Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Goat

Holiday Goat


I arrange to make the razor strapped
And dream of two-doored Cadillac’s.

From the shadow of a broken rock
Above the flatness of promised land
A harshness shines in waves
Of colors bruised and bloody
And the wind blows grit across an empty field
Where the only smells are salt and rust.

Winged and weightless, the flies hover,
Sure that in the intensity of sheen
A sweetness is upon them,
Just as I mistake the agony of effort
For a prayer of submission.


In spring the newborns played
By summer all the doelings caged
And only sheep remain at graze
To see the winter coming.

From the old I take the young
And leave the damned to mourn the loss
In faith that ritual sacrifice
Will ease the doubts I’m given to.

With a razor strapped and a marble slab
I make a myth of ruthlessness.

Mike Brady 2010



Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Oklahoma, Maybe.

Oklahoma, Maybe.

In Texas:

We don’t use French in poetry --
It’s all affect no matter the alliteration
And the vowels add only unearned arrogance.

Some German works:
Our thoughts sound best
In the language they were born.

Italian is just a kind of lust
With all the strangeness of rhythmic sonnets...
Their love is just a hole to step out of.

Latin words mean nothing.
Iambic my ass, we’re not Rome --
We plan to still be standing for the fall.

Mike Brady 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas Wish List 2010



A cast iron skillet,
(I’m doing cornbread variations this year.)
An electric water boiler for morning coffee.
Curtains for my bedroom,
(On days off, I’d like to see the sun later not sooner.)
Six-packs of chili – Denison’s, Stagg -- any bean type,
(Chili never goes out of style.)
Good and solid socks, dark and uniform – and ones that don’t ball up into black linen chunks and clog the dryer.

My mind has not the inclination for the asking
For World peace, or any less of strife,
And though the Sudanese could use a break this Christmas,
They are probably not the type that wants the fix.
(And it’s best to let the gods play to the finish,
Omnipotence is jealous at its best.)

Bacon’s good, but not as good as Crisco,
Yet Granny’s biscuit’s might require both,
I still don’t want a microwave, they’re ugly,
But an iron cornbread muffin mold is nice.

My father’s praise, but not so much my mother’s
Though my mother knows me better than he does,
My father knows me like I know my children
But a son and mother are mostly just the one.

Mike Brady 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Fall

The Fall

You ask for signs and see
Blowing across a frozen lake
Some scattered leaves
Burning, as if the wind could
Start a fire
Or the ice give up sparks of heat.

It’s time for the fall so
The leaves don’t surprise you
As they fly from branches,
released by death to ride uncertain winds
like the kites of careless boys in late November
who are too distracted by the cold to hold on tightly --
Leaves bounding in a random dance,
Trying to bounce their way across the promised winter.

It’s the movement of fire in the timing of your head
That makes you wonder if this is a portent
Or an answer,
Or just some strangeness unreported –
Some farmer burning trash,
Or a city in flames making its own weather--
(The ashes of civility blowing in from the middle gives you pause,)
or a star exploding to show you the face of God --
Whirling flamed chariots of dancing death to make a point to you alone.

But this sign is not for you, it’s just wordlessness
From the muscle that runs beneath --
the muscle that boxes and binds the gods.
And the only meaning
Is in the movement of dead leaves
As they blow into piles for a latter thaw
to be born again as something else.

No thoughts or dreams can cover up
The truth that we are simple meat
Given enough in senses to occasionally see
the sparks that fly from frozen lakes,
to know that the beauty of the fall
lies in  the promise of a spring.

Mike Brady 2010