Bend in the Stair by David P. Miller
Poetry by David P. Miller
“David Miller’s new book, Bend in the Stair, captures the benchmarks of a life through a surreal lens, heightening each moment with his verbal magic: You made it/past the divorce, then five years/in a gnat-cloud of stillborn lusts. Or in the knock-out opening poem, “Retrieving My Father’s Ashes on My Birthday” where Miller contrasts his father’s exit—compacted wordless gray grit—with his booming entry into this world: pissing, screeching, astounded. What becomes of our lawn egrets and un-mailed love letters? Where do we go driving away from the end? Miller’s precise, imagistic inquiries spark off the page, then settle deep into the heart. This is a book I’ll return to again and again.”–Dzvinia Orlowsky, author of Bad Harvest, Silvertone, and Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones.
Three Hearts The pelican tips its fish-filled gut bucket bill to its breast to press out the last morsels. The Dalmatian kind rests its blood red pouch sagging crimson on its chest. The old religious made Christ of these. They saw mother birds pierce their hearts raw open to feed their fainting young. If someone pulls a night blanket’s extra thickness above his heart, is it that he lacks a piece of quartz to lull the ache? If at the morning table, easing eyes on the blue stoneware lamp,he rests a hand an extra minute over that place near the breastbone, is the hand a shield? Armor wrapped against an average cliff-edge day? Or a motionless caress, an embrace of coming strikes, punctures, spills? The esoteric heart is called anahata: unstruck. It sounds without collision. Unhurt, it opens bare to all assaults. Unbeaten say the mystics. Such image haloes the muscle,certain in the chest, that beats itself till death.
About the Author
David P. Miller’s collection, Sprawled Asleep, was published by Nixes Mate Books in 2019. His chapbook, The Afterimages, was published by Červená Barva Press in 2014. With a background in experimental theater and performance before turning to poetry, David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for 25 years. He was a librarian at Curry College in Massachusetts, from which he retired in June 2018. He and his wife, the visual artist Jane Wiley, live in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.