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THUGWISE CAT

Two Poems BY ALAN BRITT

Two Poems BY ALAN BRITT DREAMING THE BRIAR PATCH Like Seinfeld's Kramer hugging 42 nd Street subway tiles in my whitey tidies. Suddenly, a vireo, of all saints, whistles from a nearby pine. As I plummet onto a bed of copper needles in my underwear, I'm reminded I'm allowed to miss church next six months so long as I read a healthy helping of Baudelaire. Ah, once again, loving the briar patch! WALKING ACROSS THE ROOM (For Sabine Pascarelli) Another poem in quicksand. But poems have magic up their sleeves: soaking verbs in olive oil & boiling nouns in the pantry of a late 16th century French cottage below the Italian border. I'm a mouse in the pantry of that cottage. I'm the rattle of tins filled with local basil, rosemary, thyme, & parsley, Italian, of course. 40

I'm the sickening edges of a chocolate bar left on the counter overnight, & despite premonitions to the contrary I volunteered for that bivouac, dangerous, it seemed to me, so, I offered a chocolate bar instead. Good thing, since I didn't have an edge to give & soaking wet from Autumn cornfields. A detective, who looked a lot like Poe, in fact, I'm sure it was him lurking beneath a Charlie Chan fedora, behind purple azaleas, as the Queen's procession of silver horses decorated with saffron bells, bells, & bells made from skulls & crucifixes, plus red roses in the side yard, bleeding, bleeding, bleeding. Author bio: In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. During his visit, he participated in venues all across the country including the international literary conference sponsored by La hermandad de las palabras 2015 in Babahoyo, Ecuador. In 2013 he served as judge for the The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. His latest books include Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania & Hungary (2015); Lost Among the Hours: 2015; Parabola Dreams (with Silvia Scheibli): 2013; and Alone with the Terrible Universe: 2011. He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University. 41

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