Three Poems

Peter Davis

Mother’s Day

I feel my best when I'm on a skateboard.
On a skateboard,
I am another human, one more mobile
and more attached to a small plank of wood
set atop four small wheels.
My wife is very beautiful, Tina.
Physically it's like she is trying to eclipse
her inner goodness.
It's like she has decided to grow
a force field around her inner goodness
by creating a shell of beauty
that no one would dare penetrate. I have
penetrated this shell and am lucky.
Tina, I have been lucky
to be inside my wife
and watch my kids expand her belly
and see her explode with them.
She is not a skateboard but I am
free when I am sailing on her.
I look at her and the sea waits.
My Ollie, sometimes, is
perfect, Tina. When it is, she snaps into the air
and when I land
my feet are just glued.

Eddie Van Halen

George Lynch is good, Tina, and so are

some other guys but everyone knows

that Eddie Van Halen is the greatest

guitar player to ever live. I mean,

Hendrix and Clapton and Randy Rhodes

are fucking great and they rock

but Eddie Van Halen was the only

person in the world who could

play the solo on Thriller. Also,

Eruption, Tina.

I Am a Failure, Tina

When watching TV, when watching a DVD, when listening to a CD,
when carefully considering questions of religion and philosophy,
I am a failure.
The mirror always sees failure.
Petting a dog or rubbing her behind her ears, I fail badly.
When I whistle, I fail as a whistler.
Taking an elevator, escalator, or bus, my failure is obvious.
When eating candy and cake and ice cream, I am a dessert failure.
Remembering happy moments from elementary school, I am failing.
This failing comes easy.
It actually feels good because it's so easy.
I was touching another human's cheek, in a tender manner, and I was failing.
I was stating that I was a failure, failing.
When I was failing, I was a failure.
When I was considering the cartoon? Failing.
Holding a bottle? Failing.
Wearing my glasses? Really failing.
Walking through the grass is a type of failure.
Changing my clothes I really feel like a failure.
The way I fail at each spectacular moment is breathtaking. I look at these moments in a failing way.
I love them in a failing manner.
Using a hammer or an electric drill.
Reading a newspaper.
When I take a bath in my kids' bath water, I don't get as clean as I could. I am a hygienic failure.
I am really failure-like.
When I find certain definitions, I am failing in a dictionary sort of way.
All this failure is moving along as planned.
The failure is written into the text.
I am trying to change this sense of failure, but I am
not having much success.
I feel like a failure often.
Sometimes, even all alone with my thoughts, I feel like a failure.
No matter how many poems I write, I am a failure.
No matter how many failures I don't have, or have,
I am a failure.
If I have some success, I am still a failure.
If I am told that I am not a failure, I am still a failure.
I am always failing because I cannot succeed.
I can succeed and still I fail.
I can win the race and still fail.
I am a failure regardless of what place I get.
I am a failure in every race.
When I sleep at night, I sleep as a failure.
Even if magazines and television programs proclaim
me a success, I am a failure.
When I achieve something, I have failed.
When I accomplish a goal, I fail.

Peter Davis's books of poems are Hitler's Mustache and Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! His music project, Short Hand, is available along with other info about publications etc, at