Contemporary Expression

The Five Senses of Hate
November 4, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Guest Blog Post, Poetry, The Art Files

We attended the TEP Foundation sponsored opening night of The Nashville Monologues last week.  Throughout the original work of Nashville stories, the author, and artistic director of  Rhubarb Theater Company that produced the work, carefully put place holders giving her description of  the five senses of  hate.  I found them all interesting and thought-provoking and I asked her to share them with you as my first guest blog post on Contemporary Expression.

If you read Nancy VanReece’s blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you care about people. You probably also care about Nashville and are interested in how the puzzle pieces of our city fit together. Maybe you’d even like to help them fit together better.  Below is an excerpt of my writing in the show. – Trish Crist
Please join us this Wednesday November 4 through Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m.  Info and reservations at 615-397-7820 or

tasteWhat Does Hate Taste Like?
What does hate taste like?
Like afternoon coffee that’s been on the burner since dawn?
Tangy tart like a blood orange?
Iron-rich…metal…like blood itself?
Does it sting like salt on a mouth sore?
Blister your lips like a raw chili chewed whole?
Not for me.
Hate is sweet.

hearWhat Does Hate Sound Like?
What does hate sound like?
Is it a screech—a growl—a jeer?
Is it the loudest roar you ever heard…or a whispered threat?
Is it emphatic?
Or off-hand?
Does it sound just like you?
Or foreign.
An interloper to the good world we have here.
Or is hate universal—a language we all use without need for translation.
How about you?
Do you speak hate?

lookWhat Does Hate Look Like?
What does hate look like?
Is it an eye roll?
A sneer?
A little gesture
A bigger gesture
A walk that says I’m a bad ass and don’t fuck with me
An attack ‘cause I don’t need this shit and I’m gonna take your ass down—who the fuck you think you are?
Nah, man.
I mean—I wish hate looked like that. As obvious as Dick Cheney. But it doesn’t.
Hate is invisible. Insipid. Tiny but powerful…a sneaky little ninja motherfucker. And it’s like he’s got this passkey that lets him in everywhere. Even when we think we’ve locked everything up tight and protected what matters and there’s no way he can get in and fuck with us…
I’m afraid he might be everywhere.

smellWhat Does Hate Smell Like?
What does hate smell like?
Jock pee on my dorm room door every Friday night for 4 years?
Definitely bodily.
Yeah. Hate smells like a dirty human, stale and rank from effort. A ripe armpit. A man’s tennis shoe worn years without socks.
Raw chicken packaging in the trash.
Milk that has bumped out the carton.
Hate is definitely organic.
It might be the only organic produce that’s cheap. It’s cheap. Free, I guess.
I mean, hate might cost us a lot in terms of humanity and government and emotions and souls and lawsuits and therapy and healthcare and vices—but it is cheap as shit.
And it smells like it.

feelWhat Does Hate Feel Like?
What does hate feel like?
Like cellophane glassifying in a cat’s stomach?
Bile in your mouth.
Pieces of vomit in your nose?
A hot face, a burnt heart
Sandpaper on a breast
Could hate ever feel good?
I don’t know
Does it feel the same to the recipient as it does to the…distributor?
Is hate the deep instant slash of a paper cut—a knee-jerk response…or an ulcer…that my actions somehow caused inside me?
Is hate cancer?

The Five Senses of Hate, from The Nashville Monologues (c) 2009 Trish Crist. Used By Permission.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thank you, Nancy—-thank you TEP Foundation.

Reading these pieces here, I feel compelled to point out that I don’t personally taste hate as sweet…but the not-so-appealing character I wrote that one for in “The Nashville Monologues” does!

Comment by Trish Crist

Really great stuff here, sorry I missed the play on Friday…hoping to make it out this week to see it. Thanks so much for sharing this Nancy!

Comment by Chad McClarnon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: