Sarah, of sarahjaneprosetry, expressed an interest in the process behind the creation of  “I Am That You Eat”. As with far too often with me however, things are not that simple. 🙂 It began with the simple reflection on the way the food we eat is transformed into our bodies. What if we share food on a regular basis? Seven years later “Love Song For Pandora” came forth, looking at love from a different perspective. Later still I noticed the two combined to comprise IYOUMEUS AMAREBEIS.

Here are some more notes, Sarah. (Director’s Commentary 🙂 )


This poem could have simply been called “Love”. Its eventual title is intended to remind us that people are both separated and connected, and their existence (I – YOU – ME – US / AM – ARE – BE – IS) is viewed in many different ways (often as a result of the words used at the time).

…..In all the time of breaking fast together

Generally we tend to say we “breakfasted together” or “we had breakfast together”. To “break fast” is now rarely used except in a religious context. It is more formal, and conveys respect for, and consciousness of, one another. I chose it here to evoke echoes of both “break free” and “hold fast”; continuing the theme of the tension between connection and separation.

…..only chance decided how the food was shared,

Here there is a play on the contradiction between (apparent) chance and deliberate action.

…..what became the eye looked into,

There is trust and intimacy here; truth (“look me in the eye”); openness (“the eyes are the windows of the soul”); affinity (“seeing eye to eye”). And once again we have the heightened consciousness of one another, mutuality, but then – on reflection – which person is doing the looking into the other? Or does each person look “back” into what exists “behind” their eye?

…..the hand the other held.

Alongside the trust and intimacy, there is comfort and protection. And again – who is comforting and protecting the other? And who is feeling comforted and protected?

…..And so we are as one
…..and yet by chance divided.

…..How so near?
…..How so far?

In any relationship people are both separated and connected, and the boundaries between us are inevitable and not really under our control. There is an exquisitely bitter pain in this realisation.

…..Ah love,
…..for whom else should I eat?

So far, the poem has been descriptive and cerebral but now there is a sudden direct emotional confession of both attachment and neediness. (Without you why/how should I even live?) Of course, if read differently, this question says that the food we eat is ultimately a part of the person we love. We are, literally, all a part of one another.

…..In thoughts that turn
… love and loving
…..(the eye looked into):

We move from activity in the physical world (eating) to the immaterial, inner world of thought. What is that world that lies behind those eyes we look into? And also what world subsists behind our own eyes? (The “I” looked into.) The “mind”, whatever that “means”.

…..“A sphere
…..whose circumference is nowhere,
…..whose centre is everywhere”;

In Jorge Luis Borges’ essay, “Pascal’s Sphere” (La esfera de Pascal), the narrator lists dozens of variations of a single image, a circle that stands for God/nature/the universe/infinity.

And love???

…..a panoply of nodes;

Not easy to represent what I am trying to express here in a few words. Probably best to look up definitions of “panoply” and “node” and reflect for a while.

… exercise in isometric tensions

Isometric tension describes a state where the tension of two opposing muscles is equal, resulting in tension but no movement.

…..(the eye looked into).

See above.

…..The sleepy snake is opening
…..(the eye looked into)

Reference to Kundalini. Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism.

…..and you will meet me again at last,
… where the four winds dwell.

Reference to the song “Franklin’s Tower”, by Robert Hunter.

Franklin’s Tower

In another time’s forgotten space
your eyes looked through your mother’s face
Wildflower seed on the sand and stone
may the four winds blow you safely home

Roll away … the dew
Roll away… the dew
Roll away… the dew
Roll away… the dew

You ask me where the four winds dwell
In Franklin’s tower there hangs a bell
It can ring, turn night to day
Ring like fire when you lose your way

Roll away… the dew . . .

God help the child who rings that bell
It may have one good ring left, you can’t tell
One watch by night, one watch by day
If you get confused just listen to the music play

Roll away… the dew . . .

Some come to laugh their past away
Some come to make it just one more day
Whichever way your pleasure tends
If you plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind

Roll away… the dew . . .

In Franklin’s Tower the four winds sleep
Like four lean hounds the lighthouse keep
Wildflower seed in the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again

May the four winds blow you home again.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on December 9, 2011, in Not A Poem At All, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. A teacher! That’s what you are. No wonder your works are so deep. Thanks for sharing this breakdown. That was interesting to read. As is your work. Always! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was interesting; I am still getting used to thinking with words and to be able to reference poems…I am itching to paint; I did six “collages” small paintings last night; Thanks for knowledge! My skills of critique are much more reliable in Art if I get stuck I will know where to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. A magnificent explanation! Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

  4. sarahjaneprosetry

    Thank you! I am very honored for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope it answered your questions, Sarah. 🙂


  6. Master! I curtsy before you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. beneficial
    thought process!
    roll away
    the dew 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow!! Beautifully written and deep 👌👌

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I enjoyed this, with trust/intimacy/comfort/protection common to the whole.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I truly appreciate the time you took to fully dive into the depth of your piece. I knew I was swimming in deep waters the first time I read it but now having gone through your detailed breakout of exactly what you were meaning, I am moved by creation of your being. Your ability to piece together such wonderful meaning and realize such profound truths is absolutely breathtaking to witness. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful reflection of personhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well it does seem to bear some relation to what you and I have been writing and discussing recently, don’t you think?.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed. I think once again you have reached into the depth of your mind and pulled out another winner that relates wonderfully well and expands upon an already bountiful array of words to consider.

        The truth is that I appreciate how well rounded you are as an individual. You have such color and creativity and a wonderful way of stringing pieces together to create depth and understanding. It is a blessed gift to be on the receiving end of.

        I’m hoping to get the together of my mind today and string together the words for a piece of my own that is developed from our discussions. I’m curious what will flow through me when I get the chance. I’m feeling so wonderfully uplifted and positive and light-hearted these past days. The universe has lit up in the most amazing of ways.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you are able to hold it lightly and with care then I believe (and hope) this positivity will continue and bloom. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is my hope. Lightly and with care. Emphasis on lightly. Positivity can be crushed to nothingness with the darkness of expectations that were never meant to be.

        I’m taking each moment as a blessed surprise meant to dig into with appreciation and joy for all the wonder and bliss it contains.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Positivity can be crushed to nothingness with the darkness of expectations that were never meant to be.”

        Expectations …(


  11. Okay this is beyond impressive!! You are a Master of poetry ❤ (total envy btw)

    Liked by 1 person

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