Obsessively Bland

Dinner at the counter
followed a protocol,
a way that things should
be presented.

Place mats are used
on the spotlessly clean
marble surface,
silverware aligned on the

Color is a single cobalt
bowl containing white
polished stones. All else
is white and stainless steel
and cold, black rock.

Chicken breast with brown
rice and broccoli the usual fare,
served on a plain plate
in the still silence
of an immaculate house.

It is all very sterile
when no one comes around
for fear of messing it up.

domino white living room

domino white living room (Photo credit: coco+kelley)

Written for the dVerse prompt calling for a sense of place. This is almost the opposite…a lack of place. Another of those ‘don’t know where it came from’ pieces.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

15 responses to “Obsessively Bland

  1. yikes…i have been places like this…and it is so uncomfortable…i need permission to be a bit messy…if something slips off the fork i dont want a death sentence…smiles.

    • Not eating in front of the computer screen then 🙂
      You certainly describe a foreign country to me , not to say alien.
      Still, it might be nice for a change.

  2. I used to strive for a house like that. Not any more – it’s better to LIVE in a home than look at it! A splendid poem.

  3. I see what you mean, but I think I have to disagree: there is a sense of place here, even if it’s all somehow limned in a sterilised negative image.

  4. Oh man! Memories! My mom went through this phase where she wanted all this white stuff in the living room. She had a beautiful old home at the time–in Washington state (think rain and mud)–and fortunately, you could get to the stairs (the bathrooms were upstairs) by way of the kitchen and dining room. To enter the living room, we were required to remove your shoes, and we were not allowed to sit on the furniture EVER! I told Mom she should take a picture of the room, then seal it off.
    OH! Watching a football game on TV was no fun when you had to stand up through the whole game either. I understand the whole stadium stands to watch the entire game at A&M (I won’t be attending any games). I asked an Aggie, “Sup? The bleachers upholstered in white velour??” Turns out, Aggies don’t have much of a sense of humour.

  5. I wish my house looks like this…its a dream because in real life it is very messy and very much lived in ~ Looks good though for the mag feature ~


  6. protocol, presented, place, perpendicular, polished: not exactly alliteration, but a decided propensity to spit, yes? Then carefully fuzzed under absence and sterility. Simply impressed.

  7. hedgewitch

    There’s a fie line between simplicity and affectation to me in this monotonously white place–some overreach that takes what could be calm and makes it self-conscious discomfort–you really made this feel real, Mark.

  8. This conjures up some memories for me…that sterile perfection. Very clever to create a sense of non-place, still using sensory details. I like it!

  9. I like this…really neat take on things. I like it when the poems come from an unknown place, I like it even better when we honour them!

  10. This has such a cold exterior to it, down to the white fine china. I’m really amazed at how well you maintain the tone, without losing me in the details. This is crystalline gazing, that fascination one has in admiring the artistry in beautiful objects, though here the sterility forbids getting lost in that fascination. Martha Nussbaum has a great analysis of disgust, where she argues that obsession with order and cleanliness is really a hatred of the human, mostly the body. There’s a sense of that here, I think.

    • Thank you Chaz. That is a lot of what I was going for; the emptiness and loneliness of the ultra -OCD personality, pushing others away so they would not intrude on the order. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  11. Cressida de Nova

    Martha Nussbaum would love my place:)

  12. rosemary mint

    Love “silverware aligned on the perpendicular” and S3. When you have this much control over life, you are often alone.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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