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POEMS ABOUT THE ART OF POETRY

Welcome to my little on-line Poetry Chapbook. Each poem is about the Art of Poetry - the heart of the poet and the heart of the poem.

Browse the TWITTER listings to the right to find the lastest poems on my main blog. Just click on. You do not have to be a TWITTER member to use the links.

Enjoy.

So This Guy Walks Into My Poem

April 20, 2011

 So This Guy Walks Into My Poem

My poem was flowing smoothly.
Had developed a certain rhythm, a momentum,
The words rang in the air
chimed melodies that enticed listeners
described for readers the beauty around….

and then this guy walked into my poem.

Inadvertent as it was, it was disconcerting.
We tried to usher him out.
We told him we were not open yet.
Explained he could find a cup of coffee
in the café of the author down the street.
But he lingered
and my thoughts clung to him
my words no longer flowed smoothly
but riveted attention on his presence.
Beauty turned somber
life’s twist having interfered,
fashioned the verse.

Now all there is – is conflict
certainty gone
the landscaped marred
my pen ill at ease
all this, the night

this guy walked into my poem.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

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A Good Poem

April 19, 2011

A Good Poem 

A good poem is like a good sermon –

It should have a good beginning.
Must have a good ending.

and both should be as close together as possible.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Harvest Moon Mooning

April 18, 2011

Harvest Moon Mooning

Joe mooned the audience at the Open Mic reading
the other night at the Millburn, NJ Library.
I knew he had it in him,
I was just hoping that I would never see it.

Joe always complained
about the “Intelligentsia” in the poetry world.
We would go to workshops,
they would give him some mundane topic
and expect that he would write in esoteric terms
that not even a swami could interpret.

“These people would expect lyrical phases
even if the topic was to write about a fart,”
he told me once.
“Some things are just what they are,
and they aren’t lyrical.”

So when he read his poem at the library
about the outhouse
that was on the Western Pennsylvania farm where he grew up
he started to hear some snickers
saw those condescending smiles in the audience
like “here goes Joe again,”
and all of his William Paterson College A.A. bred inhibitions
broke down, he just lost it.
There at the podium he mooned them,
and that just about said it all,
but it didn’t really.

For you see, if certain writers who were acceptable to
the Intelligentsia had done that, it would have been innovative,
avant-garde. They would have put his picture
on the wall at Poets House in New York
written about it in Poets and Writers Magazine.
But Joe had the wrong initials behind his name –
A.A. instead of M.F.A.

So now as we have a beer at Mechlin’s Corner Tavern
Joe asked me about the old poetry haunts
and Mrs. Snooty who black listed him.

Afterwards he jumps into his chauffeured driven limousine,
he now having become quite the cult idol,
much sought after reader,
with his own booking agent, traveling first class
from college to college throughout the United States.

That’s what one minute of fame, on You Tube,
“Mooning the Intelligentsia”, can do for you.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

BYOA

April 15, 2011

BYOA

I got a letter from a very nice lady
who opened a Mom and Pop bookstore
in Clinton, NJ.

She wanted me to come
and read from my Chapbook to promote sales,
and by the way, could I bring some more copies
as she only had two on her shelves.

She struggles to maintain her existence.
The Big Box Stores and now Amazon
had her on the ropes
but she was sure, she had found a niche –
and her two copies of my book
were two more
than the Borders 5 miles away carried.

She shared her frustration
that a reporter from the local weekly paper
had written about the first book from a new author,
who lived in town and came in all the time.
The article ended by pointing out
that the book could be purchased on Amazon –
though the book, and a promotional poster, stood prominently
in her bookshop window and on a little table
in front of her checkout counter.

I paused in my reading.
Wonder after the small merchants
are pushed out and the government bailout
for the big guys doesn’t work,
who will sell the two copies of my book.

“By the way,” the letter ended,
“I have to warn you. It’s BYOA”.
How’s that?

“Bring your own audience.”

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

You Don’t Argue with a Poem

April 14, 2011

Your Don’t Argue with a Poem

His sister read some of his poetry
and wanted to argue him out of it.
It wasn’t that it didn’t sound right –
it just didn’t sound right. 

The philosophy didn’t make sense
and it wasn’t real world–
it wasn’t in accordance with the values
by which he had been raised.
It wasn’t,
and it wasn’t,
and it wasn’t! 

and very little about
what it was. 

Arguing with a poem is like arguing with a symphony
you either like it, or you don’t.
It doesn’t need to make a point
it moves you, or it doesn’t
works for you, or not. 

Arguing doesn’t change anything
it’s just arguing.
Beside if you argue too much with a poet
he may write a poem about you arguing
and then you will really have something
to argue about. 

So leave the poor brother poet alone. 

You are not supposed to argue with a poem.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Writer’s Bump

April 13, 2011

Writer’s Bump

In elementary school
I had a writer’s bump.
Proof on the top upper side
of my right middle finger –
that I did my work. 

I think it grew from squeezing my pencil
too hard and too long. 

Do kids today get a writer’s bump?
Or even know what it, or a pencil, is?
Have they both been replaced
with carpel tunnel syndrome? 

Has the bump gone the way
of six foot snow drifts that we used to trudge in,
to and from school, both ways uphill?
and recess
and milk bottles outside the front door in early morning
and marbles dropped in a shoe box hole
and simple times
and simple talks
uncomplicated friendships
simple games
and a prayer to start the day? 

Do they take a shower after gym,
or do they do they even have it (gym or a shower)?
Parallel bars in dusty storage closets,
horses that today are used to sit on and smoke
when you can sneak in the school basement. 

Dresses with sleeves and backs
and underwear that stays under
pants with belts
lockers without locks
hallways without cell phones
and manners….
and good morning
and there is a reason to go home. 

I remember the days when my writer’s bump would swell
from drawing countless penmanship circles –
thump a little from blood rushing through my veins. 

Now I look down, realize it is gone,
I had almost forgotten it. 

Could I have remembered it better than it was?
Failed to remember that it really, really hurt?
Forgotten why our parents thought we were a lost generation.
Understand really –
that you cannot walk to, and from school,
both ways – uphill?
And it doesn’t snow enough anymore anyway. 

In my heart, I fear that kids today
will miss the writer’s bump more than I do.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Your Favorite Piece

April 12, 2011

Your Favorite Piece

When once a poet was asked
which of his works he liked the best,
He replied,
“The one I am with at the time.” 

This struck the hearer strange.
Does not he have his favorite?
I know I do. 

Until a passerby remarked:
“If I were to ask you,
‘Which of your children do you like the best?’
What would be your reply?

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com