TEN BROWNIAN (e)MOTIONS

(ten poems from Allan Brown's forthcoming book: 
Shape and Shade) 


Wood Cutter  
  
He pauses, blinking his way 
through Johnís Wort spilling 
graces freely, 
thicked, ungainly 
to each re-favouring loss, 
whose only knowing "this thornbush, 
my thornbush; and this dog, my dog" 
 
is about as much 
as you can hold between one day 
or so till a sort 
of equalling; 
 
              but if 
you know where youíre going to 
then a something to claim what 
promise or fulfillment and 
nothing expected, and if 
you have a name 
already donít bother asking 
for another 
 


   
Letter to the Colossian 
                                    in mem. David Geddes 
 
"How do you spell Coliseum?" 
                                                Your voice 
remembering in the curl 
of me    how in one room, 
then in another, without 
an apparent, recordable 
transition. 
 
                       Or, 
it may be, in different 
corners of the same room. 
 
                                     Could 
a careful triangulation 
locate you? 
 
                      Or 
projection against a single line 
linking this who-is-here with 
a postulated before and 
a possible there-after? 
 
                                  And 
were giants in the earth in those days. 
 

   
Near Ruby Lake 
                            for John Pass & Theresa Kishkan 
 
So if each day dies with (as 
the Jesuit) then what cost the news 
I skirmished how early this morning -- 
 
and again the tree frog 
resonant with everything not yet 
understood: 
 
"And get off by the lake," 
you said, "step carefully, 
but not too carefully, and let 
the stone weigh a little before 
skipping" -- 
 
                       or yet to be? 
if this last my loosening, or 
another hour suspended here, 
extends through the small hairs 
of this pale grass and the rock 
 
is parted and the cling of 
this extravagant, tremulous word 
darkens and turns to each 
unknowing, newly, so. 
 

   
Aetat 62  
 
After a while the story becomes less 
needful; a few noises here and there, or 
that rumble again it may be 
of the police helicopter over 
the island seen, the island 
unseen to west with his disgrace 
in carefully the sky clearing 
 
                                       till 
meet me one motion further, 
old failer, a wretch who still needs 
his wretchedness at two for a penny 
and the echo is free. 
 
                               Always 
expect the unexpected 
 
                                  "But 
twelve year and I might have 
abiding, that I should not come to fear." 
 

Intimations  
 
The little girl flops sideways 
onto the grass and quickly 
pulls her pants down: 
 
                                   As 
something comes to mind and 
you try it and if it works 
you keep it and if it doesnít 
you donít; and so no way, 
it seems, of choosing what 
is true -- that doing undoes; 
 
"whose days upon the earth" 
a crownful of lies now, any 
old time and tell the tale lowly 
an inning or more 
to say, when still too slowly 
a word "as shadows" weighted 
one and one in the pennyís 
turning most easily toward 
what is most difficult. 
 


   
Harlequinade  
 
The only impossible fact 
is the one you canít recognize. 
 
When, for instance, Columbinaís 
body dead a few hours 
and starts to sweat 
 
                            and 
you are reading the poem but 
you are not the poem. The edges 
remain, their lean awareness, 
and the voices also of one 
or who if 
 
the smudge of my finding lines 
suggesting, but still cannot, 
pouched, an old scar 
restless, writing itself 
between the shaping darks 
that only and uncountable time 
 
              (but what syllables 
now to count the simples 
of my broken eyes?) 
 
                               "that is 
the shape of the psyche co-extensive 
with each mode of desire" 
 
My lover, somewhat more quietly, 
reminds when a tree will fall 
and hearing its own sound. 
 

  
Manresa  
 
I expect it looked pretty much 
like a Travelodge -- nothing new, really, 
mostly a cutting back -- keep 
the image small. 
 
                           Remember, 
never trust a man 
whose voice changes when 
he talks about God 
 
                             (like 
when a guy puts his hand on your shoulder 
only heís thinking lower) 
 
                                       and 
the monkís prayer (as Anthony) 
is not perfected until 
he canít remember it. 
 


  
Table Talk  
 
The mirror works both ways. 
 
Or piece by piece till 
whose silence almost recognizable 
and each certainty 
a little less than . . . 
not this face but 
somewhat like it other 
seen; or nothing worth. 
 
Those old prophets, Luther said, 
do seem to skip about 
from topic to topic. 
 
Not going anywhere 
with everywhere to go; 
                                    like 
the old joke I never quite got: 
how do you know 
when you find it if 
you donít know what is lost? 
 
They say, too, that he wrote 
some of the grungier bits 
in Das Faustbuch: 
it takes one to know one. 
 


  
Brother Ass  
                                  after WCW 
 
                             "What 
díyou call a nun riding 
on the back of a clown?" 
"Verginí on the ridiculous." 
 
And the joke still overing till 
each dialogue between this world 
and the world of the spirit 
                                             (And what 
do you? whoís to) 
                            weighing both 
image and echo and the parts 
and selvings vaguely in not 
exactly death but -- 
 
                            No, even 
a lie can die or lead 
to the truth. 
 
                 As 74, 
he flaps the greeny flower 
at 3,000 Wellesley students 
and "I could have raped them all!" 
 

 
Each Long Root  
  
                      i 

And something still missing? 
then go look for it, little song, 
in each your long root; try 
a wording to the unwordy places 
(who never can tell) 
 
                              Shifts 
and recovers briefly; then into 
again this giggle of ghosts, 
and the dark thing close 
upon my eye, my enemy 
reminds me of certain details 
not yet accounted for, as: 
 
what street sustains now stately, 
plump Buck Mulligan or 
the mad rattle alla turca 
and forty years and a few 
from these or what yet growing 
soft and soft in deftly 
the pieces of that shifty fog: 
 
"Try for the single and centre," 
Coyote teases, "Canít nobody 
see you then." 
 
                         and plod 
a lesson or two more 
the gamier way for saying. 
 
                         ii 
 
But a touch closer -- though still 
with about as much chance as landing 
the big one with a bent pin -- 
this morning as a tanager crisply 
shapes in the piney places 
another name for wonder 
my calling, and the fisherís cast 
again whose word is all 
that is the case 
 
                        and the poem finishes, 
what? itself, or something other 
than itself 
                 (No words 
but of ideas) Yes, 
 
                           though 
not yet quite clear enough how 
that dying in its certain way; or 
the re-living? well, what I have seen 
still seen, I suppose, extended 
to Here Be Dragons 
and turn then till may be a bit more 
and this hour first, immaculately known. 



 
Author's Statement Of Poetic Principles And Brief Biographical Infromation

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