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Links to Stephen's work online:

It's Still Winter

Danforth Review

ECW Press

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For more Poetry

Stephen Brockwell Stephen Brockwell


April Violin

He plays violin
on the Bronson Street
                        overpass
concrete abutment
ignorant of the traffic
                        dissonance
silencing his strings.
Street dust
spirals in the
                        wake of cars,
gathers at his feet.
One sustained tone
escapes the rioting
                        crowd
              of rush-hour traffic
under the overpass


The History of Scribes

The ideal scribe
has no understanding
of the content of a message.
The king selects the ideal scribe
for his ability to transcribe
words exactly as spoken
for never alerting the king
to accidental irony
for his concern for the beauty of the text
not for his ideas.
It is said the king's trusted scribe Nasul
transcribed his own death sentence.
Loyal in matters of the text,
beautiful nave Nasul
seduced the king's
daughter in her royal chambers.
His sentence read exactly as follows (latinized):
ima hanta hasi ol siman nasul ponti holotle.
The untranslatable
may be paraphrased:
I, Nasul, for violating the princess,
will cut off my hands.



Kia

Nine year-old Kia learned
to bake bread from her mother.
Two cups all-purpose flour
one cup water
one package baker's yeast
two tablespoons molasses.
Few of these ingredients
appear on the dirt floor
or near the clay oven.
Yet the master of the house
looks down
Well, bake bread!
Peeled ripe plums, her eyes
peer into the glowing
fire beneath the oven mouth.
The master
slaps her once on the cheek.
She decides, better get on with the job
by whatever means
and bake without molasses and yeast.
The master will find
a charred brick in the oven
one hour later.
Kia wanders the desert
exchanging the consequence
of violence for loneliness,
wishing her time would come.