Bruise Songs

978-1-62288-302-8 Paperback
6 x 9. 80 pp.
Pub Date: 02/02/2020
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Steve Davenport’s Bruise Songs is aggressive—21st century blues, a rap for the times, a hymn for the hurts we bear and for which we recover.  As the poet invokes in “Dear Horse I Rode In On,” his poetry

is the curl of rind

the lick of salt the shaves

barkings of all these lines

or limes I cut and squeeze

for bruise songs, my cowboy

brag.  Rhyme is everything

in song.  You done me wrong.

He leads us to muddy waters where he asks us to sing his “two-chord, carp killin’ river song,” or gives us access to love letters to cerebral angiograms:  “I find the clot you leave under the bruise.  I ask that you open lines of time.”  It takes a life to sing blues so hauntingly.

Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press