In the secular house near the Rock of the Half Moon
the door weeps for lack of oil,
wind bleeds through crease and hole
and my son mistakes the mourning dove’s morning song for that of rock pigeon.
We are at mercy here,
gun powder the rage as eye liner,
thirty-five poems the maximum fuller for any book.
We write about our lies:
lies often forgettable,
experience better exaggerated,
and questions in need of answers
as if we need answers.
Depression binds light.
The baby pigeon knows not its predator,
a prime number knows not its factor,
sleep is an accomplished act.
We built this place for the criminal, the insane, the man lost on his way,
one wanderer carrying spirit drums,
another a kora,
a third a cowbell tied to rope and wood.
You might as well leave us be.
There is nothing you can do.
We have made our choices,
The place I settled in near the Corner of the Half Moon is no longer there.
All of its pieces are lost.
Everything I owned is gone. Everything I wanted to own is gone. Everything I
imagined owning is gone.
Daughter, hold hard to yourself.
The life of a cat is not really all that great.
In the Valley of the Death of Man-Trees,
the woman on the bridge over the train track
bends to wood and a confusion of ants.
and the farming village
thick with fresh plowed soil
soaks in it as if it were.
Everywhere you look
a farmer’s wife stands near
beginnings of gardens,
skies full of sighs.
And when it is ended
dragged into promiscuous
by name calling poets, half poets, pretend poets,
Jackie Robinson moments before the desk of rude words,
aberration, racial slurs and smoke,
everything that makes bad breath,
I steal more words from the Oxford Dictionary,
dress a line without a care to quality,
quality control, environmental stability,
the rage of the self-taught man
lacking the credentials for the only job he can
actually do, and find within the spot the spot of grace.
~ Michael H. Brownstein
Michael H. Brownstein’s poetry volume, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else: A Poet’s Journey To The Borderlands Of Dementia, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).
Guest editor Annette Hope Billings is an award-winning poet known for the impact of her audible presentations of work. In 2016 she brought her registered nursing career to an early end to fully pursue her passion for writing. She is happily working on her fourth collection of poetry. Billings’ work can also be found in a variety of anthologies as well as in print and online journals. Please visit her website and/or Facebook page for further information.