WCW – Brandon Courtney

Wednesday, May 7, 2017, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts

Plus the words of William Carlos Williams
and open readings from the floor


Brandon Courtney is a veteran of the United States Navy, and the author of The Grief Muscles (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2014) and Rooms for Rent in the Burning City (Spark Wheel Press, 2015), as well as the chapbook Inadequate Grave (YesYes Bøøks, 2016). YesYes Bøøks will publish a full-length collection in 2017-18. He has received fellowships and scholarships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Colgate University, Juniper Summer Writers’ Institute, and Seaside Writers’ Conference. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2009, Tin House, Boston Review, Guernica, Memorious, The Progressive, and American Literary Review.

From from Lazaretto

Without a shipboard morgue,
we kept the dead Iraqi
in the dairy box—his corpse
supine beside the eggs

and sour cream—a figure
draped in cotton sheets,
stretched to keep the still alive
from witnessing the mouth

and eyes of the nameless
drowned, whose tongue,
embalmed in wind and ocean
brine, capsized between

his teeth and, like a ruined
clementine, hung low: a thick
inch of fruit on the branch
of his throat. Yet every look

I stole revealed some skin
still beautiful: oil slick,
sulfuric-sweet beneath a shroud
of faded sheets, quiet

as a Mezzo note. Forgive me:
I saw the man as meat—

Contact: John Barrale – john.barrale@gmail.com

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