Lee Ann Brown
Biography of Lee Ann Brown
Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She attended Brown University, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
She is the author of In the Laurels, Caught (Fence Books, 2013), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award, as well as Crowns of Charlotte (Carolina Wren Press, 2013), The Sleep That Changed Everything (Wesleyan, 2003), and Polyverse (Sun & Moon Press, 2000), which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition, selected by Charles Bernstein.
Brown has held fellowships with Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Yaddo, Djerassi, the MacDowell Colony, the International Center for Poetry in Marseille, France, and the Howard Foundation.
Lee Ann Brown Poems
What Is The Grass?
The child asks, bringing it to me in handfuls. We stop at the Walt Whitman Service Area— No sign of Him save some 'Democratic Vistas'
Sheaves of wheat in cement relief Supply the beauties of Archer Ave. Past the scaffolded brick church spire We turn on the vacant corner lot
Once I had a garnet ring garnet ring garnet ring Set in a thin gold band garnet ring My father gave it me But it was not to be For I broke it with a twig underneath underneath I broke it with a twig underneath Then my mother gave to me gave to me gave to me A silver dogwood ring from a tree It has petals four Ill wear forevermore On my right hand for all to see The love I thought was true Neer gave me Neer gave me A ring of earth nor sea Earth nor sea Instead he gave to me Three things I cannot see And they ring inside of me O my soul O my soul They Sing inside of me O my soul (Sing to hymn tune: 'What Wondrous Love is This?')
CORONARY DECADES TO CROWN HEIGHTS
Five days later Were still having fun Cracking open the bow ties Of the chefs of metropolis Eating whole plateaus Mirrored in your eyes White reflective jackets Pouncing escalators of Momas undulating, Frank stairwells Chrome cigar gardens lit by C notes modern seers pluck the electric cacti of fur coats in line thanks for the jump start cut up nervous taxi my heart: Frank is the better part of your heart poetry? Red dot on my forehead: married to poetry more like a neglected lover Or one I save up for Express the F stop Im reading to Queens your poetry beside Anne Bradstreets to my dear and loving husband which Harry Diaz read and remembered 2 lines of so Ill bring the whole thing to him to class to read and to enjoy tomorrow
Amazing sentences from Mothers Letters For the time being, the doll is in the freezer but that will not solve the problem forever. When I got the house all decorated with dogwood branches which I had forced plus camellias and put the Ukrainian eggs you gave me on my popcorn dogwood branches, we were all ready for company. If you are acquainted with any nutritional 'health nuts' who have some new suggestions, please send them. I served slaw & Herlockers Barbeque heated in the special sauce which Bob had gotten on Highway 29. At one point he turned several summer salts on the floor while he continued to play the instrument which is curved in shape. This past week I went to the Black Forest Book Store where I asked the owner to help me find a book that would be especially good for Esther Massey Princes grandchildren (when their mother dies of a brain tumor) which may be soon. We were amazed to see that the childrens choir was made up of nine Hmong children plus 6 American blondes. Whoever has the most pennies in the jar has to kiss a cow (perhaps a calf) on December 10th. She told him that she was going to Washington to see the Dutch artists exhibit with 'someone else.' I cooked thin lean porkchops.
