Lee Ann Brown:
12 Sonnets from Sonics

  Lee Ann Brown

  12 sonnets

  from Sonics

      Separated at Birth
      Jewel sonnet
      48 Regrets for Du Bellay
      My Sonnet Fifty-Six
      117 Redo
      Double Venus in Library
      New York Tendaberry
      Boggle Sonnet
      Long Night Moon Sonnet
      French Letter Sonnet
      The Sonnet of New Tools Spiraling Up
      Your Amulet


Separated at Birth

Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame
To love women and men usually one at a time
Is lust in action; and till, action, lust
Is lapping laughter, fire in the rain
Is perjured, murd’rous, bloody, full of blame
on sweet sailors disguised as men
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust
the world and its censorious hush
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight
concentric circles, your love to make
Past reason hunted, no sooner had,
a voice form outside booms “good” or “Bad”
Past reason hated as swallowed bait —
which title to choose: “Body” or “State”
On purpose laid to make the taker mad —
Crows in the corn, a mother’s trap.
Mad in pursuit, & in possesion so;
Fingers aching to be caught & slow.
Had, Having, and in quest to have, extreme,
Anything to relieve the pain.
A bliss in proof, & proved, a very woe
Of skin’s pores opening, painfully so.
Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream
Dark sheets a womb but never the same
All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
Mother, sister lover, never
to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


Jewel sonnet

How carefully I checked you out
Each sweetmeat in my pantry hidden
My inner Orson rose-budded you away
Intentionally lost in a tangled pile of dross
How could you say, Jewel, that my love is (small)
You, access to heaven, now gate to hell
You were my deepest, firstest, water dream
Our doubleness now shattered beyond repair
I never caught you in a trap, my love
Except when you wanted me to, for pleasure
I kept you so deep inside my chest
that only your coming made it open so
Now I fear you will never be there again
Further roll away the years, now I know


48 Regrets for Du Bellay

O combing east hero key to next constraint of fiends,
Seeking verily to lay a constraint day pincher,
Etta Kayley: “Respect!” dune coon nose offender.
Neigh poot, Lady Liberty, dis a plum con train!
Lass, pour a quaff, dey say node-sense. Jay lay me in, Etienne Dre,
K-wand mess justice regrets. Shay suicide commencement?
I ate, poured quaff, naysay poot moan aim dispenser,
Day neigh center, son. Male, where days in pepper plain dress?
On May Donne lay a genie, ate see nose crier,
On May vote tournament, ate see nose prior.
Con ate pity day moths. O pain high subject!
I’ll nest few see ardent cane foe key east enclosed;
I’ll nest see facists male coon key tint los Alamos,
Ate nest see grand dollar coon dollar moo ate.


My Sonnet Fifty-Six

Sweet love, keep getting stronger. Don’t say to me
your straight razor should be any different from hunger

Just because we ate heaven today together,
We’ll both be feel that sharp knife tomorrow.

So, love, be here now with me. Although you fill
your hungry eyes until they squint through slits,

tomorrow you’ll be wide-eyed in search of food. Don’t kill
Love’s spirit with a stomached dullness forever.

Let this sad intermission be like the sea
with beaches on either side, that when they view

You, love again, You who are my vision,
will be ever more psychedelically blessed.

Else, might as well just call it winter, being such a drag—
Makes summer’s coming in 3x more ecstatic, rare.


117 Redo

Stop accusing me that I’ve been chicken
With payback for Desert Storm—
Dissed on your best girls
Whereto all bondages do tie me up
That I have frequently exchanged unknown fluids
And wasted away your own—
I’ve hoisted ass to ferry across sweet options
To flee from you who one time did me suck
Book me—my mulishness and second down
and on jiggers of 100 proof sunrise gather
Bring me up to your mouth, your pout
Don’t shoot me with your new wake of hate
      I testify in courts of love
      My appealing constant apples prove


Double Venus in Library

Coexistant with some vague stirring which
in dream aggregates to day I sit here
by St. Brigette’s leaning steeple in the
glowing light, a mother church, a mother
chooses, a late whistle circles the park
in the dark       Now the children know
Such things as cool leaves, the flowers surround
heavy trees Are you ready for the
ultimate challenge? Are you ready
to drop Love drops, bobble-headed on a
platform of Leaves, leaves again…leaves?
Leaves of light, Leaves of grass on the mound
Saffron flowers wrap around a tree trunk
Cain’t take the lowered lashes
on my older crutch’s crush

from the bushes no more
can’t help my waistrel ways
I say goodbye to my former feelings come
ah freedom of falling autumn the never
dark sky says I should be sleeping here
amongst the leaves and the berries
looking for kin and I will not desert
the manipulation of bears on screen
protectoresses out there Venus in Libra
Mercury Moon while it’s still fair one can
feel pretty and Butch at the same time—
Shelley was a poet—his heart was as large
as my friend Shelley is a woman—now when
will I stop all this raring up of thoroughness?


