poem: smoked tortillas and revueltos

poem: smoked tortillas and revueltos

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone

written for a contest about having breakfast with OT


Breakfast should be profound, he said

     emphasizing with gestures that embraced me,

 and the whole of the room, a laugh rumbling;

              but you my friend, knew that already.


and then she brought the tortillas

       in a small woven basket, hand embroidered,

  emanating the scent of wood smoke, and I asked him,

well, what does this mean, then, us two here?


He paused to savor the aromas of chili and fire

  Take these revueltos, he said at last, motioning to his plate 

     and think about how you got here TODAY;

and how they came to you, here, with me, in this place, this day.


and I was struck by a coincidence so strong

    that I almost fell from the memory of all things unsaid

          Destiny, I whispered

is but the minding of small details of the journey.


[The scenery passed by, unhurried, as it always does here]


and he handed me a tortilla from his plate,

    laden with rich offerings- eggs and piquins

           tomato and smoked maize, and responded:

why else did you come here, but to find me today, 

      so I could feed you tortillas from my plate?






© 2012 Marie Anzalone

Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
I have no idea who the hell "OT" is nor why I'd want to have breakfast with him. I hear he is a deep thinker or something. So I imagined myself trudging down the street to some gringo cafe and running into an ex-pat who, for once, wasn't some cynical washed up bar-hopping has-been and actually had something interesting to say. Actually, I guess I imagined running into my late friend Dan- the perosn I always think of when I imagine having profound conversation. He had a big enough personality to fit this country, I think. I never got the chance to talk to him about it.

Probably a little too long long for the contest but I like where it went. Miss you, Dan. You haven't stopped by for coffee in a while. No offense to OT... take the comparison as a compliment.

My Review

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Featured Review

I loved this! The sense of eternity in a single bite of a meal.

The words of this are very eloquent, Marie, and the imagery is profound. I was mentioning to Clockwork last night how every one of your poems makes me examine myself, my life. This is no different. I read through this wondering: when was the last time I ate a meal with such attention? Not just the consuming of comestibles, but an actual focus of the food, conversation, and single moment in time?

The Japanese have a ritual that seems on the surface like simply taking tea. What few people understand is...that is EXACTLY what it is, but with the recognition that that moment it time is unique, special, fleeting.

This was much more profound than many may see. I hope they take THEIR time to focus as they read this, understanding that this moment only happens once.

Brilliant, as always.

Posted 13 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.


Today I was going to dive into your archive but you beat me to it, and posted this. And I'm glad you did because I really liked this Raquilta; you were economical with your language, but still you managed to say so much. Incredibly nuanced, yet penetrating. I cringe when I hear people say they don't like poetry because it's not detailed enough or lacks what they perceive to be sufficient information; poetry is poetry because it gives you space I tell them so that you, and your imagination/life experiences, can enter. I found a richness a authenticty to this that you can't fake and you were perfect at setting the table (no pun intended). I saw each stanza playing like a scene in my head, or better yet I saw, heard, and could smell the tortillas, the eggs and piquins coming out from this poem. as if this reader were a part of that scenery, that passed by unhurried. A good poem Raquelita.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

fantastic as always...your writing is so...has such a growth to it

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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I shall indeed take the comparison as a compliment - I love how you've focused on the little details too - like a painter - the little makes up the whole - "in a small woven basket, hand embroidered,
emanating the scent of wood smoke" and that first line is brilliant - breakfast should be profound! I'll take that with me!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

That first line is a doozy!!!! And the rest of the poem is so super good....I wish like hell I wouldn't have put the 15 line rule in because this is like the fourth over length poem that is fantastic. That last stanza is a little slice of heaven, and this poem truly make me hungry, in more ways than one. Nice job.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I must say that OT is an awesomely talented individual. Your poem is amazing, on it's own, and in light of the fact you are not familiar with OT's work. I am certain there will be a high level of mutual respect.
Me gusto su poesia!

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I was rivited to reading it, wondering what the different foods were that i wasnt familiar with....but savored every morsel of thought and the whole experience was simply memorable!!

I agree with Lonestar about 'the sense of enternity in a single bite of a meal',...this brought to me a few meals I wish i could relive....

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

'Live for the moment', 'find time to watch the daisies grow' - those two quotes are something i live by .. and somehow i feel that your poem is saying the same, feeling the same and with great passion. That there is an order in things every moment of every day, to be treasured, tasted, remembered .. no matter how large, how small .. they are what they are. You make the meal, the first of the day, into a feast of being .. of experience .. and, in minutes, a memory.

' Destiny, I whispered ~ is but the minding of small details of the journey.'

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like this...even though you have no idea who OT is, I think it is a good poem. Well done.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love the dish for breakfast brunch in Mazatlan Sinaloa...very interesting tourist town...breaking my GF and friends into there first....at least tehy are willing to learn some spanish...

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like this poem and OT can be quite the deep thinker. I think you did well. The imagery is grand and I can almost smell the breakfast laid before him.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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15 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on June 28, 2011
Last Updated on August 22, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xecaracoj, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual (English and Spanish) poet, essayist, novelist, grant writer, editor, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to ta.. more..


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