The Food of Love

Photo Credit: Raphael Pinto

According to Jane Austen speaking through Mr. Darcy, it’s poetry. I believe many others, myself included, would disagree and think of a saucy retort that includes chocolate—that deep, satisfying, melt-in-your-mouth taste. Whichever side you claim, this week provides an opportunity to partake of either one, or both if you are supremely special.

Since I’m a sucker for well-crafted words, I decided to help myself to a smorgasboard of love before the main attraction later this week. And boy, were my eyes bigger than my stomach. My mother always told me not to go to people’s houses and invite myself into their refrigerator like I own the place, but your refrigerator really outdid itself and I say you, meaning people who have poetry up over at the main site. I gorged myself and the following is my first foray into that chaotic world.

But first, here’s what prompted it:

I was doing some research for my novel and realized that I was in over my head. My god and faerie were a little closer than I wanted them to be. The complicated relationship had to seem authentic, had to move people and make them stay on the edge of their seat. I didn’t want to write a romance
1. Because I am a realist and don’t claim to be a romance writer.
2. I feel like it’s been done over and over and so much that we get desensitized in literature to what love actually is. So many books have a kiss, or a guy stalking a girl for a couple of months and suddenly, she is in DEEP life-altering, sky-diving, death-defying love.  Very simplistic and dare I say, a bit much?

I needed an expert opinion. I unwittingly stumbled upon one after reading an excerpt of the book What’s Love Got To Do With It: The Emotional World of Popular Songs. Mainly I clicked on the article because I thought Tina Turner was going to make an appearance, but the excerpt was so compelling, it made me buy the book. And pounce on my laptop like a knowledge-starved cheetah in search of sustenance to immediately email the professor.
In the excerpt, Professor Thomas Scheff discusses attraction, attachment, and attunement, the magical three ingredients that make up love, with attunement being the special sauce. He also goes over the six different kinds of love (or crazy) many people think are the “happily ever after” type.

Needless to say, I was fascinated. My question to him had to do with types 2 and 5 in the grid he provides. I wanted a dark combination of them both. He kindly responded to my over-excited email and told me to vary the level of attunement. It makes sense–without attunement love isn’t really there. It’s just an echo.

And if you have no idea what attunement is, read the article. Hopefully you’ll be as fascinated as I was, or I’ll settle for intrigued.

Now guarded with this ancient truth, I sallied forth into that tumultuous and reckless oblivion. And later, I renewed my  faith in man (and woman) to adequately portray it. To feel strains of the phantom echoes reverberating in my mind, soft words running through my veins.

Thank you, for renewing that. Yes, you and your refrigerator of food. But without further ado, here are the poems that brought me back to life:

Poem: A Love Not Allowed by Uniquely Dysfunctional. Burning, the mind, and the imagery was fantastic.

Poem: You Are by Ten X’s (the x’s are spelled out ten times). This poem really combines the good and bad, the sticking through it through the tough times in a really simply but elegant way. It was fabulous.

Poem: Cocaine Sun by Vangoman. This blew me away. It’s that Candy movie kind of love, the insanely good but horribly wrong kind.

Poem: The Lack of Understanding by ErinHea. This is definitely relatable. I couldn’t get enough of the pacing in this.

Poem: The Autumn Victorian by Luciddreamer1973. Love growing older, the concept of love growing older, love in the twilight of people’s lives—I see it all there.

Poem: Self Persuasion
That last line packed a major punch and I really enjoyed this poem.

If you’re not from the main site and you want to read these fabulous poems, head on over and put the titles in the search box. And poke around a bit! These were my favorites so far, but I’m excited to explore more of them.

Treat yourself with some words or chocolate this week, but most importantly, make sure your choice is love.

Poetry: Ten O’Clock News

By Megan Robb

I wish I could say it was hand delivered a letter that slipped between my fingers and onto the floor where the broken news lay in jagged fragments around me as I raised my hands to my face and fell forward to my knees in one slow fluid grieving motion like some archaic ballet tragedy I wish I could claim a conclusive flourish worthy of a stage to accompany everything I could never say but instead I blinked at unfeeling images on a screen a typically unsatisfying performance of reality a strangely choreographed dance.

 Contributing writer Megan Robb is a writer, consultant and editor living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her articles can be found at,, and, as well as her personal website,


The Rat Dream

By Megan Robb

Two rats came running out of the cupboard

Shiny and sleek like the ones who scurry

In sinister pictures of the Black Plague

My panicked Spanish struggled through the phone

Ratas! Cocina! Pronto! Ayuda!”

Exterminator came all dressed in white

He finished his work and was almost gone

A third rat scrambled out of the cupboard

Brown like the New York City rats that race

From Woodlawn to Coney Island and then

Feverishly back again by nightfall

Except this one had close-set eyes and wore

A tiny T-shirt like a Disney mouse

No mates!” I cried. “This one is different

It’s American. It’s like me, señor.

Exterminator asked, “Is the rat yours?”

“Well, no,” I told him. “Well, miss,” he told me

“A rat is a rat

Especially one

Crawling in cupboards.”

He took him away

Nothing more to say.

Contributing writer Megan Robb is a writer, consultant and editor living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her articles can be found at,, and, as well as her personal website,

The Sirens’ Song

By Megan Robb

In an old, old story, told and retold

Sirens, a flock of pretty bird-women

Beckoned boats with mating calls: “O Sailor

Come with us and learn the sea’s deep secrets.”

The unheard verse being “We’ll take you down.”

And they kept ships crashing and men drowning

Until Odysseus escaped their trap

With bigger fish to fry waiting back home

“Tie me up! Tie me down!” he told his men

“I’ll struggle but don’t let me leave the mast”

How the Sirens’ feathers ruffled that day.

And now we need our seatbelt straps

Only our necks straining to see what

Gruesome wrecks are being advertised

By alluring lights and violent songs

From mechanical sirens in the night.

Contributing writer Megan Robb is a writer, consultant and editor living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her articles can be found at,, and, as well as her personal website,