Thursday, July 11, 2013

Solving the World's Problems - Sample Poems

My debut full-length collection of poetry Solving the World's Problems is due from Press 53 on September 1, 2013. It's been an exciting highlight to the year for me, and I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands. If you're interested in getting your hands on a signed copy, send me an e-mail at to get the wheels in motion--or order a copy here.

The poems in this collection represent what I consider my best up to now, and many of them have gone through a major transformation since the collection was accepted for publication. I have my wonderful editor Tom Lombardo to thank for helping guide this collection in a new (and I think better) direction.

Solving the World's Problems

Anyway, this post shares a few sample poems from Solving the World's Problems.

solving the world's problems, by Robert Lee Brewer

i began as eyelashes blocking the sun
and my father was a digital clock
in a dark cave  my father counted

out the minutes as i kept myself
from myself   in this way  i learned to kiss
years later  when i became a horse

i ran the hot blood out of my body
father turned into a dream filled
with fire and a horrible laugh   i

burned into a cloud of smoke
father became a phone call and then
silence   i worried what i might

transform into next   i worried
what i might already be   then
i forgave father


you origami me, by Robert Lee Brewer

fold me into animal shapes
                         and hold me like paper
          you don't want to tear

i've been here before
                         i've waited like money
          and spent myself evenly

across your accounts of love
                         the time has come for our withdrawal
          into the pleasures of night

these simple transfers and deposits
                         these points of interest
          fold me as you will

and hold me longer still
                         i'm not a wolf  save when
          that's the only way you'll bend me


10:15 in a kroger parking lot, by Robert Lee Brewer

he sits with the engine off staring straight ahead
through wells fargo  through the next strip mall and the new
half-developed subdivision with prices that

start in the low five-hundreds  through mcdonald's and
chick-fil-a  through burger king and dairy queen  through
thick and thin  cats and dogs  teenagers in public

parks  radio waves and satellite images
carried to you  the possibility of you
a number on a graph  some outlier who reads

poetry as if reading might even matter
to the man with this weight on his shoulders staring
without any thoughts because his brain's finally

filled past the point of pure saturation and he's
sitting in his car oblivious to the world
outside  the store stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables

and diapers and frozen pizza and toothpaste and
deodorant and trash bags and prescription drugs
and his eyes are wet but he is not crying  blank

as he feels and overwhelmed as choreographed
cars park and people enter the kroger and leave
the kroger to drive away somewhere without him


As we run up to the release date for the collection, I'll be sharing more information, including various events--both online and in person. If you're interested in either having me read at your venue or doing some kind of interview or review, just send me an e-mail at

To get a signed copy, send me an e-mail as well, or click here to order a copy directly from Press 53.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Check out some other related posts:


Ina said...

Really beautiful, all three of them.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks, Ina!