Paperback Price: $8.95
Paperback ISBN: 0-914086-87-1

Selected Poem


I look in the mirror. “Hello, Chemo-Poet.” I am bald and missing my left breast. I have a clean scar and can feel the bone and my heart beneath my fingers. I feel the lost breast living, pulsing in a jar somewhere, a pathologist’s jar, waiting for morning, waiting to find itself home again. Hello, Chemo-Poet, how long have you got? Most people don’t have documents written on their bodies to remind them.

I go outside, always in disguise. I have a wig that makes me look like Mary Tyler Moore, but not me, never me. So I won’t wear it. Instead, I wear a scarf and wrap it around me, its vibrant colors screaming “Gypsy, gypsy.” I wear makeup to cover the absences of blood the drugs cause. The not-me is beautiful, my friends say, a radiance of color and disguise, a Mardi Gras of hope and death, a doll with missing pieces.

Chemo-Poet and Other Poems

“What is admirable about Davis’s poems is that true as she is to her experience (she is alternately angry, ashamed, sad, frightened), she never succumbs to self-pity. Her sense of humor, heart, and, of course, the poems themselves keep her afloat.”
—Gardner McFall, American Book Review (January-March)

“Davis gives us insight into a world we know, yet so rendered that our consciousness of it is that much deeper. The dream motif in several of these poems is so effectively incorporated that it seems we are inside the poems rather than simply observers: ‘There is always a clock in dreams,/ but my grandfather’s face points east,/ and we take the wineglasses and the Bible/ which says Whither thou goest out of the cabinet/ and start a prayer neither of us remembers.’ Painful and witty, these poems don’t weaken as the poet tries out a diversity of forms. Hers is a voice very different from that in most contemporary poetry, and it deserves to be heard.”
—Lenard D. Moore, Library Journal (September 15, 1989)


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