An East Davis poet for many years, James Lee Jobe has been published in Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, and many other periodicals. His online publications include Convergence, Knot Magazine, Poetry 24, Medusa's Kitchen, and The Original Van Gogh Anthology. Jobe has authored five chapbooks, and his blog is at jamesleejobe.tumblr.com. He is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis and the Green Party.
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.
JAMES LEE JOBE
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.
JAMES LEE JOBE