Revelators

Revelators

I.

Dawn always.

The first taste (and, okay, also the aftertaste)
of dark chocolate.

The undersides of leaves
blown back
when the wind blows leaves silver,
then slack.

Eyes that care for you.
Eyes that reflect a light you had not known
you carried.

II.

But why, I ask myself,
in this poem that moves
among the revelations of dawn
and the back-leafing
of silver,
do you keep in
the chocolate?
You who never eats
chocolate–

All I can think of
is how sweetness
must always be
re-learned–how else
can some of us remember
the recognizing of it?

And of a treat
I was sometimes given as a child–a bonanza,
it was called–ice cream haloed
by bananas in a swim
of dark and shiny–
and of how that hot fudge sheen,
lathered by crenellated cream,
is now a palpable layer
in my father’s remembered smile,
as if he sometimes spoke
in Sundae.

And though this memory is surely–if anything is–
an aftertaste, this poem is not
about comfort food but about whatever pools
in the spoon of the senses,
lighting an opening
that your caught, dim, heart
might some day
sight–

*************************************

A poem of sorts for Marian Kent’s prompt on Real Toads based on a song by Gillian Welch called Time (The Revelator).  Another one that should probably end at the first stanza.  The pic above is of dawn looking out over Central Park in good old NYC.  The bottom pic an old one, made by me.

20111108-060219.jpg

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36 Comments on “Revelators”

  1. brian miller Says:

    sometimes he spoke in sundae…ha..
    it is an interesting thought to spin out…
    i like when you address the reader as well…telling us what the point
    is of the poem…what pools in the spoon of senses…cool phrase that…


  2. “whatever pools in the senses” I like that. Sometimes there’s a lot to read into chocolate. 🙂

  3. Katy Magee Says:

    I’m glad you didn’t end with the first stanza! I love the thoughtfulness, the meandering wonderings, of the whole poem. Makes me happy.


  4. I like how you have relearn about the sweetness.. Somehow that a single treat can feel odd.. I think the two parts worked excellently together.

  5. claudia Says:

    dawn having the taste of chocolate… i like how some moments are connected with taste and how we need to renew to not forget… he spoke in sundae is very cool

  6. Brendan Says:

    What fascinates me about the work of poetry is that it uses language to find a side door into a more subtle, half-knowable truth. Chocolate here clings to the tongue of memory the way something cloys at the “revelations” of dawn — a “neti, neti, neti” way of proceeding that compasses more by discarding one by one what the true feeling, the true subject is not. A knowledge arrived by not knowing, by defining best what the true subject is not. So that the chocolate in this poem is not “comfort food” — that would be less, not more — but a way to light “an opening” into a father’s remembered voice in “Sundae,” coming back in the lavish details of one made. Tie that back into the morning’s first-light proscenium and there is this proscenium of wonder greater even than dark silver. Loved it, love the way you work.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Brendan, for your kind thoughts. I do not know what “neti, neti, neti” means exactly–I mean, I understand what you mean by it from the context–but it is funny because my use of this word is with a neti pot! (Which I use irregularly.) I will look it up. But thanks. k.

  7. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This begins as a kind of aubade and then takes the reader back through halls of memory to the bitter sweet of a childhood long gone, almost, from view.

  8. coalblack Says:

    I would comment, but now I have to have chocolate.


  9. “this poem is not/about comfort food but about whatever pools/in the spoon of the senses”: Exactly, that is how the sound of your words feel like.
    There is a sight into the past which somehow balances the now. Beautifully penned.
    -HA

  10. Marian Says:

    I love that speaking in Sundae line, too. But what really strikes me about this is your reflection about having to learn and re-learn sweetness… else possibly we would not recognize it. Made me think about childbirth, and why on earth a woman would ever allow choose that a second or third time (or more)… learning, unlearning about sweetness, connected with pain. Something like that, I guess I’m galloping off with this idea now. Heh.


  11. If I were able to write a poem about my father (which I’m not), it would be this- mysterious, ambivalent, bitter sweet, not really about chocolate but using that as its medium trying to say unsayable things… sigh.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Mary. I am glad that you found the poem meaningful. I had a line about the light in my father’s eyes which I took out as it all seemed too long but now I wonder– thanks


  12. This one took my breath! There is not anything about the poem I don’t LOVE.


  13. WOW! Blazingly beautiful and one of my faves of yours, kiddo. The imagery is sheer beauty. But what really speaks to me is your father speaking Sundae, and “this poem is…..about whatever pools
    in the spoon of the senses, lighting an opening that your caught, dim, heart might some daysight–” Just wow.

  14. Plum Says:

    I love the way this flows together:

    “I.

    Dawn always.”

    “The first taste (and, okay, also the aftertaste)
    of dark chocolate.” … Amen to that!

    “The undersides of leaves
    blown back
    when the wind blows leaves silver,
    then slack.” … Gorgeous stanza.

    “and the back-leafing
    of silver,
    do you keep in
    the chocolate?
    You who never eat
    chocolate–” … Love this.

    This is my favorite poem of yours.

  15. M Says:

    this:

    All I can think of
    is how sweetness
    must always be
    re-learned

    my own views of my father are complex, like that… ~


  16. when the wind blows leaves silver,
    then slack.

    and

    Eyes that reflect a light you had not known
    you carried.

    and all of the unique word orders you employed in this…all of it a refreshing piece, thank you!

  17. hedgewitch Says:

    A pleasure to read this, k–thanks for pointing it out to me–your points are made as sweetly as the taste of smiles, warmth, security and love, that send us back to a childhood simplicity. I especially like ‘speaking in Sundae.’ (My hometown of Evanston claims to be the place that invented the sundae–I know I had few of them growing up.)


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