A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith, by Pam Davenport

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A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith, by Pam Davenport
A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith
Copyright 2019 by Pam Davenport

"The poems in Pam Davenport's debut collection, A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith, are as earthy and spirited as the horses she describes. Whether it's a teenage girl longing to be "felt up," or the "flesh and pith and skin" of an orange, Davenport writes with honesty and wit about the nature of desire. "We want we never stop wanting," she writes in the poem "Sushi." Part coming of age story, part love song to appetite, these poems abound in rich physical detail. There are spider plants, rump roasts, martinis and bottles of Prell shampoo. Davenport celebrates the sublime and the ordinary in equal measure, from the moon's "ancient lunar light" to "a rusty chain-link fence." A Midwest Girl reminds us what a gift it is "To know we are here."

—Ellen Bass
author of Like a Beggar
Poet Bio:
Pam Davenport
Sample Poems:
Dancing with the Dead        Ode to a Martini        A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith

> Book Review by Charles Rammelkamp at Kissing Dynamite

Pam Davenport

Pam Davenport Pam Davenport writes in the deserts and mountains of Arizona and earned an MFA at Pacific University in Oregon. She writes poems to look for what is shimmering beneath the ordinary, as Lucy Brock-Broido recommended. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Nimrod, Tinderbox, Poetry of the American Southwest, Chiron, New Verse News, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and others.


Dancing with the Dead

During that time we danced
on Sundays at a Tempe dive bar

to a Dead cover band under a hot
sky, washing away the nursing home

smell clinging to our skin,
and once between sets a face before me

separated itself from the melange
of vacant eyes and empty smiles,

a girl with gold-centered blue eyes
bringing light to the gray day.

I told the girl in tie-dye skirt with
silver-coin belt that my mother was dying.

She took my hand and I felt her rings
on every finger, her rough skin raking mine.

When the music started up again,
she pulled me to the lip of the stage

where we swayed, holding onto each other,
soft chords rippling through the thickening night.

We danced as people died. The girl
shouted something in my ear

though I could not hear her.
Her breath bathed my face

in sweet grass and alcohol
and made me clean.

Copyright ©2019 Pam Davenport

Ode to a Martini

It is how we mark the closing
of one thing, the opening of another.

A shaker, we begin,
a glass of glistening elegance,

what brilliant mind conceived this bowl
of bliss and how we end our day,

but I get ahead of myself.
The liquor's glub glub oiliness

pours over ice, a trickle of olive juice,
a passover of vermouth,

we rattle the cocktail,
become someone else,

someone who holds a glass
just so, balanced on cupped fingers.

One Christmas I watered down my father's martini
and I regret little but that.

The night he died he lifted his silvery drink,
took in the first brackish drop.

Whatever may have been
fell away.

Copyright ©2019 Pam Davenport

A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith

Patti stole a steak in the Village
Wrote poetry at the Chelsea Hotel

I knew only I wanted
To be a wild mustang

In these perilous times
I might have died young

Still might lose my mind
But I'm here

So I thank what can be contained
And I see myself

I see all of us
Surrounded by horses

Copyright ©2019 Pam Davenport