John Davis Jr. is a Floridian poet residing in the Tampa Bay area. He has been writing and publishing for about 20 years. Listen to us discuss how the Florida landscape and his love for travel influences his work and about his future projects.
You can purchase "Hard Inheritance" here:
You can order "Middle Class American Proverb here:
Bio: John Davis Jr. is a Florida poet. His books include Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other collections. His poems have been published internationally, with appearances in magazines like Nashville Review, Barren magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Common online, and Steel Toe Review, among many others. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa in addition to a master's in education. He presently serves as associate dean of academic affairs for Keiser University in Clearwater.
Silver keys drew me in – neatly lettered and numbered circles
the size of my fingers. If only I could hear those hammers,
smell ink pressed free. Taken by its store display, I sought
a rhythm of permanence: the striking discharge of my name.
Once cops found the Remington in my neighbor’s shed, they said
That boy, as if nobody else would want black applause
from a curious carriage’s well-oiled melody
played on paper and ended with a single bell – done.
Police returned it to Mister Howard, who let it sit
because his name was already on too many buildings.
They booked me in, had me hold a sign with Courier numbers –
white holes of zeroes captured by print’s hard impact.
Creek Wading with a Young Son
Arriving by bike, we know to whisper like the woods:
This stream’s soft trill and the wind’s slow travel
through pines drown the drone of highway lanes
beyond the palmetto-frond hands opening toward water.
Predator, provider: This anonymous tributary
takes and gives alike as our four bare feet
bring clouds from its white sand bottom – swirling rising
residue stirs south, settles back beneath water.
Your passage here disproves ancient philosophy:
I am the nameless man who stepped in the same time
twice thanks to your smaller, faster-filling tracks.
My deeper plunges do not slow this aging water.
In sunlit pockets along the dark-patched course,
shadow fish dart like memories – there, gone.
But we have neither hooks nor bread today,
so black scales brush our foreign ankles underwater.
Your sunken toes discover some animal’s rib
and like a tribesman, you lift it, fling it forward.
It skips, ripples holes in two distant points
before rocking and sinking in new familiar water.
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