New York Tendaberry

It’s a nice length just about takes a breath
I browse through them once in awhile to find something impenetrable
Closed in memory       The ancient playground
The pretend New York City marathon i was there
Every mother counts
to three yo
Private line perfumed shut
Feminine marvelous and touch
By the fat sarcophagi
Cello mama of them all plays topless
Thick browse Nyro before the advent
of spell correction says brows
Paisley and lace dressed up for all time
What happened in that blue garret
remains a leaf for all seasons
Hide in the bathroom to write a sonnet
It’s all too much — oh I remember this place


Boggle Sonnet

All this before coffee even
“What is Life Ever”
She tried to write in
Boggle but could find no “R”
Hands are tied as I drive
so that’s when the poem arrives
On the wings of bird flight
the flex rendition of the tune’s
spine of singing November
I meant to order a commemorative calendar
with 80 years of November 18th headlines
but was afraid Dad would see something awful
that would remind him
of all the bad things in the world


The Sonnet of New Tools Spiraling Up

Accepting help is currently an issue
What would it look like at home?
Tools that come from her
What would those look like?
We have an extraordinary daughter
full of determination and sensitivity
She takes a long time to explain things
Gears in her mind put it all together
A spiral galaxy, Infinity written as
Forever In, Unmeasurably Out
She says “Let me at it!” when she sees
a tool for drilling several holes at once


Long Night Moon Sonnet

Something is slowly happening to or in the world
Mistletoe on the highest branch — the full moon
On the tiptoe of Canis Major — hullabaloo of color
Almost past it all but still involved with a lighter
You touch — harvest snow or they will be lost
where will I be next year this silent time —
exophoric friends awake under stars
living fully in the emotional present or more so
in your drams of dreams be quiet our precedence
is rolling in the hay with unknown excitement
colors behind my eyelids and I am ready
to do what needs to be done as requested
I will turn off the light to bite the night
arms in rest my poet army of lovers at the ready


French Letter Sonnet

When one is full of too many thoughts
that are words too this square
exhausts the pour to alleviate
those vines of city posh — too
much I was mean to the shop
girl I apologize but I don’t
need help finding the right notebook
thank you I’m 1200 miles away
maybe in North Africa by now
or will be someday anyway if
one is open like an artist
is wont to be you can get
preyed upon by folks even
gypsy psychic types so watch out
I remember reading the Thorn Birds
and learning how a “French Letter”
was some kind of uncomfortable
condom made from wax paper that
really didn’t work — My daughter’s
reading a book for 14 years old & up
that talks about an abortion &
other possible consequences of sex I
wonder what books would be good
& how speak finally about such things
she at 11 years
old and me at 50 — How did I
get here? Same way she did
but that’s another story


Your Amulet

is on my door — Fat robins cherrybomb the car
The plants are brown with a trace of green
the sky is blue above the castle-like apartment
building parapetted across the backyard bird
sanctuary — Conrad hums on my phone — falcons
have been spotted here — Did you know there’s
a Blake Tarot? “Three of Poets” I send to you
and there’s a suit called “Painters” too which
is what poets do with words but you do with
colors pasted together and drawing of others
made diaphonous and layered — we’ll have to
have another session in person when you come
soon — but meanwhile I’ll print this out and put
it on my wall for once not written with all thumbs


US poet and publisher Lee Ann Brown
US poet and publisher 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 Other Archer / L’Autre archère, forthcoming, translated by Stéphane Bouquet (PRESSES UNIVERSITAIRES DE ROUEN ET DU HAVRE, 1, rue Lavoisier, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan cedex France, Tél. : +33 (0)2 35 14 63 45, www.univ-rouen.fr), 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. In 1989, Brown founded Tender Buttons Press, which is dedicated to publishing experimental women’s poetry. She has taught at Brown University, Naropa University, Bard College, and The New School, among others. She currently divides her time between New York City, where she teaches at St. John’s University, and Marshall, North Carolina, where she directs the French Broad Institute (of Time & the River) and the Children’s Arts in the Mountains Program.


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