Verses and Songs for the Many Different Ways of Love
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Deceptively light verse on love, from newcomer Davison, that in its sheer nakedness assumes a specific gravity.

"Born with a knack for facile verse, / Perhaps a gift–perhaps a curse. / Who knows? I guess it could be worse." Facility, too, for Davison can turn a lovely line: "but after I'd wielded the point a while, in some inexplicable / way, they'd yield. I simply had to find the vulnerable spots / where loop entered curve…" These mostly short poems are not about compression, but musicality; the rhymes have a bounce even when the subject is love biting your ankle and kicking your shin, or when the knife is given a twist, as in the simple "because you don't love me." Some of the work is purely facile, especially when the poet tries to push a gimmick, like a country twang, or when she forces a rhyme for rhyme's sake, as in "folly's largesse," which doesn't have much to do with passion, humor, desperation, or a "caress." More often, though, lurking beneath the clarity is an unexpected play with time and space, or an addendum that could well stand on its own: "Why not have it all? / Is our range so small?" There is an over-fondness of exclamation marks, and moments of straying into cuteness–-though fortunately cuteness is not a tendency, despite Davison's obvious pleasure in romping about. Yet the energy here is easeful as well, enveloping a wide variety of situations: a mother's lament that her son doesn't call home more often, the expression of why a lover's ticks are so disarming, or even the blunt realization of a missed opportunity. And while a certain propriety hovers over the lines, Davison can send out a playful slap. Those drugstore bears, they don’t wear any underwear.

Small vessels of love, a fruity selection possessing charm and devoid of pretense–-and as vulnerable as confessions.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-931123-28-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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