Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Ode to My 160GB iPod” | John Paul Davis

Ode To My 160GB iPod

By John Paul Davis

Migration Issue, 2015 

Box of magic, little wonder,

same size as a deck of cards, you sci-fi

my everyday, shining pacemaker

of all my parties, concert-hall

of my coat-pocket, dance club

in my palm, metal mouse

who swallowed a jazz history

class & gurgles in my ears like a secret

while I’m surfing the C train,

lamp of right angles I rub

with my thumb to coax

out the jinn who offers me 27000

wishes, pirate radio

next to my heartbeat,

oh how you hopped like a hatching

egg on the end-table the night

I figured out how Dana liked

it, a black tongue

snaking from your always-open

eighth-inch mouth feeding

hip-hop directly to her stereo,

oh trading card of romance,

how I slid Roshni’s headphones

into you as she slid mine into hers

so we could each DJ

the other’s N train SoHo to Queens,

little angel of all my journeys,

tugboat that pulls the yellow wash

of taxicabs north on 6th Avenue,

rock and roll sparkplug on the interstate,

soundtracking my road movies,

San Francisco to Ohio, Ohio to Chicago,

Chicago to Brooklyn, oh tin household god

I make a shrine to you first every

new place I move, let you bless

the empty rooms with their cardboard

skylines, oh second brain, oh the pale

fire of your screen I have used

to find my way in actual darkness,

you who sometimes offers songs

I don’t recognize by bands I don’t remember–

I soon learn to sing along,

because not everything new

is an imperialist trick, oh personal

savior from the eternal torment of radio

roulette, oh how clever we human beasts

can be, my six-ounce library,

how I have danced alone

because you have no eyes,

how I have mouthed the words

to songs I have not the voice to sing,

how I have clutched you through insomnia,

staring up at the roof of night’s closed mouth,

how I have had you instead of patience,

or companionship, or a lover,

how you were safe under the pillows

the next morning, how I dialed

without looking like I was calling

a god I don’t believe in & how you answered

with a song I didn’t expect

but needed, oh prayer wheel,

oh second heart, oh compass

oh slingshot, oh fakebook,

oh Bible to replace the one I put

down years before,

someone bit the apple

tattooed on your back,

oh tree of life,

warm & humming knowledge.


John Paul Davis is a poet, musician, designer and web developer living in Brooklyn. HIs poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Word Riot, The Four Way Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The Journal, and MUZZLE. You can find out more about him at http://www.johnpauldavis.org

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