A Place At The Table

A Place At The Table

it wasn’t as if

I had that much to say

or that I was

all that hungry 

but it was a free lunch


I had to thank someone

but didn’t want to stop eating

long enough to say anything

if I didn’t say something

I would be asked to leave

before I’d had my fair share


all around me 

people were eating

a sandwich in one hand 

a pork chop in the other

no one was listening

all intent on getting our fill

elbowing one another

out of the way

to get the next scrumptious plate


there was no time to talk

no time to say ‘excuse me’

no one passed anything to one another

we each reached out for more

not wanting to stop

long enough

to say thank you

our appetite was

our expression of deep gratitude

for this abundance


once the food was gone

the dishes were licked clean

I started in on the table legs

someone else nibbled

on the table cloth

we kept eating what was in front of us

because once that was gone

we would turn on one another

saying thanks

between mouthfuls 

of each other 

I wrote this after rewatching either Fellini’s Satyricon or La grande bouffe with a friend who had never seen either. If you haven’t seen either – see them before reading any further lol. Each is about appetite   & there are extensive eating sequences that go on & on. The banquet food orgy in Satyricon is stunning & numbing.

Most animals eat when they are hungry & then enough to stay alive, many won’t eat what isn’t good them – humans will eat without hunger. We will eat things that aren’t necessary but are tasty – i.e. there is no actual nutritional need for chocolate. Yet, very few of us will say no it & those that do for dietary (diabetes) reason feel they are experience a painful sacrifice. I had a friend who was told for health-reasons, to cutback on cheese & she was like ‘what! how can I do that?’

It’s also a variation on the recurring theme – there is no such thing as enough. In our consumer culture we are encouraged to always want more whether we need it or not. Being satisfied is seen as being an under-achiever, as someone falling short of their full potential, as someone who isn’t adding anything to the gross national product – those that aren’t upwardly mobile as drag on society & end up, in many cases, as the dregs – homeless, lazy slugs trying to deprive that haves of their guiltless bliss. 

Keep in mind that these pieces are in response to the Rules for Buddhist monks. The rules were intended to keep the monks’ lives simpler by removing the need to worry about things like what to wear, how many processions to own, so they wouldn’t be distracted from their disciple by things like what to wear, changing fashions, food fads etc. They strove to be undefined by commercial culture.

Just think empty our lives would be without knowing what was worn on the red carpet at the latest awards ceremony. How do we find a sense of self without striving for the next almond milk, gluten free, fair-trade, low foam, tofu latte?

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.