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Tony Brewer's Poems

Tony Brewer is a poet, live sound effects artist, and event producer. He is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival and president of the National Audio Theatre Festival. His books include: The Great American ScapegoatLittle Glove in a Big HandHot Type Cold ReadHomunculus, and brand new from Alien Buddha Press, The History of Projectiles. Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over a decade, and he is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods. More at

How to Rule the World

I stopped complaining about TV

the moment I came to post-surgery

and started weighing the stars

this no happy accident

the tea and snacks I brought

the media spoke volumes

not an expert on anything but talking

I shape the air with it

One-one thousand two-one thousand boom

means the storm is overhead or nearly

but they won’t run that

when it’s cloudy I can’t count

and still I stick up for stars

walking into the ocean fully clothed

what a way to go out

no notes no brilliant performance is real

just look at the numbers

even secrets and idle threats

O god! so heavy with thought

total recovery is assured

fear times even zero is something

I am pressing a button 

now as we speak

for the nurse to come to my care

O Bury Me Not

I cannot escape the corn

nor walls for shadow rest

Red skies at night

when always always golden rays

The drivers laugh passing by

defeat in the wind

when we are winning

Fields whisper like cities shout

long nights wherever is home

Men permanently boys

shrugged into father coats

touch bombs before 

dropping microcosms too 

large to hold skin & ink

& corn gets put in everything

The dust explodes

Pick a season that’s cruel

its pleasant memory

as landscape shields a strangled sob

The cut leaves growing space

repressed humanity needs to live

so one man can enjoy

the quality of light

upon such stricken ears

as Heaven conjures its own myth

of endlessness shattered

by a fence

On a steady diet of bugs and rain

Shoveling the earth free

gave off immaculate scents

The part with the tree

everyone secretly resents

gave off immaculate scents

wind took away

Everyone secretly resents

the wasted day

Wind took away

singing to the sun

The wasted day


Singing to the sun

forbidden in the end


somewhere makes amends

Forbidden in the end

the part with the tree

somewhere makes amends

shoveling the earth free

Speech to the Aimless

worse than happening                    waiting for dark

cheek to jowl                    clashing in rain

watchful under apricot skies                    near the taboo mark

unable to comfort                    unwilling the pain

clashing in the rain                    cheek to jowl

i ought to be shamed                    animal cursing

unwilling the pain                    unable to comfort

long on wondering                    helpless nursing

animal cursing                    i ought to be shamed

heaven a compartment                    the grass grown long

helpless nursing                    long on wondering 

packed tight as a river                    elemental song

the grass grown long                    heaven a compartment

i say many things                    fields full of bees

elemental song                    packed tight as a river

in the middle lies the heart                    blessed disease

fields full of bees                    i say many things

near the taboo mark                    watchful under apricot skies

blessed disease                    in the middle lies the heart

waiting for dark                    worse than happening


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