Two Poems By James Miller

by: James Miller

James A. Miller’s poetry speaks to us of the real world, the one riven between loss and abundance, between a shattered belief in the value of grief and the weight of a completeness that we can not call our own.

On Vocation

Drowsing at the bookstore,
the only available chair
next to the employee-only sign:
and what is nearest?

+++++Cultural studies, social
+++++sciences, the road to character,
+++++poetry wrapped in foil, dried out
+++++in the crock pot and so you don’t eat.

In your drowning
you have been reading
about genius James Wright
and his genius drinking.

+++++All the poems are crusted
+++++with divorce. You want to break
+++++the ice on the lake and squeeze
+++++a squiggled fish in your bare hands,

but the pop song
surges on the p.a.,
I’ll remain, I’ll remain,
and so you don’t eat.

+++++You are burning through poems
+++++about hunger in the 70s,
+++++smoke thin as porcine flesh
+++++at the meat market,

stretched over your lips
for the drum. Leave the litmags
on the chair as you step out
into the Texas of mist,

+++++drawled rain, February
+++++clouds you can’t name,
+++++won’t trust. Is the cough
+++++yours, or theirs?



We come out early
to greet the vines
afloat on our eaves.

A garden spider
is busy repairing
her lattice.

One last caladium
has bloomed overnight—
waxy sheen

and pale,


James Miller is a native of Houston, though he has spent time in the American Midwest, Europe, China, South America and India. He has published poetry in Riversedge, the Houston Poetry Fest 2016, Sweet Tree Review, Lullwater Review, Burnt Pine, Boston Accent, Plainsongs, Cold Mountain Review, The Tishman Review, The Maine Review, Bird’s Thumb, Straight Forward Poetry, Gyroscope, 2River, After the Pause, Main Street Rag, and Lunch Ticket.

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