Four Way Books
A History of the Only War
by Christopher Davis

ISBN: 1-884800-66-1
paper, 94 pages, $14.95



I find the visionary passion of Davis’ work brave and exciting. The fierce, searing beauty of its sound and sense is astringent tonic to paler versions of what passes for poetry. A History of the Only War is a heartbreaking conflation of sex, death, and the divine. But it is not some postmodern parody—this is personal. And Davis means every word.

—Jeffery Skinner, from the Afterword


In the middle of a dark word/world, a torqued late lyric subject stumbles through a “battlefield,” his mouth full of pain, the background an anime montage of exactly right un-natural symbols, transient Virgils flickering like a neon crucifix. shorting out. Suddenly it seems clear that there is a language too alive and passionate to ever be either “transparent” or “opaque”: even trying to situate it on either side of that line is an effort to protect ourselves from the possibilities the empire presents. In A History of the Only War, Christopher Davis has invited us into the science of the real, modeling for us there an unflinching, embrace of the monstrous, difficult beauty all around us.

—Laura Mullen