Issue 2 Poetry


we are a listening poem

our throats open to blood and downpour

our hair a mess of gray and almost silver

we take to the wind and thrive in rain

find that firm level of earth and stone

seek out the heart of the murmuring fossil

back out in the 40 acres near the road

we listen to the mule sing the dog sing

the goat the chicken the cow the grunting pig

we extract a poem from the leaves of the oak

we bind it with the paper from the birch

we sign it with sap slipping from the maple tree

late at night we dream it into night sweats

stifle our dance of snoring and heavy breath

wake to a day of gray matter and falling leaves

By Michael H. Brownstein

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, 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) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). His latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were recently released (Cholla Needles Press).