October 4, 2016

Three Poems by Alan Britt: "Wishing I Lived in Montana," "Party at Watson's," and "Invisible Sounds of Cinco de Mayo, 10 a.m."

Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador, in 2015 as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. During his visit, he participated in venues all across the country, including the international literary conference sponsored by La hermandad de las palabras. In 2013 he served as judge for the The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for "The Poet and the Poem" aired on Pacifica Radio and is available at www.loc.gov/poetry/media/avfiles/poet-poem-alan-britt.mp3 . His latest books include Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania & Hungary (2015); Lost Among the Hours: 2015; Parabola Dreams (with Silvia Scheibli): 2013; and Alone with the Terrible Universe: 2011. He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University. he lives in Reisterstown, MD.

Memories for the Artist v2.jpg

“Memories  for the Artist.” Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and more than a dozen other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River magazine and more than sixty other publications.


There's a pall over the house,
unnecessary, as most palls.
Resembles a headless chicken
dancing in circles.

Two dogs asleep
in separate rooms
ignore their petroleum toy
disguised as a filthy slab of sirloin.

This ridiculous pall
resembles the curved bones
of Flamenco singers
confronting death.

Flamenco singers know
plenty about death.

They attend Catholic schools
& graduate summa cum laude,
then marry the first men
they get their hands on.

Unfortunately, all their husbands
die of mysterious poisoning.

Autopsies, notwithstanding,
they're lucky to be alive.

But this pall, this ambiguous pall,
absorbs enough anger to carve glaciers
into borders between two states of mind
living beneath the same roof.


All day mixing Tropicana® with Smirnoff’s® before I Godzillaed the evening crowd gathered for a Ronnie King & whoever might be dumb enough to challenge him altercation; I declared allegiance for my childhood bud in uncertain terms before tumbling backwards into the crowd gathered for a Ronnie King & whoever might be dumb enough to challenge him, just outside the sliding glass kisses I later received in a Grimm's fairytale bedroom candlelit with maiden’s flashing blue & goldfinch eyes oozing primordial fire.


Jetliner crumbles the sky, fuselage burrowing as though the air was made of salt pouring down a crystal hourglass onto the wound. UPS truck strains second gear & fighting chest congestion coughs up a package addressed to no one. Through menagerie chatter, horsefly’s licorice hum & Goodyears licking filthy asphalt, porcelain drips from a cardinal pierce the symbolist blue afternoon, first eleven, thirteen, then twelve times. Robin’s chirrups like sunlight flashing through quartz are delivered as three-sided plus two-sided kaleidoscope sapphires all in a single second. Fusion continues with the rusty pump handle angst of a blue jay, guttural grunts of grey squirrel, pottery shards of house finches, & mournful mews of a catbird. Jetliner rips the tarpaulin sky. This is early May. Nubile & naked, cheeks flushed & batting her Japanese maple eyelashes, May brushes her waist against my arm tempting me to transcend my age & join her in the innocence of this symbolist blue afternoon. But the sky is made of alabaster, & somewhere behind the algaed whitewashed shed or buried deep inside budding oaks, tufted titmice pierce the symbolist blue like manganese needles from a shattered midmorning wineglass.

~Alan Britt

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