Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses.
A Mask of Hair, Gypsum and Drywall, Dry Rot and Black Mold, Nail and Splinter
–visiting a remodeled school, inner city somewhere
How many lives have you touched
acid sighing from your finger tips,
or is it instead sodium hydroxide?
You with the liquid nitrogen heart,
cotton mouthed tongue,
sharpened canine teeth of an asp.
Everything about you
small enough to cuddle,
and then let the redesigning begin…
Everything flat and swollen
the heat across hill and leaf
as if it were a heavy truck
swerving into the lane behind you
without any thought of braking distance,
the composition of gasoline, mechanical reliability.
If there is a god,
this heat is the ultimate in equality:
sinner and man of good deeds,
farmer and truck driver,
carpenter and office worker—
all of us have to breath in this fire at least once a day,
feel the blood boil of flesh and neck.
No rain for months,
even the river’s saliva has dried up;
all of the shade in the world is not enough
to cool the turtles massing in the undergrowth
near hard baked mud at the edge of the banks.
What will it take to cool this savage heat?
How much cold water will calm the monster?
When will lungs free themselves of hot pepper air?
Daybreak—almost blue, haze,
the heat a serial killer who cannot sleep.
TODAY WE HAVE NO NEED FOR MONEY
A lisp of moon, a gash of sky,
a quality of cloud, and I can taste
the salt-toned blossoms lathering
the prairie with juice, their skin
dragonfly wing thin, silk and jasmine.
Six weeks of winter still to go,
a bump of dandelions, a stutter in the wind,
slivers of light across wild onion and paw paw.
It’s so warm outside I have to shave.
Last night it rained. I wanted snow.
Bio: Poet Author Michael H. Brownstein has had his work appear in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com 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), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).
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