Poetry from Tony Brewer

All Green Thumbs 


You can trick a houseplant

into believing it is outside

by gently brushing your hand

softly against the leaves

bending the stems as if

they are out in the breeze


Strangers clustered

in a strong wind

at a stop


for the bus to come


Battery Heaven


Hard to tell batteries apart

lying loose in a box in the back room


The bad eventually crust over

but there’s no way to determine the good

without popping one then another

into the remote


Try a different pole

Try rolling one then the other

around with your thumb

whatever it takes

desperate for signal


Get the angle right

Get close enough & there

is enough juice to get through



No negotiating with a spent cell

but power predictions are possible

& frequently wrong


The pizza place in town that takes

dead batteries has a slot

in a 5 gallon bucket lid for them

Who knows where they go from there


Battery heaven is filled

with cheapies that come with toys

very obviously of lower quality

than the ones bought at the store


Do it wrong & kill a car

The smoke detector cheeps

until the corpse is removed


Even the rechargeable don’t

last forever


My advice



is to get out

of this town before you turn 20

Otherwise the broken store fronts

start to worry you

You might transmogrify

into a lamp post

become a fixture around here


Not like Gary who inherited

the hardware from his dad

George Bailey-ing his way

through his 50s as girls

softball coach & people love him


More like Sandy who will never

leave – there’s too much

out there she wants & feels

she doesn’t really deserve

but there is always just

a little less than what

she needs right here

It’s fine – it’ll be fine


The train doesn’t publish

it’s schedule so the terrorists

can’t formulate a plan

but it always seems to roll

through right when you think

maybe I shoulda left that one time

& then it’s gone & the crickets

return in the night certain

everything will be just fine

& it is, isn’t it?


Our first date





Took Mindy to see Platoon

We both liked war movies

Empty theatre perfect

for making out except

one angry vet

sobbing down front

in the horrible fog

They killed the good guy

is the only lesson learned

Too stunned even

to hold hands

we liked it

yeah – great film

Barber’s Adagio for Strings

swelling & enveloping

me later when

Mindy takes me

into her mouth

on a gravel road

next to some field

my hands clutching

air just like

Willem Dafoe


Waiting for the future



to arrive as advertised

I hear a juvenile hawk

in the dense canopy

of the abandoned house

across the street

1000 years wheel

across the starry starry

until something different

happens & is it?

Every hill is always

the one we choose to die on

My car narc’d on me

now I’m too scared to drive

killing machines with fascists

Clock sounds digitized

making “simmer down” motions

with their useless hands

Everything is late late late

can’t happen soon enough

Even waiting is a waste

of time and energy

in the midst

of a long-haul dream

Let us then toast

to the ever-under-construction

freeway & pour one out

for all the dumb bugs

wending wayward into death

against the grills & shields

of inevitability

Waiting for the 20 years

implicit in the next advance

turn signal on too early

been on the last 100 years

I awake resembling something

extinct & pissed off about it

Not false Not spiritual Not grief

Anticipation & the wearing

down of might cliffs

to something manageable

A fun time on a wild ride

left with penetrating desire

to go go go


Tony Brewer is a poet and foley artist from Bloomington, Indiana. he has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and his latest book is Pity for Sale (Gasconade Press). He is executive director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival and co-producer of the Writers Guild Spoken Word Series. More at tonybrewer71.blogspot.com.

3 thoughts on “Poetry from Tony Brewer

  1. Good stuff. Re Platoon. You know that last image as the helicopter lifts off and the black guy is waving with his weapon, both arms raised and you see a crater with bodies scattered around it, check out Sean Flynn’s war photos (in book requiem if you can find it) for the original of that shot (minus the living black guy) Flynn, son of Errol, is an amazing story all by himself, a real swashbuckler though his story doesn’t end well.

  2. I liked My Advice and Our First Date. Expressive, cinematic language. Well done.

Comments are closed.