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Michael R. Brown has published his poetry, fiction, travel articles, and columns in wide-ranging periodicals all over the world. Ragged Sky published his third and fourth books of poetry: Susquehanna in 2003 and The Confidence Man in 2007. See samples below.

  • "Ein Dichter und Weltenbummler."—Die Welt
  • "The Jerry Garcia of performance poetry."—WBUR/NPR
  • "Rascal-artist-angel-wonder...at the same time." —Paul Stokstad, Poets at 8, Fairfield, Iowa
  • "...radical, an extremist, and possibly a threat to the national security."—Stazja MacFayden, Editor, MAP of Austin Poetry
  • "He has the mind of Bertolt Brecht in the body of Grizzly Adams." —poet Jack McCarthy

His Dr. Brown's Traveling Poetry Show is an ensemble of poets who perform their own poetry in theaters.


The Handyman in Summer (Ed Anderson)

Leaning over the cross bar of an old swing set,
wire brush bowing oxidized iron off an upright,
I'm first cello in Sibelius's Second Symphony.
Wind runs its hand over damp grass.
Thick, unstable clouds tumble above.
My music invites them down to swirl about my head,
shake pine cones rattling to their inevitable thump,
roil the river, bring birches to applause.

Fine dust settles in dull patina on my sweaty arm.
I fling my energy abroad from these shiny points
where stubby wires scatter rust, burnish metal, make
bright brooding music upwell below clouds andante.

Thumps of a hammer come to temper my bow.
Birds catch passages in their beaks and fly on,
streamers of song fading beyond rushing trees.
I suppose I'd like Yo-yo Ma more if I had not
heard Rostropovich first. One cures silence,
the other overwhelms noise, and now I'm thrashing
dissonance with my saw hands playing in my head.

The Vagrant (Stan Weiss)

I look back in my life and see vast stretches of dry
brown sand marked by charred stumps of bridges
I have burned. Nubs worn to less each year.

More sun. No moisture in the wind to feed what
once grew. Los arroyos de los llanos estacados,
dry washes west of the Pecos to Borracho, Texas.

I see my sons still children in my dreams, could recognize
them among millions, and have no idea who they are.
This tough stone brain has put off reverie beyond reprieve.

Nothing matters about any of it in all that I am now.
Patient parents watch for prodigal sons, but it's a heavy
curse for faithful children to wait on a vagrant old man.

I am known in the cities of the world, and only trace with my eye
beyond where scratchy paths are erased by dust. All my families
are not mine. All my children belong to someone else.

I will go on. I have always done so. I do it well.
But only the greedy or foolish let me approach a bridge.
When I arrive at a shore, people know I seek conveyance.

The world has been worn round by men like me.

From Susquehanna. Copyright Michael Brown. For other poems of Michael Brown and to purchase his books, contact Michael Brown through his Web site.

© Ragged Sky Press