Road Report

By Kurt Brown 1944–2013 Kurt Brown
Driving west through sandstone’s
red arenas, a rodeo of slow erosion
cleaves these plains, these ravaged cliffs.
This is cowboy country. Desolate. Dull. Except
on weekends, when cafés bloom like cactus
after drought. My rented Mustang bucks
the wind—I’m strapped up, wide-eyed,
busting speed with both heels, a sure grip
on the wheel. Black clouds maneuver
in the distance, but I don’t care. Mileage
is my obsession. I’m always racing off,
passing through, as though the present
were a dying town I’d rather flee.
What matters is the future, its glittering
Hotel. Clouds loom closer, big as Brahmas
in the heavy air. The radio crackles
like a shattered rib. I’m in the chute.
I check the gas and set my jaw. I’m almost there.

Reprinted from New York Quarterly, No. 59, by permission of the author, whose new book, Future Ship, is due out this summer from Story Line Press. Poem copyright © 2003 by Kurt Brown.

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Poet Kurt Brown 1944–2013

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Kurt  Brown

Biography

Poet and editor Kurt Brown was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up on Long Island and in Connecticut. His collections of poetry include Return of the Prodigals (1999), More Things in Heaven and Earth (2002), Fables from the Ark (2004), Future Ship (2007), No Other Paradise (2010), Time-Bound (2012), A Thousand Kim (2013), as well as six chapbooks. With his wife, the poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Brown translated The Plural of . . .

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Poems by Kurt Brown

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SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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