Poetry Break by Michael H. Brownstein

~Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes. ― Joseph Roux~


This is my kora
made of goat gut and great affection,
one grand sigh and every cloud that makes you smile.
Wear your Nike sweatshirt because it is free.
Don’t piss on beauty.
Love until it makes you sick.
Pick up your gourd and shake it until you shake the earth.
You didn’t put the monster into your office.
You didn’t invite him into your house.
Someone here is a drug addict from the alley.

The taxi cab company’s back on its feet again,
the sun rising.
the cement factory’s chemical steam washing the air
sky-blue and cloud-light,
long semi trailers docking at the tire distributor
in need of naps,
the river glows,
and the sleepy train pulls in on time.
Night shadow diminishes in shape,
criminals, whores, war mongers,
con artists, predators, thieves,
bullies of the dark—night is over.
Construction workers in the towers,
elevated trains off tune swing on the tracks,
coffee shops, spices, tea,
a development of chocolate—
morning, Lagos.

She talks of god, she talks to god.
Sometimes she hears an answer.
In the waking silence, she is stubborn.
Early spring, the paper wasp,
Chewed bark, a honey bee,
The wind cruel and heavy,
One hesitation and a pond.
She sings a trumpet to the first cricket,
Everything whitewashed rain and light,
Her notebook open on her lap,
Her pencil sticky with dew.

Author’s Bio:


Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the
small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review,
American Letters and Commentary
, Skidrow PenthouseXavier ReviewHotel
, After HoursFree Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary
, The Pacific Review and others. In addition, he has eight poetry
chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems
from the Body Bag 
(Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press,
2004) and What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005).

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