Ode to Hello


Ode to Hello

You sound, to my flat-tired mind,
like Jello,
and I try to gather
some bounce from that,
a vision of myself
as a stainless steel spoon tapping
an uncracked ruby sheen,

and I try to look through
that rubyiat lens
as I say hello
to aloneness
(he goes and I
do not)
but Jello
is a rather artificial
that I long ago omitted
from life, and I can’t quite come up
with faked cheer either,
so I don’t say goodbye
and past hellos sound,
as they echo,
though the burn behind my eyes
feels real enough–
It is not red;
it is not shiny;
it does not bounce.

And how is it, I wonder,
that love can fold in upon itself
so sharply,
when all it wants
is to lie like two hellos
in soft sequence, each fitting
the other’s hollows as flesh
pillows bone, as if we were each made
of whispered vowels, consonants,
as if we could be held
by a word.


Another super drafty poem.  Still away from home, and not thinking so clearly!  Am posting for With Real Toads Open Forum.  The pic is an older one–  sorry for any lateness in returning comments.

Also, I’ve not made a pitch in a long time, but here’s one–check out if you have a chance my books!  Serious novel–Nice— Comic novel, NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.       

Also, I want to express deep gratitude to Marian Kent of Runaway Sentence for her very kind review of Nice on Amazon.  I am too shy/embarrassed to ever check my books on Amazon and so did not see the review until just now.  Thank you so much, Marian.

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23 Comments on “Ode to Hello”

  1. Polly Says:

    I particularly like the lines ‘lie like two hellos / in soft sequence’ – the whole poem is a delight, but those are stand-out for me k. 🙂

  2. M Says:

    Hey k. Miss being around; work has expanded.

    Especially like the final stanza, the play/rhyme of hello and jello, but even more so the imagery you weave. Feels different than the first two verses; it could stand on its own, I think.

    I read the first line as -tiered- initially – mind and eyes aren’t what they used to be 🙂 ~

  3. Brendan Says:

    Ten years ago when my wife and I were separated (my fault), I called here once and heard “hello” exactly like the Jello I had lost (I hung up). Such an intimate sound you confect here, sugared with everything we hope for and borderless and boundless in absence. It is the nature of Jello not to be held — or beheld but not hold — which is the perfect metaphor for what’s behind “hello.” Bittersweetly wonderful.

  4. Marian Says:

    Haha, I usually discover reviews late myself, for the same reason! Love your book, Karin.
    This poem… super-drafty, whatever. I get a lot of bounce from it. 🙂 Love that first “bounce” line, it’s enthralling to describe love this way. Trying to grasp, but who wants to hold Jello anyway? Really clever.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks–you know I didn’t really mean that word at the end to be jello or hello–ha! But maybe it works that way–I just added at the last minute. Who knows? Oh well–thank you again, Marian. I ordered both your books and am very much looking forward to them. k.

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    This is probably the ultimate definition of what a poem is–really goes beyond my power to describe how much I love what you have done here, k–I only wish I could write a ‘draft’ like this–I would call it my poetic zenith, I think. You lay the human condition on your plate, quivering like the famous dessert for which there is always room, and show it for the artificial gelatinous mess it can sometimes be, while still having all the flavor of some wild fruit. Great work with the metaphor, and everything else here, k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Well, thanks. I have to say I owe it largely to you as I was thinking about the feelings discussed–about not feeling very inspired or really kind of blank and tired–and just telling myself to turn to, you know, “whatever.” An ode to anything. I was thinking of arm of sofa, etc. (ha–may try that sometimes) and the idea of ode to hello came up as something very quotidian, and just there–so decided to think about what I would say to hello.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Yes, I thought by the title you were following up on your Neruda idea. It certainly worked out well for you, as it did for him, though I have to say those are not my favorite poems of his.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        I have not read enough of him–or really enough of any foreign language poet, except maybe Rilke. (Haven’t read enough of Rilke either! But at least a little.) I am embarrassed by how little I know of foreign poets. Must try at least to remedy that! k.

        On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:19 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  6. I love this and how well it describes the ebb of the ebb/flow of love.

  7. To me this is so far from a draft as you can possibly be.. the truth in that artificial hello.. so much like that jello that have no substance except wiggly volume.. Alas we have the hello but no jello to put it against here in Sweden…

  8. Who would have ever thought a hello/jello poem could be so poignant? Beautiful

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    This is creative, smart, and incredibly well done. I really like this

  10. “when all it wants is to lie like two hellos”…..a wonderful write!

  11. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This is such a unique metaphor, which you have taken many steps further in this exploration of loneliness and longing.

  12. brian miller Says:

    that last stanza says much k…and is my fav part…how does love become so sharp when it can seem so simple…and yet we make it so complicated….

  13. Ah, this is so beautiful. (and Oh, to write drafty poems half as good as this.)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks, Mark. Poems feel like drafts to me when they are written and posted within a relatively quick time frame and I still feel really uncertain about them. Thanks for your kind comment. I’ve enjoyed seeing your art on fb. K.

  14. Does not feel drafty to me, Karin. Actually a darned-tight read. And deeply meaningful.

  15. Helen Says:

    I could not read your drafty poem without remembering what a (stupid) employer once told me as I was being fired … ‘you are like a blob of jell-o, if we tossed you against that wall, no telling where you would land’ .. their business went under the next year. They were known as Dumb and Dumber in Orlando. Thanks for the memory.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Oh dear Helen! That is terrible. I am so glad they went under–I send an extra stamp of my foot on them for you. Thanks for stopping by! k.

      On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:32 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


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