessed with beauty and perfection. I think that's why I like British tv, they seem less worried about that.

Annmarie Pipa said...

as Ecclesiastes explains...all is vanity...
trying to teach my kids beauty is what is inside a person is a difficult concept to accept in todays culture..
worse for girls...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so love this! I was cheering all the way through. We so need to make children know how special and valued they are - so they can have lives of worth, not always feeling "not enough". Great lesson here, Brian. LOVE your response to the prompt! You rock.

Maggie May said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Pity that the media concentrates on outer beauty instead of the inner.
That cream looks menacing!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Heaven said...

Brian, I can't seem to link up to D'verse Linky nor are my comments showing up in WP ~ Can you please linked me up: http://a-sweetlust.blogspot.ca/2012/11/preparing-to-fall.html

Thanks ~

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

You addressed a serious subject here Brian but with your own unique preparation H(umor) - love the image of you flying in nose first! A great write and entertaining as always.

Ash said...

This is wonderful...absolutely wonderful!

Daydreamertoo said...

I couldn't agree more. Only you could come up with something that is for a PITA )pain in the ass) and liken it to using on a face...lol
So sad so many young people see the only solution to beauty is by paying a fortune in cosmetics of even plastic surgery. If only kids weren't taught by some parents and much media that beauty is what counts or else you won't fit in with the in crowd.
I think your nose suits you. :)

Reggie said...

Excellent excellent post.

Natasha Head said...

We all dis the vessel we've been delivered in. We've been trained to. Small minds belittle the physical and precious hearts must carry that weight. They tell me tooth paste works just as well as the PrepH...but I'm not confessing anything here...I wasn't aware I had issues...until others were kind enough to point them out ;) No soapboxing...just biting my tongue!

Therin Knite said...

"how we look, makes us worth-less,
love-less, and
STOP this"

My favorite part, right there. Another great write, as usual!

Behind the Smile said...

So true Brian! Just today I glanced in the mirror and decided to not look again-the affliction of feeling ugly but sometimes it is what is inside that feels ugly to. I laughed though, your poem is brilliant. Smiles.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Warts & all, folks. After all what's a little midriff bulge between friends. Love what you did with this piece, Brian, started off with farce, and then shifted to existentialism on route to women's rights, throwing in teenage angst, fisticuffs, and your beautifully unique snot locker. Your poetry is like finding 10 kinds of apples on one tree, with thorns in the pudding.

Katherine said...

I read this post Brian & the words Hear! Hear! left my slightly wrinkled & faded lips.(accompanied by a nod of approval)
I'm with you on this and I agree with LadyCat that "Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder" .. and it most definately goes deeper than the skin. It permeates right down to the bones, it's burnt into the soul & it lives in the words we speak or write. I know I will be welcoming the lines to my face...there is no way that I will ever inject chicken bacteria (botox) into my lips.

Tracie Skarbo said...

It is sad that there is such emphasis on outward appearances in our society. We should be looking to the person within and nurturing confidence and strength from that aspect. Preparation H was a brilliant slant.

jasmine said...

This is so good, Brian! I love this section:

"the while be-little-
ing our self, worth like hamburger on the back
of the meat grinder-my nose, your mole, lips,
wide hips, no tits, cheeks, gut, flat butt, or bubble,"

And also the ending. Well done.

Susan Daniels said...

Wow, Brian, this hits strong. You have so much to say on this, and all of it powerful. Thanks for pointing out to what ridiculous lengths we will go for beauty--all the way to the ass cream, and what our behavior teaches our children.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Spoken like a man. lol

Anna Montgomery said...

This one really resonated with me, she would be very fortunate.

hiroshimem.com said...

At first I was wondering what the link between Preparation H and your non-existent daughter was... and it got clearer and clearer as I read your poem. I like how you turned it into a reflection on beauty... Great insights in there. Thank you!

Anders Woje Ellingsen said...

'Beauty is unbearable and drives us to despair,'

I don't understand why. Or is it because you must be nice to be pretty?

darkangelwrites said...

