The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

All Issues
SEPT 2020 Issue


candor repeats paranoia

The sun one day for pity went

so pale, when I met you, and

never did guard myself either. Time did not

appear, you know? When Love’s blows fell I

walked without suspicion, thus my

woes began amidst the common grief.

Friday, Saturday, I can’t quite remember :

storms in the morning, the customary vacuum.

Therein Love discovers me nude, his eye my

door, and kicks me when I’m

down. I don’t blame God. I

do blame you who keep on circulating slander.

As if you all deserve my candor.

trouble sought unyet

No one goes by

fuller’s fields no more : so

was it fables or the

ephod or that

primal sin or what, that

brought us to captivities of

common moral cowardice?

Dunno. Greed and sloth and

sleep are killers : every

kind light’s spent. So

how will I call down the

river, wear the laurel, ever

learn my poor and bare

Philosophy again? No one goes by

fuller’s fields : you’ll carry few

companions through that viaduct but

o my gentle spirit, don’t lose vision

on account of their bonehead misprision.

good old social death

Light’s poverties slice up the

days in which we’ve

come to dwell (oh well), their

burning horns deep virtue’s

moments dressing all we tried :

down by the green-wood side. Our

rivers, hills wear

flowerettes, and earth coughs up

truffles, I guess? So as she is a

sun of women, her eyes’ rays dis—

tinguish time. Oh

social death : hello. Her

acts and thoughts and

works of love in me can

not abide. Down by the

green-wood side.

sonnet : the codes

Your heartbeat came to me across the storm,

whose vast internal distance wakes us now

from dreams of all that could have been, or how

our joys might take one day (it seemed) their form.

But life did not endure so long to see

your eyes’ light spent up by their final years,

or what you’d look like old: indeed your fears

stole all these things from you, from you and me.

Love suffer me to speak your holy ways,

which parted us down these diverging roads,

for I, thought I did waste my former days,

have nonetheless not died to Spirit’s goads,

nor yet forgotten all that time decays:

through which, today, God speaks at last the codes.


David Brazil

David Brazil is a pastor, poet, and community organizer. Books include Holy Ghost (City Lights), antisocial patience (Roof), and The Ordinary (Compline). His new edition of Beat poet Philip Whalen's classic Scenes of Life at the Capital was published by Wave in 2020. He lives in New Orleans.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

All Issues