Four Way Books
Return of the Prodigals
Kurt Brown

ISBN: 1-884800-22-X
paper, 61 pages, $12.95



In Praise Of Kurt Brown

There is no chaff in a Brown poem. Sound and sense intertwine to make a palpable thing. His use of humor, his narrative, his exactness, his great heart -- Browns's Return of the Prodigals is a pleasure to read. -- Stephen Dobyns



Well I can’t stop reading, and night
descends—stars flock above my head
like confetti thrown up at a celebration,
a marriage or a bar mitzvah, as I keep reading
past midnight when the moon appears,
big as a tumor, then rises
even farther toward the zenith
and turns benign shedding its frail
happiness everywhere, but I keep reading
into morning when the sun
arrives, the moon’s alter-ego,
wearing mist like one of those wispy
nightgowns tied in the back,
burning with health, even as I keep reading
while nations rise and fall,
blown this way and that by wind
that howls through our hearts
the way sea gales howl in chambers
of desolate caves along the coast,
and I’m still reading, well
into afternoon as light’s memory fades
and each thing is misplaced,
fallen into night’s black pockets
or simply effaced by the brain’s gummy eraser
shredding itself against the world—
I go on reading, reading
even as the body keeps turning
its soft pages in the dark,
by the light of my own obsession,
the beacon of my own hunger,
as if my life depended on it.