Where have all the lightning bugs gone and a personal trainer is no longer an option
The muscle-bound sky
cloud shot, blood worn,
and my friend with rabid eyes,
a slur of lips,
chews fresh sugar cane everyday
his teeth perfect.
Some of the time he speaks for the two of us,
other times he is a very private man.
All around us contours of blue,
In the distance
the slow flex of another grand summer storm
leaping towards us
Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks includingThe Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).
Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.