poem index


Kurt Brown
A man spends his whole life fishing in himself 
for something grand. It's like some lost lunker, big enough 
to break all records. But he's only heard rumors, myths, 
vague promises of wonder. He's only felt the shadow 
of something enormous darken his life. Or has he? 
Maybe it's the shadow of other fish, greater than his, 
the shadow of other men's souls passing over him. 
Each day he grabs his gear and makes his way
to the ocean. At least he's sure of that: or is he? Is it the ocean 
or the little puddle of his tears? Is this his dinghy
or the frayed boards of his ego, scoured by storm? 
He shoves off, feeling the land fall away under his boots. 
Soon he's drifting under clouds, wind whispering blandishments 
in his ears. It could be today: the water heaves
and settles like a chest. . . He's not far out. 
It's all so pleasant, so comforting--the sunlight, 
the waves. He'll go back soon, thinking: "Maybe tonight."
Night with its concealments, its shadow masking all other shadows. 
Night with its privacies, its alluringly distant stars.

Reprinted from More Things in Heaven and Earth with permission of Four Way Books. Copyright © 2002 by Kurt Brown. All rights reserved.

Kurt Brown

by this poet


The new road runs along the old road. I can see it
still imprinted on the earth, not twenty feet away
as I drive west past silos and farmsteads, fruit stands and hogs.