3 Poems by Jim Davis

 

JIM DAVIS is an MFA candidate at Northwestern University, the editor of North Chicago Review, an award-winning poet & painter, a teacher, coach, public speaker, and an international semi-professional football player. jimdavispoetry.com

 

 

Once

 

Every fifteenth finger of Wild Turkey shoots

Time in the heart.

I am 23, no, 24, ridding myself of fish tacos and whiskey and I

Think of you, blindly, eyes wretched shut, think

Of drawing lace curtain across a window’s breath,

You and the smooth brine of ocean air, forgetting.

I use my sleeve to wipe my chin, hail a taxi, spill in and

Throw my phone out the window, where it floats

Up into the blue fading desires of night; pulverized by dawn.

 

Twice

 

Every finger-thick link in the chain mirrors

Time in the worst way: locked and fated: if only

I were a birthday cake delivered to a prison…

Think of the chisels I could hide!

Of the afterlife, I wonder, the fraternity of old souls –

You never stumble through equivocation

I struggle with chisels, sugar-frosted and clumsy, I

Throw my hands in the air. Breathe easy. There are moments

Up here in the hill-tower when I’d rather sit than fall.

 

*note: this poem is part of a project of acrostic variations, wherein the spine of a poem is created through words, not letters, referencing advertisements, idiom, and other poems. In this case (Every time I think of you I Throw Up) is from an overheard subway cell-phone conversation.

 

The Best Poem I Have Ever Written

 

Each morning, well, on the mornings I wake

in time to find the dawn beginning to beat

the mild rhythm of early summer, I read and take notes

and read and finally write what is, daily, the best poem I have

ever written. Sound of snoring for the other room. The dog

is lying in a patch of sun and I am tired of writing

about her death before she has died. I will lie

next to her, later, once I’ve written the best poem I have

ever written, she’s the only one whom I can nuzzle up to

with a combination of coffee and morning breath. There is struggle

on days like today, to leave the Canada goose figurine

standing proud beneath the side table – where a photograph

of my grandmother touching the shoulder of her mother

in the only manner those chubby digits would have been able, gently

yellows in its frame – unacknowledged, that goose who was hers,

saved from the vacation home on a Wisconsin lake, before it was sold

and remodeled into, so I’ve been told, something worse – not quite

what we were used to. And it’s possible, of course, that although

winds have spread umbrellas of dandelion seed to the ends of the yard,

that this is not the best poem ever written, but the best poem I have

to tell. Anything that crosses my path in growing warmth is worthy:

the flowering tree surrendering to standard green, thickening

with the season, the shudder of a mockingbird bathing in dust,

and that Canada goose, without whom this would be a poem

like any other – carved of heavy black walnut, hand painted,

every feather featuring the added texture of wood grain,

the downturned tail, the shut beak, and that long, ringable neck –

which belonged to my grandmother. I wonder if she,

in her yellowing pose, was asked to place her tiny hand

upon her mother’s shoulder, or if the human grace within

drew its tender handle on the moment. It’s not the same grace

which led her to serve the public, donate a lifetime

in schools of the blind, or find herself, on similar mornings

writing reflections in the margins of French-impressionist texts.

No, it’s far simpler than that – closer, perhaps, to the impulse

of a man with a chisel and brush, to create. Wonder of a child,

a touch, and the slight upturned corner of a smile just like mine.

 

 Jim Davis

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One thought on “3 Poems by Jim Davis

  1. bzniditch says:

    Jim Davis’ finely drawn cyclical poetry, with his moving adventitious chance of accidental speech and imagery patterns a rough and edgy verse yet follows his influence to wish to be articulate to his own fate by a hard boiled verse giving a delicious desert as well as a full repast.
    BZ Niditch

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