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Preliminary Report, poems by Jon Davis

For the lucky, it’s years spent
spinning the frantic wheel
of a carnival bumper car,
lights swirling, the buzzing
and rumbling, sparking
and zapping, intent only
on causing the surprising
crash, the ram and counterram,
spun wheel, sudden surge
in reverse, the steady stare-down,
head-jerk, one car after
another until you find yourself
targeting the bare legs
of the college kid, his back
turned to unstick a clot
of stuck cars, bearing down,
full speed now, the humming
in your head now, until
the power dies and you stop
dead at his sneakered feet
and smile primly up—


Jon Davis is the author of four chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry, Preliminary Report (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), Scrimmage of Appetite (University of Akron Press, 1995), for which he was honored with a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, and Dangerous Amusements (Ontario Review Press, 1987), for which he received a G.E. Younger Writers Award and the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He has also received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Lannan Residency, and a fellowship to The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. "Adolescence" was published in his collection 'Preliminary Report.' Jon Davis is the current Poet Laureate of New Mexico