Organ Solo with Oblivion and Gar

BY J. Scott Brownlee


Skittish fish lay eggs
in the shallow stone pool
where the green algae clings.

I am in love with every fry

that is dead already. Turn my soul
into bait, if you can, River Lord.
Make my body the same

as the minnows that slip

like coins into the murk.
Your Spirit mimics me
un-blinking, fish-bone face

through the brackish absence,

saying, Kneel down to me.
Lean low, sinner, and drink.
Bitter infidel, swallow

the black granite whole

if you are not afraid
of what comes after it:
________. Live forever.

 

Ghost Ocean 12

J. Scott reads "Organ Solo with Oblivion and Gar"


J. Scott Brownlee is a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow at New York University, where he teaches poetry to undergraduates and fifth graders through the Teachers & Writers Collaborative.  His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, RATTLE, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Greensboro Review, Ninth Letter, Nashville Review, BOXCAR Poetry Review, The South Dakota Review, and elsewhere.  A Pushcart-nominated poet-of-place, Brownlee writes primarily about the people and landscape of rural Texas and is a founding member of The Localists, a new literary movement that emphasizes place-based writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working-class, both in the United States and abroad.  His book-length work, Disappearing Town, was named a semifinalist for the 2012 University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham Prize.  He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.