This title is available for pre-order and will ship on it's publication date: April 23rd 2024.
When tensions veer between hope and despair, the ensuing fracture can swing like a scythe and cut a ragged seam between past and present. In One Wild Word Away, Geffrey Davis weaves a deft set of poems about illness, family, loss, and rebirth. The luxurious sonics and crisp descriptions in each line are haunted by grief and buoyed by love as the speaker confronts generational trauma and the loss of a loved one while in the process of raising his own son.
Excerpt from ONE WILD WORD AWAY
—for my son
Tonight, a storm. And I hear weak humming
drift down the throat of this rain-voiced house.
My son is asleep when
I check, but the first notes
sounded like the softness of him upstairs
learning by singing to soothe his own doubts.
I’ve answered that hymnal despair before;
I’ve been that odd wonder—no hidden talent,
just the boy who, if asked, would let a room
of unhomed siblings hear him trying to hush
the terror his own mind could not contain
but for song. Nightmares taught me young.
When the pale lady from my dreaming began
to blur with waking life, for days I trembled
through the winded dark of our tired trailer
to know the frightening figure had not
returned for my family. I whispered strange
psalms from bed to bed, window to window
banishing fear’s face. I must have sung.
I can’t imagine me back without the singing.
So, I tell any self not yet tucked inside a warm
if dreamless rest: Sing for home. Sing, then sleep.
Praise for ONE WILD WORD AWAY
“In One Wild Word Away, Geffrey Davis imagines a song that contains all the contradictions within us, a song to guard against illness, loss, and death, all the old stories of our past. He imagines a new story, too, one that ‘brightens something else between us.’ This book is that song. We can hear it, this love, and ‘It hums like mercy.’”
— Blas Falconer, author of Forgive the Body This Failure
“‘Only LOVE’ is at the heart of this honest, searching new collection by Geffrey Davis in which tender and intricate language transforms raw material: a stuttering marriage, the ghost of a father's addiction, the hauntings of a hard past in a newly-hard, newly-hopeful present. How does the child-self still within us understand ‘my chance to see I would survive // looking a blessing in its full face before believing/ I deserved the voice of light.’ Davis, again and again, displays a fierce insistence to seek and offer tenderness to even the most brutal violence; to find ‘awe with wings as slick as any ruin’ or to see ‘morning // adorned that glade's depressions / with a little light.’ In poem after poem, he shows us that brokenness means, if we can be truthful, not only challenge, but also hope: ‘the sidewalk's unevenness, buckled / by the old roots below.’ I will turn to this book when I need someone to help me find my way back to that most complicated and simple act: love.”
— Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Toward Antarctica, co-editor of Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry
Publication Date: 04/23/2024
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