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27 April 2015

Things in Light Poetry Series 2015: Ardith L. Brown

Rudolfo Carrillo

That Kind of Discussion

In honest disagreements,
the blindfolded lady
always tips the scale.  
Justice, that nosy mouse,
will not stand still.

Rodents have a field-day
with ethics, their opinions
based on blank decisions.
How my quick appeals
are lost on tiny brains.

My sulky lips and kitten-eye
pounce forever stalk you.
Cats are killing machines.  
No matter that they purr
and cuddle up nicely.

Words are broken ladders
where you vanish into self.
I navigate the rungs upward,
but the discussion is sealed
in a sarcophagus, in a lung.

Our arguments stick
like honey crystallized
in a milky glass jar.
Close the lid. Go home.
The sweetness is done.

For a Man

My poems screech like waterbirds diving for stale bread on the shore.
Forget seagulls.  Phoenix feathers rise from crumbling towers, endless ash,
a campfire smoldering with sacred tobacco. You didn't believe in new age

paraphernalia, but you sat on a wobbly stump that September and threw
dried flakes into the fire, smoke blowing quilt patterns on your face.
Can I stitch to you a sonnet, suffering the page's blank space to force

your lines out?  My spreader of numbers, keeper of trees, oh enigma.
I can write the sound of seasons: crackle of leaf-fires, winter's silent
glare. Black bridges divide the river ice in two.  A wet train moans.

But words scour the loneliness of eyes.  And I should quit definitions;
denotation is shallow.  Rhyme won't sound, meter won't count, and black
ink is sentimental. Take up the sky and split it. Witness ice-white supernovas,

a mass implosion cutting through frozen whorls of galaxy glass.  Melt it.
Drink it down. Crack the star like a walnut, but please, leave the core to me.


We are not born
Our needs are few:
mothers, small blankets,
milk. And then what happens?

If you ever go to a treatment center--
of any kind-- you will learn
many useless things.
They will complicate matters
with suggestions, and advice
on ways to simplify your life.
They will tell you to approach
your enemy and tell them
thank you for making me
so angry, and I love you.

The Old Testament guy
standing on the corner
with his signs and verses,
he knows more than
I do of gentle hands
and spent grace.
He believes in salvation,
and for a dollar
he will touch his greasy
hair and say thank you
for making God so
available, and don't
you know He loves you.


Ardith L. Brown currently resides in Flannery O'Connor's hometown of Milledgeville, GA, but she doesn't forget New Mexico.  When she is not wrangling family or grading papers, she writes poems.  She has a B.A. in Poetry from UNM, an M.A. in Literature from the University of Houston, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Georgia College & State University. She misses green chile, mountains, and liberals.

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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