We Call This Thing Between Us Love


Product Description

Poems by

Jason Mott

Poetry book, 90 pages, $14 cover price

ISBN: 978-1-59948-210-1

Release date: 2009


About The Author



Jason Mott is a graduate of both the BFA (Fiction) and MFA (Poetry) programs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He lives in Bolton, North Carolina. His fiction and poetry has appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets and Measure. His portfolio can be viewed at www.penandcape.com. He is an avid poetry reader and comic book collector.


We humans may have difficulty forging the romantic and familial intimacy we so desperately desire, but these poems sure don’t. They create an intense connection between poet and reader that counteracts the weakness, fear, resentment and loneliness that undermine our failed relationships. Formally varied, but singular in their conversational music, Mott’s poems reflect the richness and range of his emotional life; like the redbird in “Imagery,” they sing the aria of that universe trapped inside. And they sing beautifully.

–Mark Cox
author of Smolder, Natural Causes,
and Thirty-Seven Years From The Stone

Jason Mott’s We Call This Thing Between Us Love is a savvy examination of the multitude of ways we try to resolve loneliness. His collection provides us with one man’s internalization of longing-rich with the guises of what is taken away, and what is ultimately given. As a result, we are left like Narcissus, gazing into our own eyes.

–Lavonne J. Adams
Author of Through the Glorieta Pass and
In the Shadow of the Mountain


Jason Mott has written a book of poems like no other–a book that reveals love in all of its guises-brutal and tender, mournful and celebratory, addictive and restorative. Deftly moving back and forth from raw, personal poems to imaginative, insightful poems that see through the eyes of others-lovers, family, and in one case, even The Big Bad Wolf–these poems offer us the human heart in all of its beauty and ugliness. And more importantly, Jason Mott gives better words to express what we so desperately and feebly call love.

–Daniel Nathan Terry
A author of Capturing the Dead


Drunken (Love) Poem

This is the poem that eyes you from across the bar
just as the last call shout goes up and there is that
impulsive want for one last taste and so you charge
the walls of smoke and the barricade of bodies–
all wanting the same thing you want–while
this poem watches you, trying not to lose you
in the night’s last current. This poem brushes
the cigarette ash from the front of its shirt, licks
its thumb and tries to rub the smell of spilled rum
from its sleeves, it slicks back its hair and checks
its breath and, after getting a supportive nod
from a friend-a much more handsome poem, the poem
you really wish would come over, the poem you’ve
been waiting for all night, the poem that never came–
this drunken poem eases over the dance floor, lurching
as it walks, off-balance and bleary-eyed, covered
in self-doubt and a dusty suit of failed loves
and when this poem finally reaches you-sweaty, mouth
slack, eyes red, sliding around in its skull like molten coinage–
this poem says, hesitantly, like a child, “I know
that we are a never-can-be equation, and I saw you
watching that other poem all night and that’s okay! But, still,
I’m the one that’s here. I’m the one that’s willing to be buried
beneath every hurt of soul you cannot leave at this bar
when the lights come up and the music stops and, whoever he was,
is still only a body-shape hidden in the silhouette of every other body
and…I don’t know…I guess I’m just hoping that maybe
I could be enough for somebody.”


We Call This Thing Between Us Love

This thing that thins us
out, leaves us translucent
as rain, permeable

as that second skin
of insecurities we wear
(after the clothes are sloughed

off, and our bodies shine
in the smoke-blue fog
of the unwatched, exhaling

television. Trapped
behind our smiles). Naked,
hiding inside one another,

we dance with this thing
between us and call it love
even if the only thing in the room

is us, a tousled bed,
a few dying candles,
empty condom wrappers

and the time until we leave.


Psalm: Body Worship

he kisses the sloping half-moons of her thighs,
the long, even grade of her small hips,
the soft, dark bird of her pelvis,
the open, glassy sea of her stomach,
the pale, upturned questions of her breasts,
the timid, breakable mountains of her shoulders,
the outstretched, weightless arms,
the sweaty, slack hands holding not even herself,
the rising sleeve of clouds that is her neck,
the soft, sharp chin,
the parted, familiar lips,
the cold, easing brow,
the halo of tousled hair,
all the places his knuckles landed.


Volunteer Work:
Eurydice as Domestic Violence Shelter

For four years I have bent
this way, returned to this part
of the city where the women
are made of wind and the children
know that they are children chiseled
from frowning stones. For two hours,
once a week, I smile and surf
the realm where men are mythical
constructs of conflicting substance-
mutating from father to shield to sword-
and I tell my smile to speak the tongue
of oak trees, to translate birdsong,
to comfort like winter soup. I tell my body
to lead them to better imaginings of men
and not look back-even as I drive away
at the end of the night, leaving the gravel drive
in reverse, watching the house sink
back into the gray fist of the city.

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