David James

Wild Goose Poetry Review, No 34, Spring 2018

for Tom Lux

tom lux died today
just as I ate a donut
the nutty kind
with chocolate so smooth and tasty
and I ate it
without offering any to anyone

I don’t think my donut killed tom lux
I don’t think tom lux even wanted my donut
if he did I would have broken it
and given him half
he’s given me his poems to eat
which certainly last longer than donuts which are momentary swallowed easily and gone

a poem can stay with you
for a lifetime
can settle in your gut in the corner of your brain
can be covered with nuts and honey
and devoured in any café or bookstore or bedroom

there’s a hole in my donut
but there are no holes in these poems
I spread out on the table by levine and edson
by lux and tate and hillberry
I lift the poems to my mouth
and they fill the hole in my heart
they leave a sweet taste
on my trembling lips


Bio: David James has three books and six chapbooks, but he is most excited about his sixth grandchild coming into the world in April 2018.

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One thought on “David James

  1. I have a recording of Hayden Carruth reading his poem “Ray” with the apple pie and the death of a friend and the poems. I can’t listen to that voice and those words without crying and smiling. And I can’t read this poem by David James without smiling and almost crying.

    Here are the first few lines of “Ray”

    by Hayden Carruth

    How many guys are sitting at their kitchen tables
    right now, one-thirty in the morning, this same
    time, eating a piece of pie? – that’s what I
    wondered. A big piece of pie, because I’d just
    finished reading Ray’s last book. Not good pie,
    not like my mother or my wife could’ve
    made, but an ordinary pie I’d just bought, being
    alone, at the Tops Market two hours ago. And how
    many had water in their eyes? Because of Ray’s
    book and especially those last poems written
    after he knew: . . .

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