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Monday, October 01, 2012


by Michael Brockley
When he welcomed me into his home I was stunned with how handsome he is. His face like those of the leading men in the westerns my father watched. One daughter read Charlotte’s Web while sitting on the floor with her back against the sofa. The son who wants to be an astronaut flipped through a Watchmen novel while repeating the word freedom to his girlfriend on his Bluetooth. A citrus fragrance soothed the sunlit great hall. His wife dusted an autographed photograph of the bare-chested Russian prime minister riding a quarter horse in the woods surrounding Kyzyl. Around the pool, unsmiling maids sipped cocktails and snacked on a dish of walnuts, grapes and cheeses. He offered the grand tour. In the master bedroom, a worn Book of Mormon and The Qu’ran tented on a chair by a writing desk. A Bible opened to Isaiah atop a dresser. He carried the latest issue of Forbes with his picture on the cover. The one with the articles about complexity horizons and the paradox of exporting jobs for the poor. He’s kept in touch with the people he fired. Every year, a secretary sends them Christmas cards the weekend after Thanksgiving. His wife joined us on the patio after the maids left, having prepared a pitcher of lemonade and a tray of madeleines. She swept the deck around the chaise where he had spilled crumbs. After she left, he rummaged under the cushion until he found The Book of Orgasms. Let’s just keep my prose poem collection a secret between two entrepreneurs, he said, as he pulled The Rooster’s Wife from his shorts.

Michael Brockley is a 63-year old school psychologist who has worked in special education in rural northeast Indiana for 25 years. He has poetry publications in Wind, The Windless Orchard, Spitball, The Indiana Review, The Indiannual, The Spoon River Quarterly, The River City Review and The Ball State Literary Forum. Tom Koontz' Barnwood Press published his chapbook Second Chance in 1990, and he has lately placed work in Indiana publications such as Maize, Country Feedback, Flying Island, The TIpton Poetry Journal and Facing Poverty.  A video of Mike reading his "Hollywood's Poem" which was published in Facing Poverty can be found on YouTube. His poem "When the Woman in the White Sweater at the Cancelled Charles Simic Reading Asked If I Was David Shumate" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Barry Harris of the Tipton Poetry Journal.