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5 Poems from Donavon Davidson

Scene XV

In which Hamlet’s piteous sigh
             is heard by Ophelia

We make love every time
she says I have to see a man about a horse
behind a carriage
nothing easy
is forever a good thing
what makes Sammy run
to the book depository
life is a bowl of cherries
on the side of the road
a bed of roses
everybody lays on the ground
that’s life and only life
is David Lynch singing through a vocoder
slow down
all good things to those who wait
a shot in the dark
invitation to love
a moment of clarity
for old times’ sake
we embrace the truth
performing a disappearing act
according to the laws of gravity
holding each other meant everything
we never spoke when spoken to


Scene XVI

In which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
            bend to Hamlet’s understanding

it’s better to have loved
to never love at all
the world behind a curtain
is better left unsaid
if love makes the world go around
saying things about my mother
behind my back
the stage resembles the usual tragedies
you called to say it’s over
the hill with a ruined church
everyone thinking is haunted
Halleluiahs on headstones
for years no one picks up
the receiver refused to accept the charges
the front door was always open
the lights were always blue
T.V. selling weight loss
through the bedroom door
the lights were always blue
tying one on
out on a flesh toned limb
every cloud has a silver lining
if it’s not one thing it’s another
get behind me Satan
say hi to my mother


Scene XVII

In which Polonius reveals Hamlet’s
            distemper to king and queen

step back for a second
look before you leap
out of the frying pan
the critics say you were forced
to find your feet
without a leg to stand one
metaphorically speaking
you fell head over heels
anatomically speaking
no one could save you from yourself
acting without a heart
in the apple of your eye
an arrow isn’t needed to blind
so far as we can see
spiritually speaking
every wedding needs a shotgun
to help us learn by failure
speak now or forever hold your peace
blind folded or execution style
the easy way is just as hard
to reach for the sky
you never had a chance



In which Hamlet tells Polonius
            conception is a blessing

I think I can make the world a better place
I hide the revolver
in the shape of my hand
between a knocked over lamp and white sheet
you tied up beautifully
disguised as a compliment
we called room service
our lady of the sweet hereafter
let it be known we will eat with our mouths closed
until further notice
the intended program will be interrupted
due to icy conditions
due to the fact I think I can
never search through your hair with my fingers
loaded and half in the bag
you said it looks like a bird, a plane
exploding in flight, you said
take a picture
it will last longer


Scene XIX

In which Hamlet greets Rosencrantz
            and Guildenstern at the prison gates

you’ll have to forgive my body
coming on too strong
when push comes to shove
around the wishing well
a picture is worth a thousand words
that only makes it worse
to be seen believing
I answer to no one
I enter a doctor’s office
obsessed with nautical art
I know is only a theory
different knots serve only one purpose
to heal the sick
with a slight air of entitlement
sometimes it comes in the form of a friend
more than a friend
saying it isn’t you it’s me
slipping a life line around your neck
it’s safe they say
it only makes it worse
to learn my name
taken once in the morning and once in the evening
side effects include dancing
when no one is looking
for all the right reasons
singing in the shower
when no one is listening
for the landing of a coin
in a well


Scene XX

In which Hamlet recounts the players
            modest cunning

everything is conditional
if I am on top of her
falling into a dark hole
I give until it hurts
her pussy is the center of the universe
if it looks too good to be true
she’s been practicing her whole life to get it right
if it’s the first or last thing she’ll ever do
my secret will be safe
when I was twelve my brother called me a pussy
surrounded by a scary group of givers and takers
I was the center of the universe
if it rained in Indiana
everybody got wet
if I took a shot
I gave until it hurt
if things were not the way they were
I wouldn’t be here
dying in some private way
if it really mattered how I began
I would have let them teach me a lesson
if the center of the universe show itself to you
a mirror is broken every time


Donavon’s poems have appeared in many online and print journals, most recently in: Barnstorm, Juked, The Fiddleback, Prick of the Spindle, Oak Bend Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Montucky Review, Spork, 3:AM, Anti-, and MiPOesias. He received his MFA from Goddard College and currently teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont.