Think of the Danger: Four Poems by Thea Brown
"Stuck. Paisley. A border of roses. A Joan Mitchell print."
The following poems appear in Thea Brown’s Think of the Danger (H_NGM_N, 2016).
Despite all efforts, I can’t find who invited me
to this party, though the houseplants are
phenomenal: jades and mother-in-law tongues
and violets in white and a pale ivy I can’t name. I
reel from room to room, never settling.
Everything upholstered in beige velvets and
sage corduroys, floral tapestries bearing bright
peonies, or maybe they’re bee balm. How do I
know? Outside lightens. I search for an exit.
On the black wall opposite the basement stairs,
a buck’s head peers out the half window above
the sink to the artifactual garden in back.
Angular sculptures crafted of chromed farm
equipment. It’s dawn, now—the pinks are
pinking, the blues milky ere solidifying to their
daytime regimen. The rust in the yard refuses
all glinting. There is no sound. I find your letter
in a hatbox and read:
But can you see this, can you see this electricity? By which
I mean, of course, my internal lights. Pull back your gaze
from the tractors and spade and tell me—what do you
think? My lights help me carry you, O, my contemporary
future. They say, The future will look back on this (Ahem)
As something (Ahem!) Splendid!
The glass out back is blinding, exposed in its
viable utility. By sunset, it’ll crack.
* * * *
THE GRECIAN HOTEL
An island resort with a view from the Meadow Suite, a song
for amaranth from 10th story windows, thrown Thracian vigil,
grown sinful in breakfast. This croissant’s been fruit-filled
with dryad technology yet my wave sallies forth, jonesing
for greyhounds, a citrus-y hair for the runway cut short.
The elevator’s stuck between 7 & 8. It always gets like this here.
To finish the season, tuxedoes appear and the hotel bar runs
full-packed with glamour, with lifesavers and UV lights,
with autographed fancy. How to say nothing while building
a bridge? Alternate light patterns, make pretty a thing.
Kill revelers and holidays with buckets of joy.
* * * *
THINK OF THE DANGER
every evening, songbirds
settle in the oaks, passive in
all of that
think of the danger, you out there
for you, every morning color rings
the same, thinking of little danger
birdsong, some dark sounds rolling
in, your perfect meadow’s lost
its dew for fear of bluster wrath, think
of your family, think of singing
back here, little birdsong, doleful like
your little sister eats a little coconut, gets
prepped for surgery, darker now culls daffodils
from fruit stands, irons her hair, pulls it
out, you! little lightning, little storm cloud, iron
swift ‘cross daisy fields, think
of all the little caterpillars calling out not
enough, not enough! kill your image!
get it dead! hangdog dogdead!
little lightening, show your firework
philharmonic excess! the empty sky is
full of light and light is full of fill, reflective
materials or reflection radiating lightways,
immediately accessed and gilt
framed, heaving lively under fields full
of quaint wild life but think
think of the danger, think of it thinking
like your wonderstorm broke heavy
this time, left fractured glass,
dazed parakeets, reinvigorated
like frozen well water, like buckets
of rain, like silver ocean
mist that rises and rises
toward black pockets of sky
* * * *
ALL MY BAD DREAMS COME TO THE PARTY
Sometimes it’s too loud next door, the reverb,
Standalone. The walls begin to shed their designs.
In the past they flew into my mouth. They clambered,
Stuck. Paisley. A border of roses. A Joan Mitchell print.
Mostly I dream of a bloody nose, though last
Night it was bats. Iron-y ribbons, red and silver
Empty silos, steel sky pin droplets, the blood
Running into my mouth. I found this shiny
In the garbage, I said. A ruby and gold. And then a car
Comes with a thump. There’s no tone in my nothing,
Though last night it was bats, locked in the safe house.
I’ve got a quarter that’ll get you halfway to Gravity Hill,
You told me. I’ll need it. I was locked in there with them.
Feature image: detail from Joan Mitchell’s Grandes Carrières, 1961.