I do have a daughter Brian and its hard to fight Barbie and Disney stereo types. Thank heaven for songs like "Brown Eyed Girl". That one did wonders :)

Betsy Brock said...

brilliantly written...totally agree...and one hateful criticism sticks with you more than a million complements.

jane hewey said...

wily angle here, Brian. and you manage to bring it all back home by the finish. quite nice.

ladyfi said...

Putting ass cream on our faces!? I hope that we can resist such pressures from media and people.

As the mother of a daughter, I focus everyday on the inner beauty and of enhancing my daughter's self worth.

Very nicely written.

Claudia said...

think i need to go an buy a tube of preparartin h...smiles.nah..just kidding...it's weird the beauty and body cult we have and i really always try to tell my kids how beautiful they are and that there is no need for perfection. love that camus quote as well..i so prefer imperfection to perfection...

Polly said...

What a great way to get a message across, Brian. Good write.

Valerie said...

The cosmetic industry has a lot to answer for, and I could (but I won't) write a book about it. If I did it would include a chapter about mothers who primp up their daughters and lead them into beauty queen situations. Once I saw a photograph of an ageing lady whose face was HEAVY with wrinkles. She was beautiful. I hope I get enough wrinkles to make me so!

Sabio Lantz said...

I had not heard of preparation H used on the face.
But then, one, my face is fine, two, I haven't used those sort of preps. So I did some looking:

Preparation H may contain:

(1) hydrocortisone: good anti-inflammatory but thins skin at high concentrations.

(2) phenylephrine: a blood vessel constrictor. Used to counter the affects of Viagra, or in this case, shrink hemorrhoids.

(3) pramoxine: topical anesthetic. Stops the itch temporarily.

It is a myth that it is good for puffy eyes, getting rid of wrinkle and scars.

Interesting rant based on an ass cream. Thanx

Dave King said...

Sure Camus was right, and maybe pure beauty say to us that something's missing, maybe it needs just a few smithereens of ugliness to bring out the beauty the way salt does the taste. This write spoke volumes to me.

the walking man said...

Uh yeah will prep h help me. i have been told i look like the south end of a long tailed dog headed north, For years i thought that was a compliment...you know I still am not sure it isn't.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Well said, Brian! Reminds me of a line in Desiderata (sp). "Do not compare yourself to others, for you will become vain and bitter".
I was terribly self-coscious about my looks for a long time, then said hell with em; this is me, and I'm good with it.

A Cuban In London said...

Well, you certainly have excelled as usual. I loved the change in tone. There's more urgency in your poem. And a great no-nonsense approach (run hands down our body and resort to putting ass cream
on our face despite the risks. I loved this!). Many thanks.

As chance would have it, I have also posed a challenge for poets and poetry lovers on my blog. I hope you join in, too.

Greetings from London.

Leovi said...

Very interesting ... But in our society is what sells beauty and succeeds.

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, really liked this one.;) You hinted at the universal truth about beauty.;) It has many shapes, and the true beauty lies deep within, hidden from sight. Yet the superficial beauty can indeed drive us insane if we let it.;)
Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving dear friend and are enjoying a laid back Sunday with your family.;)
xoxox

I do, I do. said...

How do you manage writing such posts? Amazing!

annell said...

Yes, I believe you have hit upon something. Wonder why we cannot see how beautiful we are? I stand in awe.

Luke Prater said...

hehe! I'm sorry but I was laughing out loud reading this... intended I'm sure.. very funny and a great rhythm train you get us on with the semi-rap ('soft-core rant) vibe, all that internal rhyme, etc. Great stuff, brudder. Er, I'd avoid using that cream anywhere but...

happygirl said...

Fortunately you're a dad to sons. Btw, you only want to use this stuff on your face if it's a new tube. Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Lisa said...

I blew up the picture and broke into a LOL :) Didn't realise you are this funny, but the message is serious. But, but, I just came back from a make up class, I guess I learned to make beautiful more beautiful :)

John (@bookdreamer) said...

