The New Poetry


Kevin Davies won the Poetry Center Book Award in 2000 for Comp (Edge Books). Currently residing in Maine by way of Vancouver and New York, he often writes long, tumbling sequences that gather force like a dream landslide, with each part standing out as an idiosyncratic scene charged by an alluring voice, or stance, not quite like anything else in contemporary poetry. They work like a “lateral argument” (the name of one remarkable sequence, to be found at, with a logic that seems particularly suited to the new structures of the globalized mess: endlessly connected, utterly fragmented. Rather than holding it all together in a false unity, Davies moves sharply among anxiety, wit, a perfect perplexity over the world’s strangeness, and a disturbed, irresistible turn toward the future.
Joshua Clover

[from The One-Eyed Seller of Garlic]


Yet even as we grope

each other in this small stall another

language dies

And miniaturization proceeds

“apace”—let me show you what I mean

We don’t need

names we have gadgets

And a good fifteen minutes

before anyone comments on our absence

Relax I’ve got you—that’s just

the blood

rushing to your head

And I have been here before, okay

not here, but here, with others

But never

you mind

Lack of comfortable space

is the whole point


I want you to strangle me and drag

me to a river

That leads ultimately to the open sea

And to sing

at the launch of the subsequent bookwork

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