The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems
by Olena Kalytiak Davis

This marks the first book in a decade for Olena Kalytiak Davis, one of the more dynamic and compelling poets writing today. Her voice is muscular, sensual, tender, fierce. Her poems can arc with a postmodern energy and flow with a centuries-old lyricism. Her view is often of herself (or, at least, an “i”), a vantage point she approaches in multiple ways, both earnest and ironic. In doing so, she pulls the reader toward her. Her grip is at once thrilling and unsettling. In conjunction with this publication, Copper Canyon Press has brought back into print her 2003 collection shattered sonnets love cards and other off and back handed importunities ($16.00).

from “Orpheus and Eurydice (2005)”

that’s how the hip souls went:
from brooklyn to manhattan
and back.

in their lowkey finery
yet almost nondescript
dirtyhaired, flared, satchels full of hipster shit
(like what? dostoyevsky and parliaments?)
earbuds faintly blossoming some new deflowered sounds
they silently moved their blood
(much like our own lifeblood)
through arteries
through arteries hard as stone
silent thoughtful pale stoned? and almost

that one lowslung skijacketed skinnyhipped girl’s lips:

otherwise nothing else was red…

o the mind mind has mountains cliffs of fall
frightful sheer no man fathomed
hold them cheap may who ne-er hung there…

what are you doing here?


and it was so: on the way down
to the underground years and years ago
i had left him or, more accurately, will say some,
at broadway and lafayette, he had left me

for ne’er again, he had promised, her to see
but nine years later there i was again
having embarked on a randomly chosen F train
he watched her walk in

had he been riding back and forth
all these years? had he never gotten off?

Posted by Christine