I being of a certain age find it 'odd' when my son and his friends who live with us - all being in their 20's are happy to borrow and wear each others clothes and 'make -up' ( aftershave, deodorant and skin protector...) in a totally unconscious way. In my day aftershave was as far as it got and never borrowed! But then we had a bath a week whether we needed it or not - it was a flannel wash and fluff the rest of the week whereas they have two showers a day! Interestingly my son and his straight friend spend more time preening then their gay friend, Shakes head and forgets that he wore nail vanish and permed hair in glam rock days.

Raven said...

Now young man. Haha. This was very good, really well done. And of course you are right about all that you say. But to many women including myself, how I look is important to me and how I feel. But I do not change things that are a part of me. I am mainly speaking of getting up in the AM and making the most of what I have and not going out like a slob.

Tina said...

Great write. My boys and I have many a conversation about what a person IS, because it certainly isn't the "suit" we've been given. I've made no secret of my own struggles, and though they don't get it yet, I have managed to take "fat" and "ugly" and "stupid" out of their vocabulary. It's hard though in today's beauty at any cost society to make honesty, integrity, work ethic and dependability ideals to strive for, and look for, in a friend.
Tina @ Life is Good
http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/

Victoria said...

Of course, if you try this for bags under your eyes, you'll smell like cod liver oil! I'll stick to cucumber slices. Fun, but with a great message.

ayala said...

Funny :) true how so many go through anything to look younger, be thinner and feel beautiful....when all along if they accept who they are they would shine. :)

SaraV said...

Oh Brian, this is just perfect--what a point of take off! We do need to practice so much more acceptance, it's getting out of hand...great poem :-)

Susan said...

"If for no other reason, then the sake of our children
cause what you reap you will sow and another
generation---then reap"

Well, yes and no--They'll experiment no matter what we do, but they will start later depend on what is valued at home. I find this prose poem so very funny, partly because my Mom just told me that Prep H is great for relieving the pain of varicose veins--but then, in a way, that is what it is for. The legs are just a different location for the same problem.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

the title cracked me up! but it is sad what people will do for "beauty" and it certainly should not be what matters! i agree with you wholeheartedly!

great write, as always!!!

Lady In Read said...

I loved how you used the prompt.. and how brilliantly you delivered a truth that needs to be said more often..:)

Fred Rutherford said...

hahaha, how funny how minds think similarly. When you sent the theme out as Preparation, H was the first thing to come to mind. Love the weaving here. As for the wounds, it is odd what people will use, I just saw a movie the other day, can't remember which one, but they used glue to seal a wound. Great metaphoric properties in here. Love this. Thanks

Rashmi said...

Wonderful use of prompt but so very true.You have said a most serious subject in a beautiful way..

SueAnn Lommler said...

Love the tongue in cheek form of this piece. So cool!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lorraine said...

First I'm standing up an applauding I'm sure God cares more about my being kind to people than the size of my butt...
So, I say right on, still I have to say you're very handsome, sorry

Anonymous said...

I never knew that Camus put arse cream on his face. Geez those frogs are so weird:)

Rallentanda

dsnake1 said...

cool poem, Brian.

ads for slimming and beauty related products take up most of the space in the newspapers/mags over here.

Chris Lawrence said...

Always preserve all that is you especially for the next generation everyone is valuable and i guess some people do not see it. Love what you did with this my friend

Lydia said...

This is absolutely wonderful, Brian. I hope many daughters out there will benefit from this poem.

daydreamerdreams said...

Awesome poem Brian! Your words are so true! I remember old wives tales my grandmother used to tell me, saying to get rid of acne, put a baby's wet diaper on your face! Eeew! The stories and remedies our parents gave us are the ones we blindly give our children at times.

lori mcclure said...

Me and the ladies in my family were talking about this over the holiday. It's hard because as women age they are not seen in the same light as aging men. Men are seen as distinguished as they age. I'm not usually one to pull out the gender thing, but in this one area, I think it's true that aging is harder for the woman than the man. I suppose it's all about perspective though, and I work hard with my daughter to make sure outer beauty is not the emphasis. It's a crazy world. Sorry for the rant, lol

Syd said...

Asscream on my face. I don't think so. Gotta love your take on this.

Sue said...

Boy am I ever on your page with this one.

It's outta control.

=)