Two Poems by Jim Davis

Please Do Not Use This Toilet (if possible)

Did you hear about the man who swallowed a yo-yo? Some clodhopper
down in Garfield Park. Real classy guy. The butcher said
to my father, if he’s havin’ girl problems, I feel bad for your son,

before handing over thirty links of venison sausage. There’s a sign
on the busted toilet. Magnavox in the corner above the bread plays
a homemade video of Pontius Pilate doing Pilates, sweating to the old

testament, read by Morgan Freeman, until the part where Jesus
leaks – Red Red Wine & other UB40 songs have been dubbed over,
that’s when cassette tapes are side by side, press play & record (●)

at the same time. My father took a number, got back in line.
The woman behind him died of a peanut allergy & the butcher said
did you hear the one about the canary in the coal miner’s pants?

A galaxy of pig blood on his apron. Milky Way melted in his chest
pocket. Everything is bite-sized to a big enough mouth. He stopped
dancing to reggae when hardwood floors put a splinter in the meat

of his foot. Did you hear about the man whose toe was stolen
by gangrene? He sold my father Bambi links, Rudolf links, bull
testicles & recorded over his earliest religion. Jesus used video

cassette, he said, sticking his finger in the pronged wheel of his one
& only workout tape, leaking lengths of silver film, said
it died of repetitious stalagmite, silver tape recoiling as he twisted.




I was Afraid for the Revolution

Overthrown field of dry weeds burning like an orange
wave. Nest of feathers: mostly song sparrow, phoebe,

whippoorwill – sprinkling of goldfinch for when the rich
company comes over. We missed the hammerhead

by two minutes, stranded & flopping on the sand
after the fisherman accidentally caught a vampire

squid, which was in the midst of being eaten. I would
like to thank the National Endowment for the Arts

for supporting more talented poets. Somewhere south
there’s a stone Virgin bleeding tears & vice

versa. After dark, crouching toward the river’s grin,
el Cazador Bebiendo begins to drink his rippling

likeness, kiss his own lips. Whether what drew him
to the riverbank was narcissism, or that equally human

thirst, he is frozen in an oiled cage of branches, patch
of naked birch, the grimacing face of shadow

on rock. So much depends on the still wings of strung fowl.
Will they feed a village? Will they roast above a fire

surrounded by empty stumps? So vital, their still hearts,
to say whether he will drown, or quench himself. I have

walked out of every movie I’ve ever gone to see
starring the Rock, & every time I swell with regret, popcorn

skins stuck in my teeth. The few bucks in my pocket
broken by last night’s cab. The Revolution went on

when I was sleeping. The sky’s so deeply cerulean
it makes me sick. I hear the sand-pattern of a hammerhead

suffocating on the beach. I hope she was able
to steal me a tooth. The afternoon is roasting birds.


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