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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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1951

 

this is a poem

about missing

 

about arms needing to reach

out to brush grass from your back,

telling you everything you will ever

need is here, will always be here

and green & budding like spring

and you not quite believing this

 

*

 

about a voice, a throat pink

and smooth, speaking of Betty,

the dancer, clicking her heels

at Bar Harbor to Rosemary Clooney’s

“Beautiful Brown Eyes”

or Jonnie Rays “Cry”

 

about eyes picturing a ripe summer,

telling her she is beautiful without

 

speaking, thinking of a rose,

instead offering a white daisy

 

“love,” you say “ is all about opportunity”

 

*

 

about words so far apart they are

more like fireflies, blinking messages

and you saying after the music stops,

“let’s go lean against my car and look

at the stars until we both go blind”

 

*

 

about tongues and red licorice

and how they sweet and curl

and how you still liked both,

even after forty-seven years

of marriage

 

*

 

this is a poem

about missing

all these things

 

                     -Tim Brennan



 

A Good Day to Die


 

(i)

October evenings in Wisconsin

are more like spent wood

burnings, are more like living

near the late summer Chippewa River

and breezes cross water as softly

as an old woman’s failing breath

 

(ii)

by Friday i want her

kneaded into wheat bread,

set on a warm window sill

covered with a damp towel,

allowing her to rise

in the morning to feed

me one last time

 

(iii)

by Sunday she couldn’t see

me anymore; it was raining

and i watched my words, 

pale as newsprint,

blending together

 

(iv)

a blue carnation,

white chrysanthemums

all relative, withering

in lieu of last rites


                    -Tim Brennan






Madison Street Hill


 

It is possible more

poets would come

to this damn place

 

if only someone would

turn the lights down,

put a bucket of raw

 

oysters on the table,

a short shot of tabasco,

& some iced Chardonnay

 

Of course no napkins

or eating utensils

would be provided

 

and the only requirement

would be for every poet

to write at least one poem

 

by the next morning’s cock

crow that didn’t mention

an ex-lover, a new lover,

an I-left-my-lover-and-

now-I’m-sad lover

 

or any number of words

that refer to male or female

anatomy appendages

 

Then and only then

would the paper be real,

the words would smell

 

a bit fishy, and everyone

who still could would leave

for home happy & content.

 

                              -Tim Brennan