Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We Were Engineered to Want

We Were Engineered to Want

We were engineered to want,
to search for whatever can occupy
our hollows. Every type of hunger
is biological. Our bodies are babies,
brats. It is a basic human need
to have needs. Can you picture
a civilization already fully satisfied,
no reaching. We want for ourselves
and for others. The people we love,
when we study them as individuals,
can seem frail, unaccompanied.
We drape our needs over them
to solve their empty-handedness.


  1. How strange that as I read your poem today I was simultaneously reading this:

    Love the image, love the poem, as usual. Do you know about A Journey Round My Skull? Lots of inspiration there:

  2. I really love this piece - "our bodies are babies/brats." Bravo.

  3. Wow. This really resonates after having just a read an article about "Black Friday." So much territory in the space between want and need, and this explores that nicely.

    I just found my way here from your interview at the Woodrat Podcast, which I really enjoyed.

  4. As long as we want the good things it should be all good...I love how you expressed it, I almost felt like I was wanting something but did not know what : ) Have a happy one Hannah! xoxo

  5. It is interesting that you chose the word 'engineered' as if we were created to solve a specific problem, but instead we want and need, a state of being with no solution.

  6. LOVE this. It is so true. Bion, my present intellectual crush, talks about how we are born with pre-conceptions and that we seek out fulfillment of those pre-conceptions, i.e. food/love/warmth/shoes( okay, maybe not shoes;-).

  7. whatever occupies our hollows
    Yes. So perfectly said.

    I'm reading Laura Munson's This Is Not the Story You Think It Is (thanks to La Belette Rouge who introduced me via blog to Laura) and she talks about reaching the end of pain, and reaching the end of wanting.

    This poem is incredibly timely and fitting.

  8. Good to read a defiantly un-Buddhist poem that turns its back on the ceaseless poetic craving for Oneness that seem to prevail. May want flourish!

  9. Isn't it amazing how we want not only for ourselves, but for each other? It is another of those conditions that makes us human. The final stanza is intriguing, the concept that we project our needs onto our loved ones, in an effort, I think, to more fully connect.


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