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About this poet

Jordan Davis was born in New York in 1970. He attended Columbia College, where he studied under Kenneth Koch and was an editor of the college's paper. He graduated with a BA in English in 1992 while continuing to work as Koch's assistant and editor.

Davis is the author of the poetry collections Shell Game (Edge Books, 2018) and Million Poems Journal (Faux, 2003), as well as several chapbooks. He has also 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). 

From 1992 to 1994, Davis served as editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter. In 1995, he became host and curator of the Poetry City reading series. He was also an editor for Teachers and Writers Collaborative for several years, and in 1999, he founded the literary journal The Hat with a Teachers and Writers colleague, Chris Edgar. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the poetry editor of The Nation, and he has written about poetry for PaperSlateThe Village Voice, and Constant Critic, among other publications.

Davis lives and works in New York City.


Bibliography

Shell Game (Edge Books, 2018)
Million Poems Journal (Faux, 2003)

A Boat

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 don’t feel so good I feel like we’re on a ferry
For another six hours going back and up and forth
And down.  At least it’s a boat.  When I sit and talk to girls
Someplace I feel like I’m in a maritime museum.
When we walk together to the pool or park it’s like
I’m rowing you across to Banff, and when I
Take you in a car to your mother’s house, the Bay of Fundy.
At work the coast guard, walking there the merchant 
Marine, me in my pea coat.

This poem originally appeared in Million Poems Journal, reprinted with permission of Faux Press Books.

This poem originally appeared in Million Poems Journal, reprinted with permission of Faux Press Books.

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
With practice I could fold a rose
Or a theory of prose or some treason

But what is to be got--a satire?
Expedience? the opera of laughter?

I know conviction from the convict,
The senator from February.
poem
Yet in that silver age
A pale boy
The sea god’s love
Came toward a fine and flashing
Monotony; and steam came
From him as from a mechanism
And he came to disregard
The magnetic seasons
As teachers hurry under a tent the heat
Coming toward him even as
He sinks himself further
As if to please again the boring god
poem
The please freak
And the likeness monster
Follow the pretend family
On their journey alone
Around the room.

In the middle of the night
Comes the terrifying cry—
"How may I help you"

The tree looks down
And shakes its head.

Under separate cover
Of the night, love
Stalks the streets.

The audit committee
Goes