Greg Brown and Russ McIntosh

Russ McIntosh Unlocked Possibilities


Key by Greg Brown

1.  Vivisepulture

René holds the sentence down,
I mention a hat turning,
reading the grooves of grain,
counting the years around
the cylinder to where I might
hang my coat.

I hope that like Pascal
I am buried with it.
Burn unto dirt,
in tomb I display
my hand on the bell.

2. Fraxinus Excelsior

I ask of the tree outside
your window.

The ash that spreads
leaves like a promise.

I count the leaves in song.

All worries become fruit.

We are never there for
the fall,
the snap,
the veins pulled out.

Gravity never turns on the light,
makes a case for staying home.

3. Samara

I have an overbite of
interlocking teeth.

When I am older
I rest, unsplit.

Pronounced in green grass.

I could be the seed, unbroken.
Whole for a hole.

In ripeness I never falter.

4. The Long Case

Oh, Grandfather, where have you taken me?

I am upper case, royal.

At the edge of dreams, the smoke
yellows to finger’s tip
and blacken the teeth on your tongue.

I am written that I smile
twice a day.

I do not doubt the angles
of your memory,
the point at the white space and say
….It was here where we lost
….the finery of upholstery
….strings, the cap lake
….around her head.

I doubt where you will bring us
as your hands in deliberate fashion
come with wrinkles, mottled nails
always reaching.
always reaching.

5. Dublin

Throw your chair to the wind.
Stand on salted grain.
Your shoes speak.

We cannot bear to touch.
The cure of condensation,
a black pool poured
into my cup.

I have never been on the cobblestone,
ear to the horse,
listening for ground.

We will not make promises here.

6. Door

William whispers,
” . . .everything would appear
to man as it is, infinite.”

He’s been talking to the angels again,
fingers on the copper leaf,
sepia reflection of skin.

I wonder where he keeps
his pockets,
pretend that each door
is covered in seasons.

I listen when Persephone speaks
but William, Oh William:
draft on the lips
asleep with archaic smile.

You dream of demons driving
their carts through the bones of the dead.

7. Tonic, Key.

for the time
in Dublin. She has
every door covered.
I only hear the tik, tik.

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