there is purity in emptiness

there is purity
in emptiness

in living mostly
on water

sucking sir
with greed like hunger

there is no art
in starvation

hating the heaviness
of matter

wanting to be lifted into clouds
by one helium balloon

to walk through snow
without leaving footprints

you don’t want thinness
you want invisibility

to not be
with the weight of appetite

separate yourself
from flesh entirely

& finally savor
the beauty of your bones

***blame this creepiness on the haiku heights prompt for today.  I made the mistake of reading some blogs written by anorexics.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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21 Responses to there is purity in emptiness

  1. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I see the creepiness but I also see the question of not leaving such a heavy imprint on the world. If there is one thing I feel is lacking in our culture it is a healthy way of “treading lightly.”

    Anorexia definitely is not a healthy way to go “light” but I think about de-centeredness a lot and how I might think of moving through the world without having to impose my needs and presence so heavily upon it. So, I like reading this poem with those thoughts in mind. 🙂

  2. George Ellington says:

    Nothing wrong with a little creepiness to shake us out of an all too easy lethargy. You’ve always been quite good at that, Susan, and I am grateful for that. Although, on a lighter note, I had to ask, is it not “air” that is to be sucked in this poem?

  3. janehewey says:

    i read beauty without excess

  4. Hard! The anoxeric gets a heavy ticking off!

    • oh, geeze–is that what I did here? Not intending to do that–the words I read had an airy, floating, non-being sense to them that I found strangely beautiful and very disturbing.

      • I found the last line quite harsh, hard and heavy!

          • and this: it was so sad, it made me angry–not at the young women, but the disease.

            You will be FAT if you eat today.
            Just put it off one more day.
            You don’t NEED food.
            Fat people can’t fit everywhere anywhere.
            Guys will be able to pick you without struggling.
            You’ll be able to run faster w/out all that extra weight holding you back.
            People will remember you as the ‘beautiful thin one.’
            If someone has to describe you, they’ll say, ‘oh, she weighs like 100, 110 lbs.’
            Guys will want to get to know you, not laugh at you and walk away.
            Starving is an example of excellent willpower.
            You will be able to see your beautiful, beautiful bones.
            Bones are clean and pure.
            Fat is dirty & hangs on your bones like a parasite.
            If you eat, you’ll look like those disgusting, fat, ghetto & trailer-trash hookers on Jerry Springer.
            The models that everyone claim are beautiful, the spitting image of perfection, are any of them fat? NO.
            Too many people in America are obese.
            People who eat are selfish and unrealistic.
            Only fat people are attracted to fat people.
            Do you want pigs to like you because you are one of them?
            Anyone can have ‘inner beauty,’ but few can earn real beauty, inside as well as out.
            You’ll be able to move as quietly & skillfully as a spider.
            Only thin people are graceful.
            If you slap a fat person, you can see a shockwave ripple over their skin. That’s disgusting.
            Do you want people to say, ‘For god’s sake get off of me, you’re crushing me; I can’t breathe!’
            or ‘You are soo light.’ ? Underweight, a.k.a. perfect body. Ballerina? Or beanbag?
            I want to be light enough so a helium balloon could lift me & carry me to the clouds.
            I want to walk in the snow & leave no footprints.
            Starve off the parts you don’t need. They’re ugly and drag you down.
            Nothing can’t be fixed with hunger and weightloss.
            Saying ‘No, thanks,’ to food is saying ‘Yes, please,’ to THIN!
            Fat people are so huge, people see through them & it’s like they don’t exist.
            The only time people notice a fat person is when they get in the way of that beautiful thin girl walking by.
            Have you ever seen a person NOT notice a walking skeleton?
            Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
            Is food more important than happiness in life? Your appearance to others?
            When you start to get dizzy & weak, you’re almost there.
            Hunger is your friend & it won’t betray you like food.
            Food is mean and sneaky. It tricks you into eating it & it works on you from the inside out, making you fat, bloated, ugly, and unhappy.
            Think of anorexia as your secret weapon.
            If you can name one reasonto be fat, I will name a million 2 be skinny. I’ll name them even if you can’t find a reason to be fat.
            Thin people look good in ANY kind of clothes.


            Because my skinny clothes are SO much cuter than my fat clothes.
            Because it feels great to walk into a store and be able to try on anything.
            Because it feels great to have to ask for a smaller size.
            Because there really is no such thing as too thin.
            Because nothing beatsthe feeling of a size 0 fallingoff my hip bones.
            Actually, nothing beats seeing my hip bones.
            Because I’m sick and tired of comparing my current self to my skinny self and feeling sad about it.
            Because the fatter I am, the more I want to cut.
            Because I haven’t heard, “Wow, you’re so thin!” in a long time.
            Because “You look healthy now” really means “My Godyou’re so fat!” (or at the very least “My God you’re not skinny!”)
            Because it feels better tobe teased for being too thin than too fat.
            Because eating makes me miserable. Because I was neverready 2 recover in the first place.
            Because the Christmas presents I got last year don’t fit this year.
            Because I may as well just finish what I started.
            Because when a guy picksyou up, he’ll tell you howlight you are, and can easily carry you upstairs,lay you down softly, & kiss you good night.
            Because being thin makes you prettier.
            Because bones= pretty, & fat = ugly.
            Because it sucks being the fat girl in your group of friends.
            Because it is so much more fun to show off your body in a bikini at the pool instead of staying home getting fatter by the minute.
            Because you have power and control others only dream of having.
            Because when you’re thin, you don’t feel foolish for having dreams of becoming an actress or model.
            Because bones feel better than rolls of disgusting blubber.
            Because summer and bathing suits are heaven when you’re thin.
            Because you have come too far to let something as disgusting as food get in your way

  5. Bruce Ruston says:

    loving the poem but having a problem with the prompt can’t seem to get an angle on it yet

  6. davidtrudel says:

    Our relationship with food is complex, and is often twisted and contorted. The poem was good to begin with and all the comments add a different dimension.

  7. Green Speck says:

    This was creepy …. but a good response to the prompt !!!

  8. nelle says:

    I’ve witnessed two who dealt with the issue, and my heart goes out to them and their families. It’s insidious.

    • oh, this is a terrible thing. Our fine, intelligent women reduced to starving themselves to death–my heart goes out to them, and their families, as well. It is slow suicide by degrees, and a pathological response to a social pathology.

  9. dreamsoftwilight says:

    I loved this Susan. It was very powerful. Wanting to unbe. I know someone who struggles with this type of body dysmorphia and the statements she makes are never filled with wonder for the perfect of a body that breathes, that grows, that heals, they are always filled with self-loathing, as though she could use her words to cut away all her substance.

    You really do need to publish a book.

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