Current occupation: managing a number of buildings, construction work, writing, learning specialist for at risk students, retired public school teacher (inner city, Chicago) & head admin for Project Agent Orange
Former occupation: public school teacher (inner city, Chicago); taxi cab driver (Chicago); grocer, freelance writer
Contact Information: Michael H. Brownstein’s has a few chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He presently resides in Jefferson City, Missouri where he lives with enough animals to open a shelter.
One of the dogs has cataracts,
a pressure from glaucoma,
and she is not sure of herself
though she wants to be alive
and with the others. So we walk,
just her and I, from the corner
to her home, and I pick her up,
and we go again, the corner
to her home. Three, four times
twice–sometimes three–a day.
Then I get other dogs and let
them play in my huge yard.
She is always invited. She plays
well, sniffs the ground, checks
her footing. When we go in,
they rush the door and I, well I
go out and find her, pick her up
and carry her in. The blind dog
so much loves to be carried;
the blind dog so much loves
to walk from the corner near home
to the home she knows by smell.
all of the way home
TEARING DOWN THE CANOPY OF PORCH
The skin of wood
And the surgical detail of the saw saw blade
Cutting through it
Bleeding the hard wood
And the plywood stitched in glue
And removing four layers of shingle
And one layer of rubberized roofing.
Oil blanches the blade
Slips it into putty
Bending it off jerk a millisecond
Then an inch at thirty degrees
Hard hat and protective gloves
Glasses and safety glasses
One by one the skin of the porch tears
Its bones loosening
A rush of cricket breath
A tear of grain
A falling of what was here.
A CONVERSATION BETWEEN TEACHERS IN THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE
We wonder what is in the water. Sugar,
Cookies, ripe persimmons, cotton
Candy. We know it is not any of these.
Something’s are valued less.
Everything is always that simple.