Friday, August 28, 2009

Poem-a-Day DBF Countdown: Katie Chaple

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

The Aug. 26 cover story "Monsters of Poetry" puts the spotlight on the poet's art to preview the fourth annual Decatur Book Festival, to be held Sep. 4-6. This blog will count down the days to the festival by posting a poem each day by a different writer, to let the verse speak for itself. For Aug. 28, "My Epicurean Curse” by Katie Chaple.

"My Epicurean Curse"

I think of what I’d like to leave you with

when I leave: a long oak table

and rather than me splayed out naked across the top—

just another vague flash

to masturbate to years from now—

I’d like to leave you with monkfish

in parchment, covered with slices of mango,

slender green stalks of chives,

the lace of parsley. I’d like to leave you

with opaque glazes, pastries—anything that means

separating eggs, folding in heavy cream, anything

that demands a delicate turn of the wrist. Mousse and meringues

and brioche, and Andalusian partridge wreathed in figs.

Dishes dotted with raspberries, garnished

with mint, crescents of tangerine.

From then on when you lift a fork or break open a roll,

you’ll feel something you should remember,

something familiar, a shape that lurks underneath,

that eludes you momentarily, and swallowing, you’ll return

to this body of food, these heaps and curves

of bowls, platters—and for you,

at a quiet corner table, or hovering over an airplane tray,

or tucked in a padded banquet chair, for you,

monkfish will never be the same.

Katie Chaple serves as editor of Terminus Magazine and teaches writing at the University of West Georgia. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as 32 Poems, Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Passages North Southern Humanities Review, Poet Lore, and Washington Square.

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