D.R. James

Carte Postale

previously published by Finishing Line Press


The x’d window marks my single room, the

20ième étage—the edge. See? It looks

over this drab campus américain,

out-skirting Grenoble close to the west,

L’Alp du Grand Ser to the southeast. Every

gray morning, I hitch to the old town, stroll

past cafés, patisseries, fresh croissants,

witness turtle-necked lovers, their longing

bathed in foreign-film smoke. Whatever you

do, don’t marry Andrew, s’il te plait.  Love,

First Light

previously published in Poetry Quarterly

After the year of staring, various

grays at last color tree, beach, breaker, the

dark undersides of waves, the textured seas 

arriving gently from a medium,

even gray. And the horizon, barely

reckoned, smoothed to its worn sheen, intersects

inexpressive sky, sedate lake, flattened

and diaphanous, the road-show backdrop

for enacting the refurbishment of

a feeble—no, make that a threadbare—life.

A Theology

previously published in Eclectica

Until that morning, infinity had

never listened. My heart, which had nearly

died five years before, its good blood slackening

gradually but surely in the foolish

geography of my foolish body,

had always hesitated to hear what

alone held it in time's bald gaze. Then, that

morning, four a.m., a bird, his Ee-oo-

oo-Eh echoing off brick, unanswered

over Tenth Street, taught my heart to listen






D.R. James has taught writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College for 35 years and lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan, with his wife, psychotherapist Suzy Doyle. His MA is from Iowa, and his MFA is from Pacific University. Poetry and prose have appeared in various journals and anthologies; his most recent of eight collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press) and Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box); the micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project; and a new chapbook, Flip Requiem, will be released in February of 2020 (Dos Madres Press).