Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The End Is Near!

The end really is near. The end of my month as Guest Poet over at www.poets.org/forum. It was a really fun experience, and I hope the conversation continues on into February and beyond. Regardless, I'd like to thank Larina Warnock for thinking of me and affording me the opportunity to talk poetry with a new (and familiar) group of poetic hooligans.


020-Sleeping Over

Only a house. Only a dirty house
without heat and filled with smoke
from cheap cigarettes. And animals

that use the carpet as a backyard
substitute. Only one or two seizures
on good days after a lifetime not

having any. The house is no longer
a place he has to stay, but her
seizures are something new and

terrifying for the boys. And worries
the boys' father. Only months
earlier, he was the one who quit

breathing. He knows what it is
to not trust his body to do what
it should. The house he no longer

has to visit felt alive when he
did. Maybe all the smoke. Maybe
the absence of any fresh air.


Found under light--
full moon blocked by clouds--
toothbrush on asphalt.


I have been thinking about the meaning
of life again. For instance, I can't help
feeling I need to spend more time cleaning.
I have been thinking about the meaning
of my last dream. In it, I was leaning
into a mop, sweeping away wet kelp.
I have been thinking about the meaning
of love again. For instance, I can't help

motivating a bird to fly north when
that sweet bird should be headed only south.
My mouth can't stop flapping its wings and then
it motivates a bird to fly north when
the bird should reverse course, turn on a ten-
cent piece. But my heart beats across my mouth,
motivating a bird to fly north when
that sweet bird should be headed south.

023-Shouting poem

Here's a poem found by me;
I found it stuck inside a tree.

The poem was scared and crying out,
so I whispered, "Please, do not shout."

"But shouting is what I do," it said
as it threw words and lines at my head.

"Well then, I guess," I said, "We'll see
if we can shout you out of this tree."


Three beds and a cabinet
for storing luggage and
utensils. Spoon me out
of this hot soup, this
messy basement. Gutter
the television into my
garden. I'll pay for cable
if it comes with Internet,
forget about the sidewalk.


not every person is an inverted
exclammation point, but if enough
men plug into so many women,
the punctuation won't matter as much
as the sentence--one swift noun
verbing away its entire meaning

026-Distracted Drivers

Cars covered in ice and rock salt,
February blew in early this year.

One cross after another along the road
side as if they are cautionary billboards

exclaiming, "Watch out! Watch out!"
He thinks he's dying the death

of a thousand cuts. A cemetery
covered in January snow. Headstones

cracked and crooked; others rigid
with polish. He wants to stop and look

for his name, but he must keep
moving. His life depends on it.


Wow! That last poem was composed at 11:59 p.m., which means I had less than 60 seconds ticking on the clock when it was finished. How am I possibly going to make it through 11 more months?!?


I'm half-way through my January week in Ohio to visit Ben and Jonah. Beginning with this trip, my brother David (and my sister-in-law Laura) has been letting me stay at his place over my father's house (which is referenced in the "Sleeping Over" poem above and juxtaposed with my ex-wife's sudden seizure problem). I can't tell you how over-joyed I am at getting to stay in a clean house without smoke and with a functional heater and toilet. For the past year or so, it felt like every single time I returned to Ohio from Georgia that dad's house slipped a little further into some kind of evil. Enthusiastic thanks go out to David and Laura!!!!!!!


Finally, I've assembled THE POETRY COLLECTION. It runs a little over 50 pages, and I'm very happy with how it reads and flows. And I've already submitted it to a couple destinations! I will continue to shop it around until it finds a home, but now I feel liberated to start building from scratch. I'm a never ending warehouse of ideas, but one project I've been considering is constructing an 808-line poem comprised of triolets that is autobiographical and makes leaps. But we'll see. Just glad to have THE POETRY COLLECTION together.


Want to follow me on Twitter? Of course you do! Just find me @robertleebrewer!


Things I've been blogging:

* Interview With Poet Helen Losse
* Writers Should Model Themselves After IKEA


Want to publish your poetry? Click here to check out an OnDemand Webinar hosted by yours truly!