02 - The Lost Tribe of Us by Heather Davis May 25, 2008 6:12:09 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on May 25, 2008 6:12:09 GMT 2
The Lost Tribe of Us
Winner of the 2007 Main Street Rag
Poetry Book Award
Stand at the jukebox, contraposto,
shoving warm coins into a slot.
Some man will wobble close,
stomach protruding smooth as an egg
from his untucked workshirt.
In a hazy room lined with breasts
and yeasty breath he will want
to tell you about his wife, his life,
the scar on his arm. Sit down
with a cough, thoughts scattered
like pool balls. His eyes will be
glazed and thick-lashed, beautiful
as a woodland animal's. Ten
years in the pen for assault
with a deadly weapon and
he would do it again. Where the bullet
entered his own flesh, where he
accidentally shot himself, will be
a hole, the mark of his misdirection.
Where his beer spills will spread
a dark stain. Touch a finger
to the hardened wound. His buddies
will turn toward your corner,
then sidle over from their stools
with nudges and laughter.
Lean in slowly, whisper oh, my God
while each in his turn shows off
a limb and what it's missing.
Reviews for The Lost Tribe of Us:
"Heather Davis has a fine lyric voice that rests upon an incredible sense of syntax, pacing and rhythm. The result is a seamlessness that any other poet might envy. Her poems have a clarity, intelligence and deep emotional centers that make them a pleasure to read and re-read. I´ve been looking forward to her first book for many years."
-- Stephen Dobyns
"Heather's poems skewer the soft white underbelly of America's walking dead. She protects her own, but rips the skin off their enemies and turns it inside out--and all this in words that are not cliches. Think of how impossible that feat is in these replicating times."
-- Ron Kolm
"In The Lost Tribe of Us, Heather Davis offers her readers vivid, occasionally comic, more often gut-wrenching poems that, in the first part of the book, engage with the lives of members of a large family- all the vulnerabilities and pathos of poverty: repossessed cars, joblessness, leaky roofs, too small houses, second-hand clothing and teen-age pregnancy. Later, the scope of the poems widens to include aspects of the world at large: war, terrorism, rape, imprisonment, incest, mental illness, much of what troubled flesh is heir to. But to say simply that the poems are about big subjects that really matter is not to do them justice. They are invariably characterized by exquisite formal control, the always lovely deployment of language that is a delight to the eye and ear. The Lost Tribe of Us is a wonderful first book by an exceptionally gifted poet."
About the author:
Heather Davis earned a B.A. in English from Hollins University and an
M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. She attended the
Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and is a winner of the 1991 Hayden
Carruth Poetry Prize at Syracuse University, a Larry Neal Writer's
Award, and the 2007 Arlington County Moving Words Poetry Contest. She is
the author of The Lost Tribe of Us, which won the 2007 Main Street Rag
Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly,
Cream City Review, Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, and Sonora Review, among
others. She lives in Front Royal, Virginia with her husband, the poet
José Padua, and their daughter. She also serves on the coordinating
committee of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival and is an active member
of D.C. Poets Against War.
ISBN 13: 978-1-59948-0902-3, 90 pages, $12.00
Main Street Rag
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