Daily Archives: January 3, 2018

Why he went to the shelter finally by

I am not a silent poet

She pokes holes into the body’s work of a person
until the body’s work of the person is poked through—
deflation, deflationary, deflationist,
gut-shot punctuation, fiber blast evacuation—
vocabulary hard wood and hard stone
obsidian and Modoc lava, soft bone of the wing of wren
noise blasting ejaculation, terrorist rendering distillation,
detest, detestation, detestionist
and the body bleeds a vocabulary of smoke without fire,
meanings within cruelty without touch,.
He walked away from the noise more than once,
and then found he did not have to always reenter the room.

Michael H. Brownstein work has appeared in The Café 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  A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 

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The Ways of Agent Orange by Michael H. Brownstein

I am not a silent poet

Once I listened to a poet
who wrote lines about Cincinnati
using the Yellow Pages,
the names of corporations,
factories, the outpouring of chemical
into the early evening sky.
I saw the sky she saw, the setting sun,
the slow motion vibration of light
through a pollution of setting sun
caught in prisms, the end of day
wonderful with color, a drizzle
of compounds, everything
rainbowlithic. Years later a river
in that town caught fire.
So I ask you, Agent of Orange, can you
hear the beauty in that poem, too?
Did you see the splatter of spray
over American soldiers,
Vietnamese, the now extinct forest
wildlife and trees a display
of beauty? Did you not know
what it would cover, its effects
on people and life, the evolution
of humans to almost humans?
Did you not think the fish would change
and the water buffalo and the small peeper?

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Fairytale for the Philippines by Angela Gabrielle Fabunan

I am not a silent poet

Who were you to say we should sweep the floor

so we could eat fallen apples from it.

All we wanted was to get out the door

cabin fever on the mind, so we bit

the stirrup, the first cut on our hands stung

the wind, getting out of a small town life

never knew of lampposts with bodies hung

never knew anything of stubborn strife

in fairy tales where heroines come back

heroes go forward to revenge, not flee

but this is not one. This is the real lack

of words the citizens in a bloody

country can’t come up with to salve or fend

of wounds that fester like mould to the end.

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Boris’s Holiday by Jonathan Taylor

I am not a silent poet

The only thing they have got to do is clear the dead bodies away.
– Boris Johnson, 2017

A skeleton straightens a bow-tie in the hotel mirror behind him.
On the beach the bikini undead block his way. He steps over them.
Spectral sandcastles are crushed underfoot by ghostly children
stampeding into transparent waves. A corpse proffers an ice cream
but his hand passes right through it. Nothing is real apart from him –
or so he thinks, till he finds his five-star evening meal already gone,
devoured by wraiths with bullet-hole eyes, laughter like machine guns.

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