Monday 31 January 2022

Five Superb Poems by Heath Brougher


Kerouacian Haiku


Jackboots worn by Jack 

snapping fingers in the alley

the moon is a saxophone 



Sleep Deprived Personification of Motionless Cars


Somnambulistic visions flood my mind 

as I sleepwalk through gardens 

of hewn bonsais.

They have been landscaped to look like a question mark.

Imposed upon my severely sleep-starved thoughts 

are new cars—cars that grow legs 

and walk through the sky. 

Each car contains the slim wrists of erotic women,

tiny feet walking through the air

toenails painted pink.

But above their legs 

they own the bodies of ugly autos.

This dissonant appearance is seen as beauty 

by the mindless heard-poisoned masses,

John P. Citizen, and are praised

by pure machismo in every bar in town.

This poisoning is quite sharp,

like honed scissors that suddenly cut off the legs 

and the sky-ambling cars sprout wheels and begin to walk again. 



The Phony


Just because you have italicized your life

does not give you the right

to walk all over the brittle sincerity 

you have chosen to divorce yourself from.


Why? you ask from out the pile

of shiny whatnots 

you hide beneath..


Because no matter how brightly

the sun glimmers off

the perfectly waxed 

hood of your Lamborghini, 

we, the last people made of salt,

can see right through

your fancy facade

to the cowering child

riddled with fear and self-doubt

and apathy and poisonous Mirrorism 

and weakness that is your True Self.


You have no right 

to place yourself above us 

in the hideous hierarchy of Humanity 

that lives only inside your head.


And, after such a vulgar dispaly of behavior,

how dare you? 



Everyone Pays a Toll



                        ticks      away

       in woodpecker            mannerisms


human skin

                            starts to feel          a        tug

at     its     core     as


    eventually     has     its      way


it speaks     slowly     through     the


    but firmly     and after            enough     passage

 of falling sand            every     one     plays/fails/falls


  to     the hereafter descent—           the turning of s-

miles     into      pouty wrinkles


the eyes         go blind in crevices           as

 the force     the intensity          of the inevitable     pulls

      more     and     more               at the body

as hair grays

      and memories                                       fade      into       dust-

  y     mountains     of     miscellaneous          that           always

win       out       in



   the     seasons      pass          in           dull accordance

and all           that     is     left     to      know      is     that

     no  one     has     ever      defeated                     the automatic onset

                                                                                 of gravity's overdose. 



Dark Side of the Bed


Not to be late for the lynching 

not be sleepydead

we noticed the nooseman’s Dracula tan 

and teeth white as crack

inscribed with invisible Braille 

informing us to rage against the amnesia 

and whispering that there were eyeholes 

in the blindfold.


Romeo roams the fallout of romance 

following the trail of blooddrops from the rooftops 

of houses where the people, tripledosed and comatose,

have taken shelter from the varicose thoughts 

and bad blood circulation of crowds

living off of Wander Bread and Coma Toast, 

ten pill dizzy each one of them

wondering about the liberty vines 

that never existed in the first place.


Suffering though the Knifewound Blues and broken milk,

the tragedy of the taxpayer weighs heavily 

as they suffer the syphilis kisses and sororicidal maniacs 

hearing the conflagrant mouth of Saint Conscience    

roar into their barren wombs of thought. 


Among charity bombs and thorncrowns 

they are always boxing for airtime,

dreaming of insects as they sleep

below the sawdust of deformed stars,

each one dressed as if 

they were watching a slow boat 

while they live to dream of killing two birds 

with eighteen stones.

Heath Brougher is the Editor-in-Chief of Concrete Mist Press and co-poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Awards for Best Magazine. He received Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award and is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. In 2020, he was awarded the Wakefield Prize for Poetry. He has published 11 books and, after spending over two years editing the work of others, is ready to get back into the creative driver seat. He has four books forthcoming in 2022. 

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