Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Speaking of Broccoli"

Here is the second freebie for the February 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. You have new prompter [personal profile] alexseanchai to thank for this, who also provided the inspiration for this poem. It fills the "body language" square in my 2-1-14 card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest and my 11-26-13 card in the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest.

"Speaking of Broccoli"

It's all about being
on the same wavelength.

People talk about love
as if it's something that happens
instead of something you do together.

People talk about communication
as if it's a tennis match,
not a three-legged race.

That's why they fail the broccoli test.

It's all about knowing each other
so well that a hint is plenty --
a word, a phrase, a joke
shared between the two of you.

It's all about watching each other,
seeing what you say in body language,
so that a raised eyebrow asks a question
and a head tilt answers it.

There are all kinds of channels
that let us exchange ideas,
from spoken language to gestures,
so that we don't have to yell,
"Buy some broccoli!" down the aisle.

Relationships take time and work
to lay a foundation that can support
clear communication and deep trust.
If you want to pass the broccoli test,
then you have to prepare for it.

It's all about bandwidth,
and whether you have
dial-up or broadband
depends on what you pay for.

* * *


The Broccoli Test comes out of fandom, a measurement of a couple's ability to communicate across distance without shouting. The same skill may be used at short range to save time or to communicate privately in front of nosy or hostile observers. It is a test of how well you really know each other.

Real love takes time to build trust and intimacy in a relationship. This is not how it's usually portrayed in mainstream entertainment.

Intellectual foreplay is all about asking questions that tell you who the other person really is. It works just as well for friends as for lovers.

Romantic body language is open and receptive. This is not just emotionally available, it gives you room to move and exchange messages. You can't do that if you're all wadded up.

Telepathy is the far end of the scale, where ordinary methods like body language and innuendo shift into picking ideas right out of thin air. You can practice telepathy exercises if you wish.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fishbowl, linguistics, poem, poetry, reading, romance, weblit, writing
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