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