Winner of the Miller Williams Poetry Prize from the University of Arkansas Press
In Reveille a man suffers fits of supernatural coughing, flytraps attack a child, a moray haunts a waterbed, and the prodigal son stalks his local brothel in a costume made from lion-hide. These poems survey their host of holy objects and exotic creatures the way one might the emblems in a dream: curious of their meanings but reluctant to interpret them and simplify their mystery. Theologically playful, rhetorically sophisticated, and formally ambitious, Reveille is rooted in awe and driven by the impulse to praise. At heart, these are love poems, though their loves are varied and complicated by terrible threats: that we will cry out and not be answered, fall asleep and never wake. Against such jeopardy Reveille fixes our attention on a lightening horizon.
Early praise for Reveille :
“Here is a sensuous book, a love parade, a blitz of sugar where everything is “swaddled in sun-lust.” Here is a pair of “jaguar pajamas.” Reveille seeks to wake us to the new world we find every morning—familiar somehow, but strange enough to fear. These poems point us to delight. To joy. They seek to guide us “like a compass locked on heaven.” I trust this book. Clark is a poet of exquisite powers and Reveille is a pleasure and a pleasure and a pleasure.”
“Wallace Stevens called a poem the ‘cry of its occasion.’ Through all manner of ‘throats’—windpipes, wells, chimneys, kazoos, whistles—the poems in Reveille (<MF re + veiller, to awaken) offer a lucid dreamer’s call to the altar of each moment. These love poems, at once unabashedly, tenderly secular and lavishly sacred (‘because pleasure / is complicated, more so perhaps than suffering’), create out of all manner of cris de coeur (echoes, rumors, stutters, a son’s colicky wailing, a Biblical bout of coughing) a sensuous, ecstatic, formally brilliant music.”
—Lisa Russ Spaar
“Reveille is suffused with a fascinating postmodern sense of the sacred. In its elegant hesitations and lovely vacillations, this book stands on the side of revelation and reverence.”
• Read a selection of poems from Reveille.
• Hear David read from the book at an event this summer.
• Invite David to participate in your festival or reading series.