Revising the Storm

Geffrey Davis. BOA Editions (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (92p) ISBN 978-1-938160-28-8
“Enter ERROR of desire/ Enter FATHER,” writes Davis in his debut, an account of selfhood, origin, and meaning in the face of an absent father and broken relationships. Rendering reality here means that “all your effort looks like the wrong/ and right thing,” and that “[e]ach shift in the winds of remembering renders me// immediate again.” Throughout its three sections, the engine powering the collection runs on retrospection and introspection, and a fierce questioner, challenging the accuracy of the observations, is always at the wheel. “What would it mean to revise this memory? Perhaps we could return to some/ first faith, some uninterrupted union.” Acutely aware of myriad meanings to each assertion and of the many versions of each story, these poems are strongest where they push through poetic narrative about personal experience to create poetry where storytelling itself is subverted. In one poem, for example, Davis speaks to a child version of himself: “How dearly I want to give you/ the gentlest version of my voice, say something// to suspend your belief in disasters.” Continuously challenging himself to “[t]ell it right this time,” Davis displays an elegant tenacity that begs to be unleashed on subjects beyond personal history. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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