DAVID BRENNAN


David Brennan is currently residing in Ithaca, NY, having recently completed
an MFA at the University of Alabama. His work can be found in Parthenon
West Review
, H_NGM_N, Blood Lotus, Ghoti, and other journals.






from Snow Fear

Alone on the patio in the come evening
My friends nobody I know, characters
All of them
We get along in the imperfect, judgmental way,
A mote of bathroom wisdom:
Being poor is not crying
A long ago friend told me
The man I was in love with
Was a laugh, she'd had him,
The lights flicker, Jesus is singing
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood
I enter stage right, throw in my two cents
That's right
Throw in my big bills,
An eastern wind and western clouds
Dramaticize the striped scarves that hide
Necks from my obsession with torquation,
I trace the lines on my lover's neck
In the mood of a street vendor
Out of ketchup, out of napkin
Powdered milk doesn't make a poem good,
A bedroom's hardwood floor
Makes a good stage if you forget
The need for audience,
North Carolina
The single street I exist on
The length of a dog's bark, a passing car
Shaking its ass
Okay
My neighbors drink ale on their front porch while I write
Letters to my sisters, a trinity
A letter to my father who has never been sculpted
A letter to my godmother whose blood is killing her
A letter to Mr. Rumsfeld whose cock should be strangled
A letter to Cary Grant
Until I am out of letters
To continue

**

I never write by hand, but today
My fingers frozen I am enamored
With the way I look
Between conversations, every word is less

Meaningful,
I'm quite serious, vanity
Is worth looking at,
Already I have been here longer than everyone else
Except the couple in the corner
Backs against the wrought-iron fence
Both with glasses black-rimmed and unwashed hair
Smoking and bad tattoos
Haven't said a word and they think
The books they are reading are better
Than comics
**

Here in the south,
Last year on the nighttime highway
Our only snow sighting
The flakes flashing through headlights
The jump of our northern hearts
Laughing at the traffic's sudden slow
O dangerous snow!
As if a few flakes could kill
We sped down the left lane like thieves of season
A comfortable reckless
Moment in an awkward year
Of grits and biscuits
And evocations of civil war,
And I had thought not to write of Iraq but here it is
The grayest of things
And that's as far as I'll go
Except for my bicycle
Built for me by an Oliver in Pittsburgh
I gave him a frame in exchange
And the bike I got back wore a sticker
"No a la
Guerra"
Beneath the handlebars, my happiness
At that unintended act of protest,
Earlier I bought a copy of Heaney's
Death of a
Naturalist
The title struck me funny
I didn't anticipate it would involve
The farting heads of frogs
And a box four feet long,
A sibling's death
My lover knows the ins and outs of that
Body loss, anger's
Shiver in grieving November
A morning phone call at work
Her sister, to wish her
Good luck
And after that all of life a dictionary of gibberish
Excepting that single, clear definition
Read over and over until it makes as little sense as the rest,
Until a bookmark seems a waste,
I throw out all the bookmarks left in all the books on my shelves,
Find a 1000 yen bill
Would buy a piece of cake and coffee in Tokyo,
I meet a young man
I know nothing about,
And though right off we hit it off
Starting the conversation is the trouble,
Two people needing to entertain
A silent majority of selves
Seated, watching, darkened
And so real can this place of few bodies appear
If a gun is shown it must go off,
Survival
Dependent on depopulation,
Starvation
If I lived in North Korea I would love my country
I would be happy as I could
With crazy southern capitalist DMZ tourism
I'd think Who am I unable to compare myself?
Still enjoy a pot of tea
Dream of being warm in winter,
Intuition and hours alien concepts
On the heels of Search took
.38 seconds to complete,
Mull my various permutations of name
The might-have-been me
The false galaxy
Internet is mental string theory,
Bottles, mugs, pastries,
No tp in the restroom, a couple doing
Shots of Knob Creek with chocolate chip cookies
Pig-tailed girl in the back corner scribbling
The cashier munching on samples of lemon bar
Nobody put-out or out-put,
I've gone numb
In the extremities, an unusual exaltation
Of wind and pressing, darkness and not caring
What this page looks like, my illegible conversation,
The disaster of criticism, what Franz Wright
Said of Joel Brouwer in the NY Times Review
And perhaps he has a point, or at least achieved
An enjoyably succinct degree of critical titillation,
But Franz I think you have become a too
"Serious
follower of contemporary poetry"
To believe any review,
The theatre critic is a constant ass,
We take our entertainment serious
So be polite to poetry
For poetry is not entertainment
I have just made a diagnosis of death,
I am that cold
Across the street the mineral shop is closed
The employees on the sidewalk smoking
Terrible hue of the leaves in halogen
I hear Halloween,
I hear my lover's laugh
Around the corner
It upsets me
That different place, that
It makes me want to never go back
Look at me here, with sentiment
Approaching nothing firm,
My prayer not ablution but
A blunt thing holding back
The snow, the woman that will round that corner,
The morning omelet, the tomorrow paper,
For this moment I reject
The next, and were you to ask
Will there be another line?
My reply simply
No.



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