Monday, January 7, 2008

Joel Brouwer

Joel Brouwer is coming to UofM this week. If all goes well I'll get a chance to meet with him and maybe work with him. I did some digging around online to learn more about him. Here's a list of Joel Brouwer's Top Seven Love Poems from Poetry's Online Journal. Judging from this list, the man has good taste. He includes one of my favorite Tony Hoagland poems ("Windchime").

Brouwer also had a poem in the December 2006 issue of Poetry that I really like. You can read more of his poems at Poetry's web site. Here is one from Post Road and a couple more from The Blue Moon Review.

A Report to an Academy

And so among the starry refineries
and cattail ditches of New Jersey
his bus dips from egg-white sky into shadow.
When he next looks up from Kafka a blur
of green sanatorium tile flows by
then presto, Port Authority, full daylight.
He has been cheated of the river, dawn,
a considered fingering of his long
and polished rosary of second thoughts.
Is it any wonder children are born
weeping? Out to Eighth Avenue to walk
twenty blocks home to her sleeping curve
beneath a sheet. He cracks three eggs into
a bowl and says to each, Oh you got trouble?
The yellow yolk is his, the orange is hers,
the third simply glistens, noncommittal.
Except to mention Kafka's restlessness
before his death, his trips from spa to spa
to country house to sanatorium,
and that she's awake now, sweet with sleep sweat,
patting her belly's taut carapace and yes
hungry as an ape but first a kiss mister
how was your trip and what have you brought us,
and that the knowledge that dooms a marriage
is the knowledge prerequisite to marriage,
the poem has nothing further to report.


and_dry_therain said...

I've always liked Joel's poetry, and actually posted some of his poems on my blog back in the day (as in, 2004).

If you're at all interested in his work, I think that his first book is both underrated and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

I took a poetry class that Joel taught at SIUC. He was always an engaging teacher and an great writer. I hope his visit to U of M was an enlightening one for you.

Best of luck with all your endeavors.