Excerpts from Watching Brodkey Die

He watched himself so honestly

he cleared our vision too.

We read his death in The New Yorker—

a magazine death,

Brodkey fragmenting in words.


He told us the self he thought he was

died before he died, leaving him

curiously unconcerned about the demise

of the new stranger in his bed.

... we saw how thin was the carapace

of our own self-constructions;

and, strangely,

how beautiful are the hands

of those that care for us.

— © Lynna Howard, all rights reserved


A smallish bumble bee

dwarfed by bigger droners

lights on a raspberry blossom

gives a little orgasmic tremble

complete with stomping Gaelic dance

and proceeds to the next flower.

All abumble at the abundance,

he drunkenly weaves

and I think that life must be

for the time being

like a good pub

where the light

shines like whiskey.

—©Lynna Howard lynna.howard@mac.com

A poetry review from Luke Fire: I don't know if you had at all intended it this way, and it's meant to be a compliment, but when I read 'Bee Dance', I instantly thought of Seamus Heaney.

The artist, possessed by the desire to perfect what can never be perfected, lives in a kind of uneasy truce with his given medium, hammering away at his blessing and his curse: his talent.

— Hilton Als, excerpt from a review in The New Yorker, March 26, 2007.

All photos and text ©Lynna Howard. Appearance online as work samples is not to be construed as publication. All rights reserved. Do not copy nor distribute without the poet's permission. Thank you. Contact lynna.howard@mac.com