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About this poet

William Brewer was born and raised in West Virginia. He is the author of I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017), winner of the National Poetry Series. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland, California.

Leaving the Pain Clinic

Always this warm moment when I forgot which part of me
I blamed. Never mind the pills kicking in, their spell
that showers the waiting room, once full of shame,
in a soft rain of sparks that pity sometimes is,
how it mends the past like a welder seams metal,
and isn’t that why we’re all here, addicts
and arthritics—we close our eyes completely
but the edges only blur—and though the door’s the same,
somehow the exit, like the worst wounds, is greater
than the entrance was. I throw it open for all to see
how daylight, so tall, has imagination. It has heart. It loves.
 

From I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by William Brewer. Used with the permission of Milkweed Editions.

From I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by William Brewer. Used with the permission of Milkweed Editions.

William Brewer

William Brewer

William Brewer is the author of I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017).

by this poet

poem
Only in the slow braid of a dream
can you study want and need, their
patience, their cruelty. Amid the thin
trunks of their campfires’ smoke,
I watched the hours shed
their polished armor, clean and
sheathe their blades, water their
stallions,
poem

   Storms are generous.
                                      Something so easy to surrender to, sitting by the window,
 and then you step out into the garden you were so bored of,
                 so bored of you hated it,

2
poem
Fall kingdom conquered first by bedlam,
then bedlam’s hunger—hush—heavy
in the air between the hills that crash
like waves into each other. What is a hive
without its queen? Thirst can rule, so can want.
A crown of needles, a gown of clouds she parts.