Author of light Break now my heart Our pleasure sleeps This place I remember
(o death) loved ones loved ones we laughed goodbye generous all we can do is hold them like I held wanted to be do not desert us life not yet we have to hold the other on to us the living let go(o death) loved ones loved ones we laughed goodbye generous all we can do is hold them like I held wanted to be do not desert us life not yet we have to hold the other on to us the living let go
THE WORDS OF LOVE
'I thank the world it will anoint me If I show it how I hold it' Will Oldham I pledge allegiance to the lamb And also to the other one The march is long and now I stand Again on ground fresh broken I had small difficulty made In keeping up with your parade The underbrush was heavy, dense With sounds of distant fire Ive been cut & Ive been frayed Then spliced as whole as any maid Despite this rending I have stayed In aisles of trees amongst the shades I pledge allegiance to the lamb And also to the other one The march is long and now I stand Again on ground fresh broken Our loved ones they have gone Far from camps of death and harm Were still in this mortal coil Words of Love as leaves unfurl Now you & me were each alone Yellow cake & marrow bone All sense of fear can pass away I trace a map along the way I pledge allegiance to the lamb And also to the other one The march is long and now I stand Again on ground fresh broken (Sing to minor place, Bonny Prince Billy)
from DOUBLE SOUTHERN REGISTER
or is it The Southern Lyre Who is burning the churches? Make them stop! After weaving our way through the new upscale Charlotte-city limits suburban scrawl out Rae Road through her country memory, my mom and I persuade the cop protecting the vacated scene to let us past the yellow and black plastic ribbons to see the smoldered mess not much left - blackened beams, jambs kicked in by anonymous torch, red clay wet from last night's useless hoses- a little house with vacant front porch right across the street - I imagine the fear and went home and wrote this poem: A Call for Vertical Integration in the Eye of the Storm Purple & blue tiffany combo in Church of my childhood struggle of perfect Public meat longing again vine-covered Power flower conflict hunger for green Struggle if that is sin then separation Grace abounds even more than bonds- Doubt boundaries not programmable Stretched grace strikes us down- Social eels demand ransom, children Do not bow your heads tranquility of hymns Is shattered & addressed two days ago I Saw the Black Ash of a Church Burned on its Sure Foundation Century old pin oaks scorched Against stones of those who can't leave this sight- Who witnessed who drove away burning the sermon during ___________________________________ Charlotte, I love you deeply That's why I had to leave I see your changes keyed up rapidly flashing past the new contra dance named the Independence Boulevard which is way convoluted like the traffic which is nothing compared to here up North from whence I sign this letter Letter Out, Letter Back
Disgorged palm trees drink Tijuana leather juice cross tiger lily frets of set tequila gradients Slap all out - your name here tweaked & tender again adopt-a-wreck enter wrong way Happy to walk the tracks just like a telecaster in her own little burb she faxes so lightly
CONTROL OF THE MUSIC
So much on your plate No love in vain But then I dwell on it Things change It's come after me, you Then 'THAT'S ALL FOLKS!' The best emotional mess of me space now Hard to open up again Handling instructions Some people never do Where it touches itself Embarrassed by human tears Still here at a playful distance
House of Green Thunder
for Carl & Lillian Sandburg's Connemara, Flat Rock, NC As a child I was taken to visit Connemara as I remember a little display of concrete poems in the shapes of shoes next to a typewriter on an orange crate let me know I was taken to visit poetry All the books on the staircase Said never back away from love Of the word O what is louder than the thorn in the window of her thunder? Wild Rutabaga Stories growing in a thousand creeks under her ground A song's still a song but sounds quite different when it's grown I took an upside-down photo of their stationery on a shelf— a copperplate sans serif If it was a snake it would'a bit me beaming in some past I keep desiring like walking down the main street of a town that feels like wearing a vintage dress As we exit through the gift shop the great-grand children of Lillian's goats reproduce in stuffed animal glory and bleat O What is whiter than the milk Every evening after dinner Carl opens up the American Songbag of his mind Singing O Susanna and such-like banjo and grandkid on his knee Some books he wrote on an outcrop of rock overlooking the valley Since the beauty of the mountains would be too distracting to get much done Sandberg wrestled upstairs with tomes on Lincoln in a room with no view Now over ten thousand books in a nine thousand square foot home of twenty-two rooms and a million acres of sky Connemara means the sea
Come on, you who remembers your dreams who acts upon them in this world Come you who I often and silently call so that I may be with you Come and sustain me and I will sustain you with what sustenance I have with the curls of revolutionary quiet with lovely baroque convolutions of thought Come make with me a baby of both of us A new and separate being with brothers & sisters born & unborn Who we will meet and recognize as time progresses we know not How Yet isn't that the Beauty of it late into the nights early in the Day sleeping and waking when apart not separate for the distant vibrational hum if I listen under the earth lets me listen to myself The Full Register of the Earth and all Musics of the Spheres the waters we have within each other and all around the very air Share our perceptions Respect our quiets Heal our hurts throats and necks backs and hearts Protect to Open Make a new life For those around us fully and for those To come To come To
House of Green Thunder
for Carl & Lillian Sandburg's Connemara, Flat Rock, NC
As a child I was taken
to visit Connemara
as I remember
a little display of concrete poems
in the shapes of shoes