Coat Thief

A book of poetry from Jeffrey Davis
to lead a lyrical life.
Slow down.
Disrupt your rut.
Disrobe your thoughts.
Lead a lyrical life.

You could be stripped of everything at any moment.

So why wait, you say? Why not go naked, now?

– from “Coat Thief,” Jeffrey Davis

Strip away fears, live with less inhibition, and explore
how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

Coat Thief (Saint Julian Press) is Jeffrey’s poetry collection, 12 years in the making, that invites you to strip away fears, live with less inhibition, and explore how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

Imagine a productive day of fulfilling obligations and answering emails like one long run-on sentence of a day, and as your head hits the pillow, nothing memorable, nothing meaningful has made a dent in your memory. Next day, next rut.

But one day something startles your heart. It’s something mixed with delight, surprise, provocation. You feel for a moment alive and awake.

That’s why I wrote the poems in this new collection COAT THIEF (Saint Julian Press) – to disrobe my own perception and to punctuate the days for you, your friends, your co-workers, your loved ones with a little wonder. I wrote these poems over the course of twelve years, trying to pay attention to the music of an ordinary life and a mind deeply felt. Some poems such as “Coat Thief” invite you to strip away fears and live with less inhibition. Other poems explore how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

These poems are attuned to quiet moments of loss and gain, the tensions of female-male relationships, our fragile kinship to wild creatures, the work of art-making, and more.

Even if you don’t typically read poetry or think about poetics, I hope you find at least one poem that startles awake something meaningful.

Strip away fears, live with less inhibition, and explore
how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

Poetry wakes up our outlaw brain.

In our hyper-productive world, a poem can be a quiet disruptor. A poem can crack open a nucleus of feelings and ideas inside the most unsuspecting listener to heed another way of shaping a day, of viewing life, of standing up and singing out. A poem can slow us down to feel a moment’s music.

According to some neuroscientists, poetry is the music of the mind. Poetry stimulates brain areas linked to that “shiver-down-the-spine” response we feel when listening to music, watching a purple sunset streak a skyscraper, or hear a phrase that makes our brain flip over.

I want these poems to startle and strip readers of the defenses that hold their voice in and their spirit back.

Poetry stirs our outlaw brain out of its cave. If the law-abiding brain is the literal, logical, rational brain that insists upon black-and-white thinking and is concerned with reputation and order and bottom-line rationales, then the outlaw brain says, “Wait. There’s more. And it’s messy. It’s meaningful. It’s musical.” The outlaw brain twists language and feels its way in metaphor, paradox, ambiguity.

For a moment, what clothes our eyes or guards our heart falls away.

Why leaders & CEOs keep poems in their pockets

Strong leaders contend every day with complexity and uncertainty – and they also must keep an eye and ear attuned to “the meaning of it all.”

Steve Jobs held tight to William Blake’s poetry as ongoing inspiration to wield messages that shaped a new generation’s imagination about how a computer could be beautiful, delightful, dynamic, and personal.

Jobs saw the world anew in a personal computer, and infinity in an iPod.

Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea, holds on to the poem “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke. The poem speaks to the ability to move forward confidently while not knowing what is ahead: “I learn by going where I have to go.” The poem acts as a Goldman’s touchstone for his entrepreneurial life full of ambiguity and uncertainty.

To lead an artful business and to lead a lyrical life, we need touchstones of meaning.

If one of the poems in COAT THIEF finds its way in a board room or a CEO’s pocket, I will be grateful.

The poems in Jeffrey Davis’s new collection Coat Thief “slow time down” and “expand and upend conventional perceptions.”

Coat Thief

Coat Thief (Saint Julian Press) is Jeffrey’s poetry collection, 12 years in the making, that invites you to strip away fears, live with less inhibition, and explore how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

Interested in carrying Coat Thief?

Contact our Operations Manager Erin Haworth at info@trackingwonder.com or 845.481.1109 for more information.

MEET THE AUTHOR

JEFFREY DAVIS is a writer, speaker, and consultant. He is author of the nonfiction book The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices As Muse for Authentic Writing (Penguin 2004; Monkfish Publishing, 2008) and the poetry collections City Reservoir (BarnBurner Press 2000) and Coat Thief  (Saint Julian Press 2016).

He has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Woodstock’s Byrdcliffe Artist’s Colony and has served for several years as fiction editor for Tiferet Journal. He has taught most recently at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA in Professional & Creative Writing Program as well as at leading centers & conferences around the world.

He writes an online column on the science of creativity for Psychology Today and for The Creativity Post and also heads up the renegade team at Tracking Wonder Consultancy where he is building a movement of business artists and works with top professionals and teams to shape their captivating Story – in brands, signature assets, and intentional lives. He lives with his wife and their two girls in a farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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“These are poems filled with wonder, poems that demonstrate over and over that we need not rely on esoteric experience for transcendence–because it is, we learn from Coat Thief, the ordinary that is most extraordinary. Yes! It is possible for poetic feet to connect our soles and souls more intimately to the earth, and with Davis, the closer we are to the earth, the closer we are to the divine.”
Melissa Studdard | Author of I Ate the Cosmos For Breakfast
“The quiet moments of a life can be the most revealing and yet the ones we pay attention to least. Jeffrey Davis slows down the mind-camera in Coat Thief to linger in those moments with a focus always rich with compassion, empathy, and physical touch. I love his intention. I love his sound.”
Kazim Ali | Author of Sky Ward
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“We are accustomed to poems that seek political change by deploying fierce urgency and by speeding up time to get us moving toward progress. But if the poems in Jeffrey Davis’s Coat Thief are good evidence, then the most effective, and affective, poems of change may be those poems that slow time down and bless us with moments in which we are able to perceive emotional complexes in instants of time.”
Brian Clements | Author of Disappointed Psalms and A Book of Common Rituals
Strip away fears, live with less inhibition, and explore
how to lead a lyrical life amidst so much uncertainty and flux.

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