Wednesday 5 May 2021

2 Poems by Scott Davidson

 Fall Back

The clock in the bedroom upstairs
doesn't hang off a screw. There's a tube,
a sleeve that fits over one. There's a point
having risen from the daybed annoyed this
clock wasn’t already changed when the room is
still an hour ahead. There’s no seeing between
the clock and the wall, no feeling your way,
no catching an edge of the sleeve. I'm stuck
imagining points in space, expecting each to be
the one, accepting an undefined number of
failures. I don't dwell in the backrooms of all
that’s wrong. I don’t wonder for long if there’s
wisdom to be gained, experience unique to this
moment I’m missing by choosing not to know.

Wise Translucent Hands

Mostly I was smiling because a professor once said the rationalist
argument that you can’t really make it from here to the door because

space is infinitely divisible was the same as masturbation. In college,
the standard smart-ass response was, Watch me. When the schism

found a body and couldn’t stop talking in his office, he had no
idea what I was thinking. Even with all the math you  can stuff into

formula bars, the joke is the same. Theories and all their conceptual
ballast fail in practice on their own. When they fall from the sky like

stones with dreams of being birds, falling short can't be blamed on
an imperfect world. Too much of success depends on rising above

work, above people who look conveniently small from the 25th
floor, perfect for spreadsheet cells and the vector-coded groups

handed down by wise, translucent hands. With proper leverage
and motivation, people find they want to be improved. This gets

forgotten too often. When you no longer cut, hammer or lift, you don’t
get to say, without crossing your fingers, it’s not about me but the work.


Scott Davidson grew up in Montana, worked for the Montana Arts Council as a Poet in the Schools, and – after most of two decades in Seattle – lives with his wife in Missoula. His poems have appeared in Southwest Review, Hotel Amerika, Valparaiso Poetry Review,, Bright Bones: Contemporary Montana Writing, and the Permanent Press anthology Crossing the River: Poets of the Western United States.

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