You bundle your words into growls and pitch them against the scars of others. Aren't you the grand one able to build bonfires and lightning storms and one time a great tornado. It is no wonder plagues move away from you, history repeats itself. Listen to how you walk, my child, words have nations behind them, a cruelty that comes of guns and roses. Listen to when you run, my child, words are warlords, thick walls spiked into soil, hard rock, cavities. You hold a mustard gas strength, a calcium storm, an ability to break breath, but someone will end the horror, remove the fracture, and, yes, child, let your words scamper like light in soft drizzle, like light in translucent clouds, like the butterfly awakening on the leaf, the wind still, its cocoon torn, every anger in voice someplace else.
THE PRINCE OF WAR
My stomach full of casualties of war Mango juice, pomegranates, Asian apples, Sweat from carpet makers tethered to fabrics of goat.
Armies of yellow jackets, armies of leprechauns, A field in decomposition, correction, And lavish compost bins tethered to fabrics of goat
And when I vomit, I let go Fingernails and mucus, ear lobes and tongues, A flaming hand tethered to fabrics of goat.
1. Almost a day before I have to go to work. Where will I be in the realm of quiet? You know and you know and you know.
4 AM: We did not hear the warning sirens. 5 AM: We did not hear the all clear. 6 AM: We did not hear. 7 AM 7 AM 7 AM 7 AM 7 AM
and three hours later, the great walnut in the yard broke itself from its bones and leaned heavily into the building to the left. The old barn was gone.
The foundation cracked into brickwork. The foundation cracked into summary.
Three months earlier the wind no longer knew the way home.
Bio: 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, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).