Wednesday, March 31, 2010


You are still my enemy, technology.

You so are.

Let the poetry roll

Tomorrow is the big day. We (us crazy-eyed poets) venture forth into the wilderness of creativity and write at least one poem a day throughout the month of April. It'll be the third consecutive year for the Poetic Asides blog. (Click here to read the guidelines.)

You could say I'm pretty stoked. I already have all 30 prompts decided, so I pretty much kick into auto-pilot the rest of the month. I wake up, write out the prompt (without having to think about creating one), and then think of a poem. And if this challenge is anything like the past two challenges, I'll get to read a lot of great poem-responses throughout the month.


084-They always say

They always say they're coming back
with their guns slung over shoulders
like well-rehearsed hoboes. Brave-faced,
they march into the smoke and find
there's more to life than promises.


Do not reward me for trying:
If I successfully fail 50 times,
do not let me succeed on my next attempts.


I love falling asleep to the sound of the moon
sinking into the ocean. My love is a turtle
swimming to shore & burying its eggs in
the sand. My heart beats the ocean in
which I swim, clawing at the sand,
trying to uncover what I've buried.

087-If I Do

If I speak, he doubts me.
If I don't, he asks me,
"Why don't you speak?"


He spends most of his time trying to uncover surfaces;
she spends most of her time covering things; in this way,
they are a slow developing storm system. Somewhere,
there is a map freckled with cities; the storm that is
their love covers one city just as it uncovers another.


Holding my hand, Reese tells me,
"I believe in God. I really believe,"
and I believe him. My hand leaves
his to make a turn. Jonah presses
a bloody sock to his mouth to cover
where the tooth yanked free. Ben
has quit crying, "I don't like it
when people are fighting," and I
couldn't help myself from agreeing.

090-Scary Poem

The vampire found a werewolf on a full moon's night,
and they started dancing until the mummy arrived
with candy and soda pop and a big bag of chips.
The creature from the black lagoon brought the dip.
A gang of witches and warlocks carried in a cauldron
that was filled with bubbling, bobbing apples. Then,
zombies came to play and jump and hoot and yell
and ate everyone but me, who lived to tell the tale.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My enemy, technology

My computer quit responding this past Thursday, and my Internet connection seems to slow down whenever I'm making progress on projects and/or responding to important e-mail messages. My fingers are crossed that nothing will happen to prevent this post, because it's a long one (many, many poems from my poem-a-day experiment).

But first, let me remind anyone who doesn't follow my Poetic Asides blog that the April Poem-A-Day Challenge begins on April 1. (Click here to read the guidelines.) So, it's just around the corner. Not sure if I'll post poems from the challenge here; chances are good that I'll link to them though.


062-The sun that is always a sun

The moon grows larger and smaller,
so it is good something is constant.

063-Everybody makes a mess

Everybody makes a mess,
but they don't always clean.

If you ask, some may confess,
while others may get mean

and claim, "This isn't my mess.
Messes aren't my scene."

Denial is fine, I guess,
but doesn't make things clean.

064-After a day of hunting monsters

Even now, the world rattles
against the windows as if
there will be no escape, no
way to surrender against
whatever it is we are fighting.

We must empty the bag
of those things that don't
belong--a frisbee, a football,
and an extra set of clothes--
because a new week is starting.

065-Empty nest

In the dream, I can hear his voice
crying, dada dada dada,
but I can't find him no matter
where I look. I can hear his voice,
but I can't see him. When I wake,
I'm afraid to look or listen
for fear he might really be gone.

066-Wind breakers

Swish-swish satin
concealing cotton--a reason
to run again.

067-Future Resident Parking

He sits in his car & waits,
because he isn't happy with his past
& he's satisfied with the present.


The bird warns, Back, back.
It doesn't reason
the way it reacts.

069-Save the cat

Every morning, he would see the cat--
all black & white fur--roaming the breezeways
of his apartment building and wonder,

"Does this cat have an owner? Does this cat
need a home?" One morning, he decided
he would save the cat. He saw it creeping

along the edge of the building beside
the bushes. He thought the cat looked lonely,
but then it sprang into a bush, which shook

violently. A moment later, the cat
emerged with a dead squirrel in its mouth
as if to say, "I don't need to be saved."

070-My uncle who thought there was no use

At family gatherings, he sat in a corner
and avoided eye contact. In fact, he avoided
all contact. Said it was bad for the skin,
heart and soul. "If souls existed anyway,"
he'd say while picking at his sneakers. He
believed if there was an after life, it probably
came with advertising, "because everything
is corporate and attached to a bottom line
somewhere." My mother said, "Once, he was
an outgoing guy. But then, he got married."
I never met my aunt, so I don't know her side
of the story--just that my uncle never smiled
or told an intentional joke. When he died,
no one who attended his funeral cried.

071-Universal monsters

Lon Chaney was the first phantom.
Silent and scary, his face burned
with the anger of a man wronged.
He knew monsters always return,

though Lon died before playing Count
Dracula. Legosi soon turned
the role into his own and found
that good monsters always return.

The biggest hit was Frankenstein
with a speechless monster role spurned
by a then young John Carradine,
thinking monsters never return

money and fame. Boris Karloff
became THE MONSTER, and he earned
immortality for his rough
lesson: Monsters always return.

