ISSUE  1   2   3   4   SUBMIT

Three Poems

Brandon Brown


I write my book for pure
price. Isn't that special? Gossipy
agents of price that call
my metaphors nice wheels—well,
I never finish the book
but here’s some nice predictions about it.
Hammered in total fury to a stake
It’s called THE DOUBLOON
because it’s for pure price
because it’s the doubloon of a product of a work
that makes it special
that gives it a substrate to get all hot about
i.e. it’s not trouble ‘til it’s doublooned
and anyway it’s basically about astrology and
the universe. The protagonist
is a doubloon doubling as a double-agent
betraying both the product of work
and the sweaty linen-buyers
who both dance on and with doubloons,
throw birthday parties, fly around
in balloons, eat macaroons, etc.
die in the sawdust. The doubloon
is tattooed with tiresome mottoes, looks
like the amalgamated faces of
The World’s Finest Tyrants
and it never gets tired of dubbing
over its own history. You want
to hear about the synchronized dance
sequence? Naturally. It takes place
in a saloon.


I wear a scar on all my arms.
A map whose punctuation stands for
Punctures made in the maplands
And the [a blank] is shaped like a fence.

The fence keeps my memories in
And keeps the wolves who like to
Eat memories out. There is some sort
Of kindly fencekeeper, no doubt.

I find myself forced in this discourse
Of fence and scar and memory and
Fencekeeper to keep saying Like a
And Sort of and it’s sort of dodgy.

This is the sort of force that made
The scars in the first place. In the
Second place, as you well know, they were
Caused by very unique predators I hunted.

Don’t find my scars scary
They carry you to car dealerships
And you get that car!
My scars want a deep breath and open road.

But they’re shaped like a fence.
And they represent a fence.
And fences don’t talk back.
At the MLA.


I had irritation in my fibers,
and I desperately yearned for
liberation out of vagabondage.
So I boarded the balloon.
I found the balloon itself
was pure price. Isn’t that
special? The balloon, like my book,
was built by metaphors and inflation.
Luckily for me, at this point in
my dreary life, I had learned at least
this—do not hammer anything, no matter
its radiant symbolic force, to any
part of the skin of the balloon.
Soaring high above the fields, where
endless strawberries pricked
the fingers that picked ‘em,
above factories, natural disasters,
ponds where ducks loitered to
and fro, and poppies did like a
can-can cause of wind—
somewhere mid-soar I began
to forget how to speak
my native language!
Whether it was the thinning air
or the consequence of my fibrial irritation
I do not to this day know.
At the time, I couldn’t even
speak out a formulaic blame-phrase
toward the balloon. Nor shout
down to the opium-pickers
and terrorists from the balloon.