Brandon Brown

my dad has a pretty good

way of saying fuck you

he told me since Janiece died

he storms around the house

yelling at her, cussing

“yelling at God”

it sounds so cinematic

I sometimes forget

how horrific

like reading about

the goddamn

Battle of Antietam

I like when kids cuss

I always have

went to my hometown

to see my dad

my sister came and

we drove around

it sucked

drove by that slice of woods

between two crappy houses

where I learned to smoke

learned to cuss

saw the ruins of the pool

the pool is where I learned to crawl

I wish I had been more of an athlete 

my dad showed me where crosses

burned in the 1980’s

over by the middle school

right by the railroad tracks

that snuck into the woods

behind our house

the spot where Dave Cox said he’d kick my ass

if I hadn’t had a broken wrist

I was carrying a gallon of chocolate milk

my sister says Dave Cox

is a really good dad

I love chocolate milk, now that is naughty

I would never drink it

abstaining has its own high

as Geoffrey told Hannah

about quitting smoking

“it’s its own drug”

when what we need hurts us

like when they leave us

and we still need them

that’s when we’re most fucked I guess

makes me want to cuss

Discouragement Poems

Brandon Brown

I read some Sanskrit court poems about old age

they’re okay, kind of predictable, not very funny

old guys licking their lips, ogling

wishing they were young again

I prefer the poems about discouragement

sometimes they are also about aging

like this quatrain of Dandin

I’m broke

I haven’t learned anything

No one admires me

And now I’m almost dead

I made Alli watch Space Jam 2

Lebron’s toupee very sturdy

we both want to watch the Olympics

they say this Kazakh archer is thirty one

I’d like my teenage self to see me tonight

I don’t think it would be so discouraging

is a goose deterred by wild ramps, no

it knows they taste delicious and are healthful

and radishes are tasty as well

I didn’t do the river hike with my friends

that didn’t feel very good

lots of steep sharp rocks to climb

I have a bad knee and balance

it was fine I read a book about St. Louis

laps in the pool for every chapter

smoke from Dixie fire filled the air

the book was good


I mean yes and no I guess

I had fun there with Paul and Duke

Erica, John and the Fiddler

I like when summer is very hot

but only for a few days

and there must be a pool

here’s fresh sherbet

floral spritz on closed eyes, drugs

preferably some cool pool toys

it seems so normal to have been born in the seventies

to be more or less as old as the Ramones

the gurry shark lives five hundred years

but never does fucking anything

courage is cognate with quarry

maybe miscreant and credible

dis is their splitting apart, here I mean the heart

discouragement is the diminishment of heart

turritopsis dohrnii never dies

when they get old they fuck themselves back into birth

do it all over again

immortal jellyfish

every sea lion on earth is younger than me

but I walk under the redwoods in Philo

fry on granite in the Yuba young as sperm

and I am younger than Nelly

and the other St. Lunatics

we heard the Yuba was full of sunscreen

Steve was all yeah the oxybenzones

the Yuba flows through Konkow land

Maidu, Nisenan, and Miwok land

and always will, probably faster and higher

now it’s hotter and lower, it’s discouraging

I guess it’s been a lot of ages, been a lot of sizes

Dandin’s been dead for like thirteen hundred years