Saturday, May 17, 2008

eliminating the middle man

Last weekend I was in Portland hanging out with an old college friend when a thought occured to me: our mouths make a mess of communicating our thoughts a lot of times. Our brains send too much information to our mouths and then when we speak, incompletely at best, we have to hope that the fragments we have strung together into words will be translated accurately into the mind of our listeners.

Then, unbidden, an alarmingly silly mental image popped into my head: two people sitting across a table, silent, pleasant and vacant - between them on the table sat their brains, communicating completely without the problem of miscommunication.

Here's how it turned out...

Eliminating the Middle Man
by Joann Renee

The dinner rush is over.
in the dim lighting
it’s hard to make out
just how many twenty-somethings are crowded
into the booth behind us. Above
their din I can hear the eager chatter and shy
whispers of couples strewn
across the room.
I wonder how many
of them really understand one another—
what number of misconceptions
frolic above our heads
unacknowledged?

Caught up in word choice,
no one notices the silent
booth in the middle of the room
where you and I,
like something Stepford,
savor caffeine and a shared
torte with pleasant smiles and vacant stares,
while pulsing and sparking
by our coffee cup hands,
our brains represent themselves—communicating
without the complications of vocabulary.

3 comments:

farmgirl beth said...

Brilliant! I love it! So aptly written.

I think I'll print it out and put it on my refrigerator.

Danny said...

Well said!

Sarah said...

If you ever put your brain on a table, even if it was to communicate without vocabulary in poetic non-verbal synapses, I would steal it and I would run. You would never catch me. It would be hard for you to move your legs without your brain telling you to contract your muscles.

Silly Jo.