Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, After Hours, poetrysuperhighway.com and others. He has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). His book, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else: A Poet’s Journey To The Borderlands Of Dementia, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).



The dust on the path has not transformed itself to anything but dust,
no rain for a week, the sun a magnifying glass peeling back my skin.


Rain into sand, sand scours the air,
the hem of earth begins to tear


Now the sun is bright
and the day good.


Why does the Greek tortoise cross the road?
The rains have come, the grass is dewed, the sea cleanly colored.


Yes, I have visited many staircases in my lifetime
dissolving what should have been remembered and remembering
        what should have been dissolved.


Still the chalk and cliffs, a bright red beacon of housing,
everywhere Italian cypress, Spanish broom, lavender.


A wet blue sky,
the air heavy with rain,
and in this place where breezes blows,
no breeze blows.

the branches of the great trees talk to each other,
their leaves folding into one another,
and the moon slips behind a clash of consonants,
a sudden lurch of lightning
and after a day of beach and sunlight,
night comes with water
and wine.

Sit outside with me a moment.
You can finish your chores tomorrow.
Tonight is a time for the movements of air,
a dialogue of branches,
the conducting of clouds,
and if we get wet, no matter,
I am in your debt.

Poetry in this post: © Michael H. Brownstein
Published with the permission of Michael H. Brownstein