“Taste this,” you say,
But first comes the cupped hand,
The swirl to summon earth,
And there are things I struggle to tell you
The label proclaims vanilla and “fructation”
But I’m trudging, snuffing happily
At woodsmoke and hedgerow,
The fading, hardening greens
Grumbling towards slumber.
The scent summons the promise of frost,
The heat of cheeks against crisp air,
The crunch underfoot,
The line of palest, sunset blue against the
Perforating prickle of hedgetop.
Outside, April has been beckoning shorts
And unexpected sweat
In accustomed layers,
My straight cordial laced with ice.
A taste is all my stomach can take
A half-palm patch large enough to
Cover me in late October
Undergrowth friths over my tongue
While jhenking spikes of corfth
“Yes, it’s quite nutty.”
And all the while holly burns
In a brazier, the chthrak edges
Friable in the heat
Felt distantly, through gloves,
Safe and cothik.
“Quite a complex taste…”
And one of these days I’ll tell you
What happened the first time I
The bone-deep sensation of
The burning cornfield,
The terrible, flagging pant of the smokechase.
But not tonight.
Tonight we toast new sensations
And blend experimentation
With hugs and smiles.
Tonight is gheftig,
But I know you know what that means
Because I see its colour in your laughter.
If you know what you’re looking for, my synaesthesia is apparently present in a fair amount of my writing. I didn’t know this wasn’t normal for a couple of decades. It apparently affects the way I experience sound and scent. And texture. (And, reading Wikipedia just now, it turns out there are other aspects I also experience… okay…) I spend an amount of my time translating myself (as does, I expect, everyone), but when asked on Sunday night, after the Jazz Poetry Jam, to describe the sensations of a new whisky I’d never experienced before, I struggled to put it into English…