photo.jpg James Lee Jobe is an East Davis poet. He has taken workshops with poets like Susan Kelly-DeWitt and Robert Hass. From 1994 to 1999, Jobe was the editor and publisher of a Davis poetry monthly called One Dog Press. He also published a quarterly called Clan Of The Dog in 2001 and 2002. His poems have appeared in the anthologies; The Sacramento Anthology of 100 Poems, How to Be This Man-The Walter Pavlich Memorial Poetry Anthology, and Jewel of the Valley-A California Anthology. Jobe has been published in many magazines and periodicals including Illya's Honey, Manzanita, Poetry Now, Pearl, and the Tule Review. At 58, Jobe lives in Davis, California, with his wife Alexandra, where they are members of the Unitarian Universalist Church.


I LIVE FREE BECAUSE OF THE MONKEYS IN MY HEAD. These monkeys try very hard to speak, but can say only one word the way humans do; hope. They are climbing through the trees of my psyche, hand over hand. They are a part of me that doesn't need to be accepted. When I close my eyes I can follow them, high in the upper-canopy of the jungle. I am strong, and I pleased with my arms and hands. Birds chatter and fly away as I pass, and I break into a song about hope as I chase after the monkeys. The sunlight is dappled, filtered so sweetly by the millions of leaves.


I AM LIVING A LIFE AS QUIET AS DECAFFEINATED COFFEE, but I am not decaffeinated, not at all. I am waiting in a large brown mug, poured in large measures with raw sugar. I am hot and black, rich, a dark roast with a real punch. The gypsy who read my grounds told me about my death, that it would be good to the last drop. The gods of espresso brewed me in their image, and cast me in beans. The steam rips through the grounds of me in prayer, and these gods will be answered. Add cream if you wish, but drink, reader, drink. You need to wake up. At some point, we all need to wake up.


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