Awash

By Brian Russell Brian Russell
the unthinkable prospect
of a world in which I am left
to my own devices

which are few and as soon
as the batteries die useless
first order of business

I draw a map in the sand
mark where I stand as the capital
of civilization   within me the
detailed blueprints of the pyramids
and the concept of zero
beyond me the finite frontier

the many miles of undeveloped
shoreline with spectacular views of a
sea filled with intricately depicted
monsters   I have a lot to do before

I introduce the new world
to art and astronomy and industry
medicine and technology
ethics politics democracy

by a show of hands we shall elect
which tree to burn in the first fire

Brian Russell, "Awash" from The Year of What Now. Copyright © 2013 by Brian Russell.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press. www.graywolfpress.org

Source: The Year of What Now (Graywolf Press, 2013)

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Poet Brian Russell

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Health & Illness, Life Choices, Separation & Divorce, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Biography

Brian Russell's first book of poetry is The Year of What Now (Graywolf, 2013), which won the Bakeless Poetry Prize. Russell earned an MFA from the University of Houston, where he served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. His poems have appeared in Bat City Review, the Cincinnati ReviewEpochMid-American Review, and Verse Daily. He lives in Chicago.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, Life Choices, Separation & Divorce, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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