Bend in the Stair by David P. Miller

Photo image by Jane Wiley and cover design by Martha McCollough

Bend in the Stair by David P. Miller

Poetry by David P. Miller Includes 3-dollar charge for shipping


“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.

Photo by Jane Wiley