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About this poet

Born in New York in 1970, Jordan Davis was recognized for his editing and criticism as early as high school, winning prizes from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Davis went on to attend Columbia College where he studied under Kenneth Koch and was an editor of the college's paper. He graduated with a B.A. in English in 1992, while continuing to work as Koch's assistant and editor.

Davis served as editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter from 1992 to 1994. Davis was also an editor for Teachers and Writers Collaborative for several years. In 1995, he became host and curator of the Poetry City reading series and in 1999, he founded the literary journal The Hat with his Teachers and Writers coworker Chris Edgar.

In 2003, Davis released his first collection of poetry, Million Poems Journal (Faux, 2003). Since then he has coedited several collections of poetry, including Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books (Subpress, 2004) and The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch (Knopf, 2005). Davis has reviewed poetry for both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has written about poetry for Paper, Slate, and The Village Voice.

Davis currently writes about poetry for The Constant Critic and The Nation. He is married to the writer Alison Stine. He divides his time between New York and Ohio.

Mostly Read The Luna Moth

Jordan Davis
The savor of mango is unlike
Toothsome papay. My son takes
My hand and brings me
Into the classroom; Fluffy
Is absent and unremarked-upon

And in his place, two butterflies
Use tentatively in a sentence.
One, he explains, is a boy and
The other one lays the eggs,
I counted the dots, is a girl.

Why do boys not feed babies?
He reaches to pull his shirt open
And I ask him, did you ever see
A baby eat broccoli? a ham sandwich?
Someday I will tell him

Food is an unpleasant subject
For poems, but today I am concerned
With biology. I am a science kid,
He says on the platform. Where'd
He hear that. I know where the one

About men nursing came from.
Seeing myself tell that story
I feel like California's
Poisoned groundwater and remember
How much work it is to be real.

Someone told you men can give milk,
But men don't. What about moms and dads
Who don't have children? Those are
Called men and women. He says
Oh a lot. It's immediate

And it lags into the next moment
And is quiet, what the teachers call
A zone of proximal delay. Without
This apparent lull there is only
Brilliance and potential. With it

I get to keep a faith
In the unguessable next.

Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.

Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis

Born in 1970, Jordan Davis is the author of a poetry collection and many reviews and essays about poetry

by this poet

poem
I tell you I will not make any more raids,
The elusive going-elsewhere motherboard 

An electrical sound marking stretches 
Afternoon is carving into the wood of us,

That's our modern way of saline allegory—
To make gods of times of day. I won't 

Cooperate with this love that steals itself 
Into a brand name,
poem
Having a child changes you. For example,
A salmon's face extends forward, a giant underbite
Emerging, and then there's the matter
Hanging off their sides. I am proud to be
An American. Also, I'm proud to be a Protestant,
And wasn't whiteness a smart choice.

When people complain to me about Spielberg's
poem
When I am sitting at my desk and I have feelings
It is like I am the lone passenger in a little boat
On a sunny windy day.  When we are lying down
And we have good feelings it is a speedboat skipping
Like a stone among the islands I feel we’re in.
When we are sitting in bed at five a.m. talking the light
On I