I have known David Michael Nixon, young and old, for over forty years. He is the very model of a poetical and political rebel. That is, he has lived his life fiercely independent in thought, expression and action. Possibly the first absolute vegetarian I ever met. Conscientious objector. His poems show us what our lives might be like if we had the nerve to carry our principles into both words and action. Imagine what would happen to your life if you refused to pay taxes to the American War Machine. It’s like deciding to go naked. Or to dance to Thoreau’s different drummer.
David and Barbara once came to me for advice, should they move into a cabin in the woods. As thoroughly urban and urbane people, I thought not. I asked them, how will you navigate that half mile of snowed-in driveway in the winter? It was steeply downhill one way and up the other. How will you maintain a house in the woods? So of course they bought the house and lived there for years until Barbara went to law school.
David comes from a long line of clergy (hence the reference to Stephen, the first Xtian martyr), but his own life has been dedicated to a different ideal. He has written, edited, and revised his own work to create the gems included here. He has also been a vital member of the community, whether through song in Golden Link, listener at poetry readings, as teacher of writing or as coordinator of several reading series.
Long ago, David attended a prestigious men’s college, played a little college basketball, and decided to be a poet. Nothing, his poverty or politics, the death of his beloved wife, war, or jail has dissuaded him from this decision. Here is Stephen Forgives the Stones: New and Selected Poems. Read it in good humor and tell me what you think of this life.
From the book:
There Is A Fountain
There is a fountain in the plaza
that reaches almost to the ceiling.
Gouts of water, drops of water,
twists of spray fall past the staircase
and shake the pool. Beneath the surface,
coins lie, metal wishes
scattered on the squares of blue tile.
A penny whispers “Make her love me”,
a dime says “Let me find a job”,
and everywhere beneath the water,
American voices speak their longings,
confirm our deep belief that money talks.
She Floats Alone
Look at the moon.
Silver with longing,
she floats alone
in the cold night.
Lit by the sun,
her light showers me,
enters each pore
and leaves me bathed
If we could cross
that vast distance
and mingle all
our lights and darks,
a new sun would ignite.
David Michael Nixon is a New York State native. He was born in Batavia, grew up in Lockport, and now lives in Rochester. His poems have appeared in many periodicals and several anthologies. He has had four poetry chapbooks and one full-length, limited-edition poetry book published. David has read his poems and sung a cappella folk songs for live, radio, and TV audiences. He is a member of the Imperfect Poets Club, Just Poets, The Golden Link Folk Singing Society, Writers & Books, Metro Justice, and the War Resisters League. David still does housecleaning and yardwork jobs. He is also an ancient basketball player.
Stephen Forgives the Stones
is a 120 page hand-stitched paperbook with spine - $16.00