the sun is sparkling, the rain rumbling, and we badly need some poetry...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Michael H. Brownstein - 3 Poems

On Cooking

She is a patient cook
and her father writes an overcoat,
white shirted bleached and stained,
blood marks and scarred lines,
underarmed nests of burnt hair.

The small pot of oatmeal sings,
a fringe of brown sugar and cinnamon,
a curse of raisins and bits of apple pie,
a refrain stuck in gear, my brother and I
cut from the same yard of grass,

and my father slips into a short man
thick with heavy gray weight,
context, cocoa and nonconformity,
every substance a different thought,
every cooked oatmeal scent her perfume.

Why We Do What We Do

The common theme is out of luck
as in a fishing hole without any fish
or a beautiful woman who locks
herself away to hide her ugliness.
Dust and acid killed the fish.
Lack of touch left the woman dead.


All my life

the low stung tree on the hilltop,
the river birch near the stream,
one mulberry tree in a field.

White branches no longer able to hold a weight in leaf,
the birch dips its roots into water,
the mulberry plans its invasion.

The path lacks shade,
the path lacks humor,
honor a seed hibernating into soil until its time of need.

Biography: Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The CafĂ© Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).