Friday, March 11, 2016

A Poem by Bill Brown


The Note

I leave this note on the kitchen table
                                                            like a plant of fruit,
sliced orange and cantaloupe,
                                                   covered to stay fresh.
so you can nibble
                                   through the day.
Like all writing
                             they contain seeds to be discarded,
or spat at the cat,
                               a police distraction from her nap.
Parts of the note
                              like orange are sweet and citrus clean,
but the cantaloupe tastes pungent,
                                                          earthy, fraught with
twisting vines and climbing tendrils.
                                                             You must attend
to any words so close to their source
                                                              that their meaning
appears muddled,
                                for these control what I wish to impart
but can't.  
                  Just know that the words, like the fruit
come from the sacred ground
                                                   on which you walk,
ground rich enough to
                                        make both the confusion
of the cantaloupe
                                and the sweetness of the orange.



Bill Brown is the author of nine poetry collections and a writing textbook.  His most recent titles are Elemental (3:  A Taos Press 2014), The News Inside (Iris Press 2010), and Late Winter (Iris Press 2008).  In 1999, Brown wrote and co-produced the Instructional Television Series, Student Centered Learning, for Nashville Public Television.  The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him The Distinguished Teacher in the Arts.  He has been a Scholar in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a two-time recipient of Fellowships in poetry form the Tennessee Arts Commission.  Brown has published hundreds of poems and articles in college journals, magazines and anthologies.  The Tennessee Writers Alliance named Brown the 2011 Writer of the Year.  He lives with his wife, Suzanne, and a tribe of cats in the hills north of Nashville.




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