Be My Obscurity

By Robert Vivian

I woke with dawn in my mouth and it was spilling all over with birdsong, with flower, with the after moths of thunderstorm and dawn said I’m going to speak to you now, I’m going to rev you up to gaga mode and I said okay, use me, ring me out like yon dish rag of much wanting and wantonness and then it was pure vintage moan, the kind that shivers the chandeliers of a woman’s clavicles or my dear Hungarian grandmother long into the ground whose smile stretches across the centuries and connects the dots of constellations and waking with dawn slipping out of my mouth I said reckless and miraculous things like I love you, brook trout, I love you, wormholes, I love you obscure book of poems and will you be my obscurity, will you be my chiaroscuro, will you be my almost unknown for it is true a river whispers to me Come hither, come my thread-most and I do, I do with a fly rod in my hand and a two-day stubble and faint after echoes of hereafter, the misty-eyed kind though I am wrecked and shaken by early morning awe and this crazy love of words and music that drives me to my knees and puts the Lord in my mouth like dawn, like dawn and every new beginning and the first kiss in second grade when I swear I could almost fly and church was a many splendored stained glass kaleidoscope prepping me for a river many years hence which I continue to crawl to on all fours, oh, Lord, I am coming, I am coming, I am and all creation be praised as I am just learning how to truly say Amen, amen as this pen skitters across the page like my own imperfectly tied fly, the one that looks like a broken hobo, the one that looks like a broken rainbow the fish take pity on, love for their own broken sake, rising in brief boil of sacred river, my own heart skating after it like some forsaken prince deep inside my chest who has forgotten his password, his wallet in the very midst of kingdom come and fall down Moses on his knees and thus spake the dandelion and Bathsheba more beautiful and splashing over than any ocean wake and bramble, wild flower, the leaves whirling like dervishes, my own quaking stillness something to take pity on and even adore as one tiny creature in this universe of soundless praise ringing down the home stretch, ringing down forever. 

Robert Vivian

Robert Vivian


Robert Vivian's latest book is Mystery My Country, a collection of prose poems.

More of this year's essay series:

Sonya Vatomsky, Mothertonguetied: The Fantasy of Belonging
Ka Bradley, Naming and Its Discontents
Jayy DoddThe Impossible Outside (or, A Zumbi's Autopsy)
Liz HowardNaming and Its Discontents
Victorio ReyesDiscovering Existence: A Cross-Textual Essay
Sophfronia Scott, Of Flesh and Spirit

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