by Joel Brouwer
In Boston, a tongue of red paint traces the city’s history, from Massacre to Tea Party to Faneuil Hall. We didn’t listen. We were busy composing our own republic: delivering fiery speeches of popcorn to mobs of pigeons in the Common, pledging allegiance in the green glow of the Aquarium’s piranha tank. In the North End some traitor shouted, Not in front of Paul Revere’s house, youse! You’ll raise him from the dead! The red line led into our hotel, through our room, up the bedsheets. Here history lifted her hips. Here the rebels put their maniacal plan into motion.
Joel Brouwer’s first book of poems, Exactly What Happened (Purdue University Press, 1999), won the Larry Levis Reading Prize and the Verna Emery Poetry Prize. Centuries, a collection of prose poems, will be published by Four Way Books in 2002. (2001)