by: Michael H. Brownstein
These three poems by Michael Brownstein bring the reader to the limits of life, learning, and perception. Our place the cosmos, our place in our family story, our place in the flashing moments of the beautiful world…How do we navigated the multifarious narratives which we are part of, but which never fully encompass who we are?
DEATH ARRIVES SUDDENLY NEAR THE BED IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM
My father was born without an expiration date.
Nor was he offered an explicit warranty against defect.
One evening he arrived home to discover
free choice was no longer an option, passion a myth,
red food coloring an agent of kidney disease.
They say when you hear thunder,
someone passed successfully to the other side.
They say when you hear the glimmer of a bell,
someone transformed into an angel.
They say bury him with a gold coin tight within his fist,
the river’s swift and dangerous,
here there are too many monsters craving flesh.
My father did not outlive his usefulness.
He discovered, instead,
the burden of truth is too often a lie.
EXPLAIN IT TO ME IN COLOR
A pink thread of mist
in the horizon,
the sky a grand shiver
sun lit green
Poets are far more important than the poetry they write. But if they must write, they should give us words that open our understanding of ourselves. Michael Brownstein piques my interest. Though I read very little poetry, I would read more of his work. It has great punch, a sneaky left hook that I know is coming but still I can’t get out of the way. Maybe I don’t want to.
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