Poems By Joseph Ellison Brockway – Vol. 1

“We Are Making A New World” By Paul Nash (1918)

Modern Life

My life’s soundtrack is
synthesized cardinals chirping,
audio-enhanced rain falling.

I amble under
the azure illumination above,
stumble over decomposing dross:
recycled soda can aluminum planters,
copper wire bird nests,
compact disc wind chimes,
vinyl record beehives . . .

From below, a tree reaches out with
its roots through concrete sidewalks—
and photosynthesizes the SPF off of my face
before its pesticide death.

Trees In Rigor Mortis

Look how the trees reach up towards the heavens, but not in prayer or supplication, more like imitation jealous of the concrete and glass skyscrapers, or suffocation—gasping for a breath of fresh 
air, or liberation—escaping the trampled paths of humanity.

Like the bees, the trees also have begun to despair and disappear. In the city they are confined to parks and small squares in the middle of concrete boulevards while the humans are free to roam 
with their unbridled capitalist consumption.

In the middle of winter, at dusk, the outlines of the trees' branches—veiny silhouette, deciduous corpse in rigor mortis—against the backdrop of the gray dismal sky are a metaphor for life.
I heard someone once say that poetry is freedom; it's poetic how the trees long to free themselves from humanity.


Joseph Ellison Brockway is a poet, translator, and Spanish professor working on a Ph.D. in Studies of Literature and Translation. He likes to experiment with language and ideas that explore human psyche, existence, and collective myth. He is currently translating Island: Mythical Coffer by Spanish surrealist Eugenio Fernández Granell, and his writings and poetry have recently been published in LeHigh Valley Vanguard, The Rising Phoenix Review, Dirty Chai, Full of Crow, Reunion: The Dallas Review, and Surreal Poetics. Joseph can be found on Twitter at @JosephEBrockway.

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