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R. Bremner

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Glen Ridge, NJ, US

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Untitled

by

R. Bremner

Smoke rings like rumors
and dreams like stale cigarettes
in a cracked ashtray left behind
at the old apartment.


Untitled

by

R. Bremner

A color which I cannot name,
something between mauve and orange,
lingers hardly in layers
over a rambling line of
trees across the bay.
As minutes pass, the trees black-
en, the lower sky hues deepen,
enriched.
Above them a lighter blue, close
to the ocean’s, survives, while
the highest sky darkens.

On this side of the highway, the
ocean, still a visible blue, purrs,
audible beneath the steady casual
roar of traffic on Route A1A.

Untitled

by

R. Bremner

Vampires,
our lust divides the
night, splits the side-
walks.
We seep like limp
gas, unknown pores
widen.
You stink of piano keys!
I gorge my dripping
teeth on your noise.
You swallow my brain, and
burp.

Untitled

by

R. Bremner

He and his sister were variable antonyms.
Though both counted out their words,
only he tried to spell them.
She believed no tonic speech,
but the loudest of mumbles.

Neither realized the climactic impotence of words
in time.

After the shock of his terse death
she learned the language of gestures.
The parents still do not understand.
They seek words to trust.
We have tried, but
cautious eloquence does not fool them.
She will not talk to them.
She plans to survive.

Untitled

by

R. Bremner

Irina sizzles in time and
space. The air is hot
where she has been Blonde
blonde hair conceals
the dark that burns
inside her eyes.

Racoons

by

R. Bremner

On those frigid nights, we’d pop up from the subway wind tunnel into the blustery city street, padding past the lamplit haze, chuckling, our blood humming, eager for the ales and the warmth of the table talk.
We’d leave behind a trail of smoky breath, sailing upward and vanishing, vanishing like the breadcrumbs dropped by Hansel and Gretel, vanishing like those theories, those arguments and conjectures, those powerful words and mystical ideas that would soon leap out onto the table before us. So clear, so near, we never thought to try and catch them, to hold and save them. They were there. They would always be there, wouldn’t they?
Inside, the black furnace hummed. Our backs snuggled up against its heat, shivers surging the lengths of our spines. Puff-faced and bleary-eyed, we’d speak loudly, forage each other’s minds for the food of the soul, that naïve socialist optimism, the camaraderie of intellect and spirit so compatible with good bitter ale.
And as the old man swept the sawdust-covered floor, and the plump cat dozed under the table, we’d pack up our reassured faiths, gather our torn coats and years of rich promise, and set ourselves for the long dark cold path to the subway.
How little we understood then of the greyish smoke of our ale-worn words, so easily seized and muted by the cold darkness of the night around us.

My father

by

R. Bremner

My father walks
with head bowed down.
He never trips
on buckled sidewalks
and oftentimes
he finds lost coins.

I resolved
early on
to tilt my head
slightly upward
while I walk.
I think I see
much more than he
but I often trip
and seldom find
lost coins.

Untitled

by

R. Bremner

The finest poem
I’ve ever written
was scribbled while Ra-
mona was showering and I
sat in a cathair-drenched
easy chair in her
half a living room while
her three fat, lazy cats
prowled the hot little apart-
ment for cool spots.

Into that poem I invested
all the joy, fear, agony,
mystery, and realization of
a moment in which I
suddenly knew how all
the pieces of life
fit into me in this place, in
this time, now and forever.
The words pulled together a
becalmed, mighty, saved union
of myself and the universe.

I searched and searched
for that poem for many
days, sure that it must
be in my coat pocket or
somewhere near, but
I never saw it after that
day.

Did it somehow get
into that one year’s
worth of writing
which I inadvert-
antly threw out in
a stack of old news-
papers one day?

Several times I tried
to recreate that poem but
could not begin to re-
member even the words,
let alone the feeling.

Who knows now if that poem
ever truly existed or was
just some invented metaphor
for my life?

Blue, blue, blue is my love

by

R. Bremner

Blue,
blue,
blue is my love,
present of the rise,
Vanishing quickly like the dove
falling through the skies.

Blue,
blue,
blue is my love,
waking in the breeze,
Humming as she fades above
her thousand reveilles.

Blue,
blue,
blue is my love,
stolen by the rise,
Humming as she fades above
her thousand lullabies.

Whose whores these are I think I know

by

R. Bremner

Whose whores these are I think I know.
His home is in the Village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his whores fill up with dough.

My little cab must think it queer
To stop without a red light near
‘Tween bums and junkies on the make
The hottest evening of the year.

It gives the engine quite a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of pimps a-counting up their take.

The whores are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And bucks to earn before I sleep,
And bucks to earn before I sleep.