Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Michael H. Brownstein- Two Poems

In the north lands of the Anishinaabeg,
pony tail, Indian pipe, balsam and spruce,
the clean scent of Christmas tree,
lyme disease and the devil horsefly,
reindeer antlered lichen and rock moss,
trees leaning into the sky and the sky
opening its wings to let them come.

Here comes jealous wind and jealous cloud.
Together they slip the tops to snag clean. 
In this land of Gichi-manidoo,
turtle rock, great bear, lynx and fox.
In this land of deer and moose,
bog and sundew, swamp and grass.
The trees remain and the sand and the water,
trails gutters full of leaf and limb. 

*Indian pipe also called: uniflora, also known as the Ghost Plant


In a little while we will no longer have to wear snow clothes,
we will not have to wipe salt from our shoes,
our blood will thaw before reaching our fingertips.
But now there are the cars you can no longer see,
the wind another layer of clothing, 
fallen leaves another covering, my thickening blood. 

How do you not know this?

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, After Hours, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review and others. In addition, he has eight poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005).

Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments with his students, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators and the State of Illinois Title 1 Convention, and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Russell Streur- Two Poems


Fat Mind:  Get this.

Goons:   Yes boss?

Fat Mind:  We’ll set Clubfoot up as King.

Goons:   That idiot?

Fat Mind:  The very one.

Goons: The citizens won’t stand a trick like this.

Fat Mind:  They won’t know what hit ‘em.  We’ll disguise it as a vote.

Chorus of the Fat:  We’ll sit still for that, like we always do for shit.

Fat Mind:  Just sugarcoat the crap and call it cake.

Goons:   We’ll need more salt to suit the modern taste.

Fat Mind:  A touch of tallow, labeled spice.

Goons:  The chemists will produce upon the tongue a natural delight.

Fat Mind:  Double every dose and cut the price in half. 

Goons:   We’ll scarf it down like hamburger.

Fat Mind:  The rest is gravy.



Meet me in the Cumberland
Your eyelids painted silver
Cheeks aflame in dancing cranes

Meet me when the moon is full
With songs of ravens on your tongue
And hemlock on your breath

Meet me at the gate on Cemetery Hill
Your seven veils falling loose
At midnight in the cypress trees

Meet me as my lover on these graves
Until serpents coil in our hair
And our bodies turn to stone:

The dead
Need something to fear.

Russell Streur is a born again dissident residing in Atlanta, Georgia.  His poetry has been published in the United States and Europe.  He currently pours drinks at The Camel Saloon, an online poetry bar for dromedaries, malcontents and jewels of the world.  Which one are you?  http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011