Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Poetry By Alan Britt

In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador for the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. During his visit he did TV, radio and newspaper interviews gave presentations and read poetry in Quito, Otavalo, Ambatto, Guayaquil and Guaranda, plus the international literary conference sponsored by La hermandad de las palabras 2015 in Babahoyo. He served as judge for the 2013 The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. He read poetry and presented the “Modern Trends in U.S. Poetry” at the VII International Writers’ Festival in Val-David, Canada, May 2013. Recent readings include the Biblioteca Comunal at the Ecuadorian Consulate in Queens, Long Island City, NY, November 2015, the 6x3 Exhibition at the Jadite Gallery in Hell’s Kitchen/Manhattan in December 2014, the Fountain Street Fine Art Gallery in Framingham, MA in June 2014, and the Union City Museum of Art/William V. Musto Cultural Center in Union City, NJ sponsored by LaRuche Arts Contemporary Consortium (LRACC) in May, 2014. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. New interviews for Lake City Lights and Schuylkill Valley Journal are available at http://lakecitypoets.com/AlanBritt.html and www.svjlit.com/aninterviewwithalanbritt. He has published 15 books of poetry, his latest include Violin Smoke (bilingual English/Hungarian): 2015; Lost Among the Hours: 2015, Parabola Dreams (with Silvia Scheibli): 2013 and Alone with the Terrible Universe: 2011. He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.


Stunned like a catfish,
iron pliers cracking skull bone
that splinters bird of paradise feathers
all the way to tail fins tapping
for all their worth
the warped boards of the Lake Worth Pier.

Stunned like that again? I think not.
So stick your needle-nosed, leader wire
pliers wherever they pinch & grab,
but don't show 'em in public lest you
invite the most god awful fire & brimstone
into your esteemed houses of the holy.


(After Steely Dan)

I await the squealing saxophone.

It arrives
on rolling bolero waves.

Squawked and mugged
over and over.

The piano inhales.

Chiricahua guitars
search for oasis.

Red and white feathers loosen from the sax,
then drift over a neon city
leaving fossils embedded in granite
high above the dark tinted windows
of Capitalism.


Where are you now?

I’m in my brain.

What part of your brain?

I don’t know exactly.

Well, are you in the reptile brain,
the mammalian brain . . . ?


Why do you scoff?

The human brain is more complex
than a few Jungian archetypes.
I roam the brain the way mangrove roots
finger an inlet’s dark waist,
feeling each root’s fingertip caress the emotional gills of salamanders
one moment,
then scratch the vermilion silt of intellect the next.

I might live primarily in one hemisphere
of the brain for six months,
simultaneously inching, slithering
into several lit and unlit rooms,
little emotional rooms
where I stroll freely
like August wind
through an abandoned Maryland barn.

At times I sleep in this beautiful barn
and watch its shoulder blades ignite                                                
into a beautiful goldenblue fire.

Actually, there’s so much of the unexplored brain left
that I sometimes believe I’m a wild animal,
a leopard prowling utter darkness,
a toucan excreting large seeds from its dream
onto the brain’s pine needle floor.
In my secret and humid places
orchids explode with exotic beaks, raspberry wings,
and swan necks of shivering light.

So, you see, I’ve barely covered
any great distance at all
inside this mountainous vegetable
we call the human brain.
Often, I know exactly where I am
and where I’m going in my brain.
Sometimes, with a flickering tongue of intellect,
I taste flowing mists
from mysterious universes I’ve yet to visit.

And I cherish long walks
through the gilded halls of paradox.
I feel amethyst joy when the intelligent coyote
drags around the thunderous tail of a crocodile.
You see, this coyote has an intuitive understanding
of Heidegger and Eliade,
plus a weakness for cabernet as dry
as the abandoned skin of a speckled cobra.

I take it there’s no point in asking
about the New Brain?


Monks   humming   salvation    24/7  might   consider   a 
Chardonnay   sloshing    the    Cuban    coast—smuggled 
aboard—smuggled  inside   the  livers of  drunken  popes,
hammerheads   &   red-tailed  foxes    tattooing   two-lane 
asphalt Butler Road lit by four florescent blues exploding, 
not  in  the  usual  sense, but  exploding, nevertheless, like 
proteins     from    the    barbed    tendrils    of   our   DNA. 


Blue   snakeskin    fingerprints'   white    flour
impressions    along     portfolio    known    as 
Lloyd—that    &     nothing     more,     except 
briefcase Lloyd, Jr. & perhaps a chambermaid 
with   seashell  buttons   unloosing  her   white 
poppy collar—but Lloyd has other   plans that 
don't include boring  Tuesdays  or  pouring his 
life savings into a GM gas tank.  Lucky Lloyd 
still    has    time    to    make   such   ludicrous 
decisions.       But       that's       our        Lloyd.

No comments:

Post a Comment