Brandon Brown


For a long time now I planned on writing
a Plan of Future Works.  And now I’m doing
it.  Not to brag—I’m just being honest.  Modest,

really, to try to tell the truth about all I dream
to do before the day I clutch over in a Walgreens
or wherever, kiss scummy tile as a last

nasty stanza.  If that is the end of kissing
and stanzas that is.  Moved by nagging fomo
I’ll try to make a list, planning wildly

from a tub of rice.  Although it will be just
a plan.  I can’t tell the future.  If I could
I would, so we could plan better, brighter,

blueprint a paradise we consent to, relegate
haters to a burning place of our choice.
Smoldering basement of the Denver Mint or like

Arizona, that shitty.  On the first morning
of my life I rose unsure if I was awake or not,
birds’ chirps discordant with whiny toots.

In my dream I fondled bosses’ butts, wrists
sore from the sad weight that I assayed,
helpless to stop.  Until I knew whether I was

awake it was impossible to plan.  I think I hear
Snapple crescendo of wrinkly skin birds as they
flit and eat big worm buffets but I can’t be sure.

I get up, pee, sigh, wash, dry, lift naked arm and chalk
pit.  Degree Cool Rush shunts potential exhalations
of my body, icing down wiry pubes of the side

torso.  They’d have loved to freely stink.  Today
the opaque cake cracked, avalanched all over floor
like that big Antarctic glacier drifts from poles

in the present, right while I toilette, slimming as it
swims towards Tierra del Fuego or wherever.
I guess I’ll never go there except in Prada snorkel.

The ordinary and imminent planetary death
inflects my daydream, changes the plan.  I admire
lump in boxers and then wail laments about the very

same lump.  Just being honest.  The thought of
the dying world makes me feel less sad than really
lazy.  Relieved to not need catalogue all those species

we’d have found when permitted to plummet longer,
better, more vertical leagues.  Lucky us, we’ll be
the fish, sunning bellies laying out on the limestone

spikes of the Statue of Liberty.  More inert than the
most enervated fantasies of terrestrial nothingness.
Lard in a hummingbird feeder between my arms

and you, dear reader, are the hummingbird.  I’m the
crack you yearn to squish in glass and smoke.
Will I ever finish my book Life of Money On Earth

or am I just a needless footnote in it?  It like all
my books are written in delectable English,
a language invented by mercenary killers on a tiny

island.  Its dazzling morphology clocks the mail
of violence from which it was born.  Pasolini
being Italian writes Progetto Di Opere Future

in terza rima.  I being American write my
Plan of Future Works on paper Kindle with wet
dashes, gashes.  He had marbled beef with a new

and fraught far Left.  I could too but instead
just jam pleasure wens until they start speaking
English, then say mi dispiace.  Italian is over

but not Sheol.  I leave all my clothes on the floor
of a Walgreens.  No one has ever made a painting
of Antarctica splitting up.  No one has even really

ever seen it except for low hanging drones, taking
notes for their own future works.  Drones write poems
the only way they know how: scan, gather, report

to their makers like honest Pinocchio.  Abbreviated
noses being honest.  Back at my childhood home
I conduct research for my memoir, titled

Missouri’s First Verizon Pigfucker.  Disrobing in front
of a long mirror a mosquito bites my dick.
Whoever it bites next, we fuck inside its bulging

thorax, terrific reconnaissance for my Bulging Thorax
and Look Who’s Fucking In a Mosquito Thorax.
Being there I kind of want to be a kid again, but not

the kid who puked on BART this morning.  She looked
so helpless, holding out her hand to us for help
I guess.  Supplicating, barf bizarre and purple bright

slick slush British Petroleum.  Her brother called
out her name in shock.  I wrote right there a new
stanza of my long poem Immunist Manifesto:

“copper love / for rhomboid tween / scary movie moans/
pipes to drown / bad barf sounds / like the howls /
of a paleo-dieting dog.”  A sweet ode to her

recovery, I thought.  All of ours.  I intend to write
these books as I intend to one day walk around Roma
in Ray-Bans.  Sweet life of fits and plans.  To walk

around the church in Romita, conjugating beautifully
my future piety, drenched in grace, bottled with a little
worm.  It’s sweet to write this plan of future works.  Sweeter

than future work.  That is, shifts.  Stanzas of
the worst poetry ever considered.  Come here,
kid.  Let me wipe that vomit off your cheek.

I grab a mop, swab the floor, everybody takes
10.  Holding my breath, running the sponge in
thrusts.  Sometimes I feel more like Wordsworth’s

butler than a promising poet in the Romantic tradition.
I’ve never walked for so long by a lake,
appraising clouds puff over lilies.  I do on the other

hand make exorbitant rent every month.  Rub
my raw gums on albacore with little squirts
of lime.  The lights stay on.  If I buttle I don’t buttle

hungry in the dark.  And with all that bottled
light I look at Caspar David Friedrich’s
Two Men Contemplating The Moon. 
The moon is red

and weird.  The men are white and weird.  Later
I look up, baked, watch the real honey moon through
dirty pane, clouds drift, crypt it.  I think Thoreau

was right about the moon being free drama, much better
than the sun and The Wire.  Paintings too are
better than the sun in the way that things

sometimes surpass what makes them possible.
Monsters pluck lyres in green gray tufts under dusk
but they are immune to lunar illumination.

You can’t see them, just the two men and their two
contemplations.  I intend to one day bend a
friend into my ear and contemplate a moon

Like this.  Then lick the canvas and see if I can make
it wet enough to rub out the two men, leave the
moon.  Coordinated paradise.  Then drink diuretic

Moly tincture of cumulus proportion and edit
A Passionate History of American Poetry.  My introduction
is written in Middle Ofay, the language I know

Best, like how Pasolini spoke really good Italian.
O Pier Paolo, I’d love to be with you in Dallas,
leering at honkies spread over barstools with wide

Moose butts.  Cynars on ice, long talk, graze
of thighs, for what else is there do in Dallas for
people like us?  PP and BB, we’ll quiver together,

sip artichoke nectar, over our own rainbows.
together we write a collaborative sousveillant
history of Dallas called I Got The World On A String

And It Is Fucked.  Bilingual molasses on
papyrus.  Cologne, potpourri, orange peel, campfire
smoke, camphor, bacon, bacon fat, lavender,

brisket, armpit, sweat of the neck, sweat of the pussy
and cock and sweat of the backs of the knees, grass,
daisies, rosemary, mint, dill, green wood, dark wood,

rain, halibut, caramel, chocolate, coffee, tobacco,
leather, copper, bronze, cognac.  I’m writing my own
Letters To A Young Poet.  The advice is heartfelt and

foolish.  It’s all about the relationship of signs and things,
jk.  It’s all about the imperative to “kill cops and
abolish culture,” jk.  Actually it is all about my honest

passions: buddies, blunts, disobedience.  I mean
a disobedience lacquered in kneeness.  I mean
poetry, the refusal to transcorporate my love into

round copper poo stamped with the face of Thomas
Jefferson or whoever.  Lemons, roses, marijuana
stratosphere of upper Oakland, descending diminuendo

to fabled openness.  Suck it all in.  The only laws
I don’t dismiss: love your neighbor, puff puff pass.
These two will get you everywhere.  Read about

them both with increasing interest and longing
I hope in my Kush Hammurabi.  When I finish
it, I begin an epic katabatic rom com where I descend

below the crust of the earth to see my friends in
Hell.  They’re all there, hooking up and writing the
best poetry of their lives, ironically dead.  But it

was always a porous context where we planed
and skidded lines.  The whole time in Earth I emptied
mini Hennessey but in Hell I hydrate with cucumber

tears that evaporate but still sate our infamous
thirst.  Poets have it good there.  My torment is
excessive freshness, renewed youth, better

headphones.  Inside me now is brittle yellow
paper but there I’m like Fred Astaire’s little
wiggling butt in shadows.  When I get back home

I write down everything I saw.  In the first tercet
of Ninety Nine Rings Of The Philanthropocene
I lay out the floorplan of Hell.  It looks like Dallas

from above but inside it is like love in summer,
endless and original.  Tanktopped, squirmy.
In the first ring, the misanthropes tweet grumpily

forever, their thumbs dwindling into ragged
dried fruit.  Then there’s a bunch of other rings.
The recompense makes sense to me at least.

I know you’ll scan down to find your particular
sins and learn your destiny but for once
I’ll leave you wanting more.  The poet is the transitional

engage gliding around space, searching for cozy
bar, so motherfucking high they can eat a star.
Lilies in the valley full of swag, and fomo.  In ring 56

Wordsworth and his sister finally get to do
the “deep tickle” deprived them in life.  Real Romantics
roll around in the sawdust.  Even cement tastes

good there.  The deeper down you go, the more
a poem you become.  Until you find yourself in
a bright ethereal Walgreens, lips stuck to ice cream,

naked, thrilled.  Tunes so good you hardly shop.
But that is in the future.  In the present, the only
rainbow I see is on the side of Five Hour Energy

Drink.  A shit millennial runs through
grass in the last lot of a post-post-crash
subdivision in remission.  I grab their hand,

we sing an epic canto to the muddy condor snatching
at our collars, trying to take us up to the
boring heaven of money.  Our song will

make it freeze, blue and icy as the rock in Future’s
ear.  And we three sing together.  Just being
honest.  Antarctica breaks up, but we say it was

probably time for that cold and codependent
relationship of tectonic plates to give up, move
on.  If I see you in Hell and can’t recall

your work on earth don’t be mad.  It’s my loss
not to have remembered you and your marvelous
style.  I just met nine guys with beards in Brooklyn

and they all have the same name.  I love you.
Years go by down there like quick naps.  We all
hearken to the baller call of clarion proportion

and know each other fully, finally, there.
Centuries of stirring vermouth.  What is a plan
that don’t come true?  Is it only bitter, only blue?

I’m asking you, Pier Paolo.  And you, my
friends.  And you, enemies of my plan.  Before it’s
all over I prepare a trilogy of chapbooks:

Pure Opposition, Shit Millennial, Papa John’s.
I think you’ll like them—they’re about you.
And when I’m dead don’t mourn my bones.

Lean in and smell the vaporizing silt between my
arms.  That’s the real me, the honest one.  White
and weird.  Moonlike.  Butt cleft in half

like the arctic plate. See you there in the
future.  In the honest future, beneath the cumless
tundra where we practiced.  I’m the one

who smells like a goddamn day old
durian.  Surrounded by a sweet and hellish
college of angels.  They’re all smells.  I mean
smiles.  Same diff.  Come in close.  Take a whiff.



Brandon Brown is the author of three books, The Persians By Aeschylus, The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus, and most recently Flowering Mall. He is an editor at Krupskaya, and occasionally publishes small press materials under the imprint OMG!  In 2014, Roof will publish a new book, Top 40.