D. R. James

Art by Greg Dunn

One’s Obsessions

          —for Marvin Bell

Like gates to a labyrinth, they unlock
imagination to euphoric, mazed
brains, inflammatory wildernesses
of appreciation, magnetic sumps
of innuendo censored from belief.
Studies of blunt insurrection toward truths,
studies of caged aims, unpinnacled peaks,
they abhor bores in elite atmospheres,
quicksands of theory fossilized for all,
glacierized sap sold as veracity.

Leaf Fall

Asymmetric chandeliers instigate
their rhapsodic drop, the ruddling scumble-
trove of falling leaves and epiphanies
whose sillage shellacs paw, pelt, and breezes.
Trapezes sling these acrobatic hues
into bold arcs, risky spins, pronounced turns
before alights the wind-borne troupe of the
trees. Stippled bark akin to camo backs
the show, and cursive limbs announce the new
season: caesura ending summer’s song.

As recollecting wanes,

I’m carving out an effigy of
Forgetfulness grasping mangled ledgers
of memory. Look how it shuffles screens,
kinks files: larceny of channeled retention
from unmuscled thresholds and honed lingo.
Its intrusions inhabit the vacuum.
It hobbles the hinge of suggestion, the
fulcrum of my textual clout. Like sleepwalk
pillowed and impermeable, it is
ambling the clamped mansion of my cortex.


D. R. James has been teaching college writing, literature, and peace-making for 36 years and lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His most recent of eight poetry collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press) and Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box); the micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project; and a new chapbook, Flip Requiem, will be released in February 2020 (Dos Madres Press).

D.R. James at Amazon

D. R. James at Hope College

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Art by Greg Dunn

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