Jim Davis

Mug #1


All morning staring at the falcon perched on a leather glove.
Deliberate repositioning. Talons like muted shotgun triggers
in crisp Chicago winter. The Golden Nugget challenges the Golden Apple
to a battle of tight-eyed breakfast spots. The Nugget – across from Nikos’
Gyros Stand, where Niko employed Armando to slice the beef and lamb,
Debbie to sweep the floor, though she would be gone in summer, when
classes let out – offers 2 buttermilk pancakes, 2 extra-large eggs, 2 links
of dry sausage and hash browns for $4.99 & a bottle of wine, out the door.
The Golden Apple, on the other hand, is rumored to warm funnymen
after they improvise second-city assemblies – some big names, we’re told.
Across the street, St. Alphonsus’ Church, where he received communion,
admitted only forgivable sins, (he heard being mean to your sister was worth
the repetition of seven Hail Marys and one Our Father). The Russian bell tower
cathedrals have gone gray with time. He scoffs at neglect, selfish dismissal
of tennis shoes to the lamp line. Repentance. The falcon drops for field mice
& smaller birds. Coats bled dry in bolls of what might be cotton. Repetition
(sounds about right) & repentance share the confines of oak chambers, polished
delivery. From the bell tower’s narrow corridors, tiles from the revolution-
ary mosaics in red and white, fall. Repetition, repetition, we were to meet
at the Golden Apple or Nugget, repentance ringing from garden apartments.
We were to meet at the fractal edge of summer and nonexistence. We are
distracted by nighthawks slicing though whatever it is we’ve said. After all
the acoustic guitars have been cracked and bled of string, the hawks settle
in the golden bliss of satiation, that bliss of what we’ve emptied and held.


Mint Sauce and the Tongue of Gerald Stern

Shawl, said the man with an angora plaited pattern
wrapped around his neck, it shall be the wet blanket
of what we extinguish, the lamb of electric fire, insofar
as the lamb will live forever in roaring virtue, he says,
in the lust it perpetuates and fears. Stuck
in the gum of an outdoor table, on the last agreeable
afternoon, the assumed sex of a red speckled beetle.
In streets of consciousness, these bald valleys
of mind, clear, although it is predicted
winter will be ornery, especially in the morning –
our only hope the spastic hum of the plow, to lighten
the canals of our knowing – clean sheets cannot be
likely. Drum of cold water from the rust encrusted tap.
I said it once before and meant it: in a still life,
when pressed hard enough, anything can kill, the butter knife
erect in a cluster of dirty dishes, is no exception.
Billy Eckstine draining conversation from the moment.
Driving home from the war, I noticed an opossum, he said
on the side of the road. He camped there for days, every morning
he was bigger, full of bloat, expanding in his pity
until the rains came, followed by a glass of wine, pad of butter
in the shape of a crouching lamb, the shank of inspiration,
roasted, as we devour the prodigy of mint preserve.
He turned down the beds and did the laundry.
He opened the window when the sauce went off.
He sliced the roasted lamb as if it were the lard of life.

Mug #2

Jim Davis is a graduate of Knox College and an MFA candidate at Northwestern University. Jim lives, writes, and paints in Chicago, where he edits the North Chicago Review. His work has appeared in Seneca Review, Blue Mesa Review, Adroit Journal, Whitefish Review, The Café Review, and Contemporary American Voices, in addition to winning the Line Zero Poetry Contest, Eye on Life Poetry Prize, multiple Editor's Choice awards, and a recent nomination for the Best of the Net Anthology. www.jimdavispoetry.com
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger