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Wednesday, January 16, 2013


by Michael Brockley

"The Pequod in the Waves" by Robbie W Hudson. Pencil on paper, 180 x 260cm.
                                                                                                                                                                                 “Viewed through the lens of history, Obama represents a new 21st century politician: the Progressive Firewall.” --Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone, November 8, 2012

You are the kind of woman who wears jewel-colored scarves. The kind who photographs abandoned homes and immigrants at crosswalks. On a Whidbey Island beach, you sat beside a man who owns volcanos. At the close of the year the President reread the tragedy of the white whale. In the month his hair turned gray. A walrus tossed its body onto the blond sand. It bellowed while the man who owns the Black Hills admired your photographs of totem poles. The snow clinging to Mount Rainier. The undaunted shadows of Lewis and Clark over the Cascades. Behind your resort patio, a woman in a yellow poncho walked with the fog along a hiker’s path. Her wolfhound barked at the walrus as it lumbered onto a barnacled pier. A Cessna skywrote dusk into the sky. You told the owner of Niagara Falls the President’s favorite comic book hero is Conan the Barbarian. He pretended to be the Cimmerian reiver while crooning “Let’s Stay Together.”  Shadows climbed the volcano in the mountains east of your sunset. You had photographed its trail sign earlier that day.  A caution for a firewall President ascending to the crow’s nest of a landlocked Pequod. “Falling can be dangerous.”

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 Brockley has lately placed work in Indiana publications such as Maize, Country Feedback, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal and Facing Poverty. A video of Brockley 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 Asked 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. Recently, Brockley’s poems have appeared in The New Verse News.