Georgia Jones-Davis: Four Poems

Georgia Jones-Davis is one of the founding editors of the Herald Examiner newspaper Book Review and an Assistant Book Editor at the Los Angeles Times Book Review for 14 years. Her book reviews have appeared in many publications including The Washington Post, New York Newsday, The Chicago Tribune, Salon, Southwest Book Views and New Mexico Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in various publications including West Wind, The Bicycle Review, California Quarterly, Brevities, Nebo and South Bank Poetry, London, as well as Ascent Aspirations, a Canadian Journal, and Eclipse, and the anthologies Blessings: Voices From the Valley (Hazel Street Productions, 2006); Chopin With Cherries (Moonrise Press, 2010) and Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach, 2014). She is the author of a chapbook, Blue Poodle (Finishing Line Press 2011.) Her second chapbook, Night School, will be published in 2015 (Finishing Line Press).


Blue Poodle

You are girdled in your mother’s
Navajo concho belt,
the black leather cracked.

Some never solve the equation:
Mom and apple pie.
You haven’t.

True you said
there are times you’ve envied

In your dream last night your mother
leaped or fell into the ocean.
You dove in, rescued her, wondered why.

At the governor’s tea you modeled
mother-daughter squaw dresses,
pale pink with silver bric-a-brac,

flared by crinoline petticoats. How smug
and pretty she looked, how they flashed,
her conchos, when she swirled.

Always small in your mother’s eyes,
you hoard her valentine’s addressed
to the world’s worst Jew, the little bitch.

When you were seven
she bought you a blue
poodle for Valentine’s Day.

The legs moved, head swiveled,
its tongue was a fleck of bright red flannel,
the cloth of its body trunk velveteen,

the curls of its fur
the color of sky
at the first sign of snow.

So heavy, the goddamn belt,
and the silver conchos are a currency
impossible to save or to spend,

full moons that rule the roots of warring women,
open eyes of the sleepless shark,
scalloped blossoms tarnished by years of freezes,

Jesus, a perfect fit.


Your Father

How I loved the buzz of the world,
everyone in it. How I sang.

Now my thickening lungs are clammy as a hive.
Now I am a flightless queen.

I was so green when I married your father, drone.
In the egg chamber I labored and for what?

For years he visited the flowers
and still there was no honey.

One day he vanished into the vagina
of an iris or a rose– who knows,

they are all sluts, the whole garden a bed
of bitches passing as blossoms.


Listening to Anne Sexton

Her voice a loaded gun,
teenage memory of wanting to overdose,
death aria of Butterfly,

I, too, want to live on Black Oak Road,
use a coffin for a desk,
speak in a cigarette voice

from below the belly, the cave of muscle,
from ovaries with eggs that only want
to fertilize themselves.

Keep knives hidden, lights on, doors locked.
Her voice, mean as money,
a lullaby for anyone half in love with death,

for vampires snug in their satin beds
when the sky runs red
at sunrise.

I, too, want to drown
like an unwanted kitten
everything I write,

and when it gasps,
paws frantically, swallows water
in a tiny and magnificent struggle

haul the sack with the cat
out of the murk, resuscitate
only the sharpest lines, the claws.

Annunciate my water-logged
vowels and consonants
in the way they used to

in the bow-tied old century,
annunciate like a Boston Brahmin,
as if my life depends upon it.


Put Me Away

Put me away
in one of those places.
Do what you are going to do.
You have taken me apart
like a Mengele experiment.
I am de-boned
but not de-clawed.

From the beginning
you emptied my life.
Now you empty my house —
one chair, one table,
one tooth at a time.
You take everything–
gold rings, the shoe-maker, France.

My childhood was gassed,
not my body.
What can you, stupid American,
ever know of such things?
You are the same shit as the Germans.
You are the Zyklon B
I thought I escaped.

On my oxygen leash
you make me your dog.
You’ve always treated me
like a dog.
Now you give me no choice
like a dog
about where I am going to die.

I gave birth to you.
But what I wanted
was a mirror.
What I wanted
was the roller-skating girl
I was
when I was taken away
from me.

I will tell them
that the blood in the cord
that bound us
dried black
as the milk I refused you
was white.

I will tell them
I gained only thirteen pounds
with you.
I barely gave birth
to you at all.

What are you looking for?