We are pleased to welcome Erika Jo Brown, who will be reading at our August 1st Library Reading Series event. She has agreed to share some of her work with us in advance of the event.



Somewhere, an actual balloon floats into the horizon

of a Midwestern town. I know that because I see it.

Everyone is sad. I know that because I talk to people.

Smart people are good at schematizing sorrow

in ravishing models. Somewhere, the whale-like

thrumming of French hip-hop thrums. Someone

has left a tissue in their pocket that sneezes

all over the new load of wash. General fruit

is not appealing, but three young apricots before

you, well. Please accept this half-ditty, half-prayer.

For once, it’s not pity I’m after, just beauty.

There is no transaction like this. Forgive

my being forward at the end—rain hitting

a pane, canary-yellow, chai. Try it with me now.



Sometime in the winter of our lives,

I was all about tillage. An operation,

a practice, an art of little trenches.

Tell me about it. The season provided

its best sledge. I had not one pretty

tile to tickle me, with the exception

of a Turkish repro, from Israel actually.

A gift from my father. These lacks were

tugging, as tilapia does a line alive.

My ticker was rendered pointless, more

or less. There was a sadness no leopard

could dispossess. But for the repetitive

ticks of a tractor I heard this summer.


This is my Monday sad day triage

poem. My sad cabbage in Monday

pottage poem. Sounds from an acreage,

like a made-up plot device. Like a

sparkly beverage. From a crow’s eye,

there is no progress. Love’s test

is actually a common everlasting native

to eastern North America. Things like

this. The spillage and the mileage. The

carriage through these blah blah blues.