Lon Chaney Jr. played every
available role, even turned
Wolf Man into his own. Chaney
knew that monsters always return.

072-From the trees

I have to look at a poster--
how many questions can you stack on the floor
before a chicken becomes a cow?
I can't see the answers; I can't
stack your shoes and still pretend
the forest hides a house,
that the house hides a witch,
or that the witch hides a secret--
some beautiful tree reduced to pulp.
Separate them all.

073-Celebrations cause us to shout

Place a pillow
over his eyes
so the light won't
follow his bright

074-To be announced

It is late, and he hears a car alarm
casting spells on the neighborhood. Window
after window frames a shadow. He won't
look out his window--not until morning.

075-Some explode while others just fall

I hear voices in the spaces
between here and there; no one counts
the bombs not dropped or the hands clasped
in parks. So much talk of the dead,
what of the living?

076-A boy walked into the woods

A boy walked into the woods
with a bag of food, but he
had no destination. One
trail turned on to another

trail until he was quite lost.
This is exactly what he
hoped would happen. A river
told him where the water was;

the moon, he used as a shield.
When the wolves came for him, when
witches came too, he wanted
them to come. He wanted more

than anything to prove he
could get lost and find himself.
A boy walked into the woods
and re-emerged as a man.


We can only enjoy these words
because we are alive, so survival
must come first. Then, there is
the hunger--warning us to eat
or starve followed close by desire--
the blood rush through our veins.
Eventually, we find our comfort
and have no idea what comes next.

078-You should write a poem

You should write a poem
about a sunny day,
a baby boy in swing
sucking upon his thumb;

you should write a poem
on what you did today,
that baby now reaching
out his hands from a plum;

you should write a poem
when there's nothing to say
good about anything--
the baby starts to hum;

you should write a poem
and let your poem play
with a baby who sings
the teeth out of his gums;

you should write a poem,
because you have to say
something--the baby flings
himself down, cries for crumbs.

079-Chirp & buzz

Find a bench along a nature path
and enjoy the first day of spring.

Watch birds fly from one branch
to another and think of bees.


Bradford blossoms
covered in cold rain
empty park bench

081-My father is left-handed

So he sees the world from the other hand,
believes we can communicate with the dead
if the living are adequately trained--
assuming once a person if free to float
they'll want to stick around and talk.


When you spend your entire life searching, it
is hard to be content and stay content.
When you always walk, it's hard to just sit.
When you spend your entire life searching, it's
not easy to settle down and just quit
looking. Believe your heart and take the hint
when you've spent your entire life searching. It
is hard to be content and stay content.

083-Metal spatula

For Reese, you are a freeze ray gun;
you are a sword for Will; for me,
you are a tricky dish to wash;
and you help Tammy make tasty
scrambled eggs on Sunday mornings.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Check out my OnDemand webinar on getting your poetry published. (Click to continue.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Got you covered

While there's only one original, I love cover tunes. Here are a few well-done covers for anyone who's interested:


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The groundhog was wrong.

The Georgia groundhog (General Beauregard Lee) predicted an early spring. 4 weeks to the day later, and we were under a Winter Storm Warning with snow falling most of the morning/early afternoon. At least the weekend looks nice (for now).


Here are poems for the past three days in my poem-a-day through 2010 attempt:


My duck turned into a lizard, a wall
of water--a spinning wheel, empty
tube--release the children into a net--
swing legs over a bench he forgets
the rules & lets them run wild
alone with a 2,500-year-old mummy
counting the rings of a dead tree.

060-Poet explains science & religion

The main difference is that one
happens to us; the other is something
we call down upon ourselves.


There's nothing worse than a toothache
except maybe a building on fire.

There's nothing prettier than a sunset
except maybe a lily beside a stream.

There's nothing smarter or dumber
than a passive aggressive know-it-all.

Put down the aspirin and extinguisher,
wade into the water and wait--

the moon is sure to rise.


I am in a constant state of awe concerning the things children feel. While I was in Ohio, Ben and Jonah both confided in me that they feel like outcasts at school. Ben broke down crying that kids are always mean to him and call him weird, except for his one friend who is from Japan; Jonah didn't cry, but he did say that kids think he's a nerd when he wears his glasses. Plus, they are both afraid the world is going to be consumed by a black hole, because of the Large Hadron Collider residing more than 100 meters under the Franco-Swiss border.

Of course, if it wasn't a black hole, they would be afraid of asteroids or terrorists or vampires or something. Children are filled with fears and insecurities. As a parent, it breaks my heart and reminds me that children are a lot like little adults. At the same time, they are not adults yet.

Back in Georgia, Baby Will is filled with a crazy amount of courage to try climbing and standing on things that he shouldn't be climbing or standing on, but any kind of stranger or loud noise sends him running for the safety of my legs, which he'll hide behind and/or beneath. Reese loves creating scary stories, but he pointed at a spider for me to kill earlier tonight from the other end of the living room (constantly repeating that the spider was not an April Fool's Day joke).


You can follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer, or join my fan page on Facebook by clicking here.


Also, if you want to read the wise words of people much wiser than myself, I suggest you check out Words From the Wise, by Rosemarie Jarski. Click to continue.