Before Ownership

in shops after closing
goods speak of their origins
in sweatshops
fine workspaces
or deep mazes
of monstrous factories

to speak of
where they might go from here 
is taboo

as this is one moment
they have to be themselves
before they are pawed
and examined
then purchased
then owned

and then
changed by ownership

into something else 

whether they become
and neglected
eventually broken and 
discarded or

precious holders
of promise
and memory

ownership changes them

charges them with others’ energy
that is not what they entered with

and that will take away
more or less
their own 

so while they can
they speak to one another
in dark shops
about where they came from
and what they are 

taking their moment
we change them

into ours

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

4 responses to “Before Ownership

  • Fortune's Expensive Smile

    This piece is so much deeper than its surface level. Great work!! Truly.

    • Tony Brown

      Thank you very much.

      A little background: among my various creative endeavors is The Duende Project, a jazz-funk-rock band that includes me doing poetry and a little guitar here and there…Last night we played a gig and ended with a group jam. I freestyled a little bit over the music about what goes on inside a music store after hours…this grew (and darkened up quite a bit) from that.

      • Fortune's Expensive Smile

        Very interesting project to be a part of. I like the sound of that.

        I have always found it fascinating, as well, where a piece like this starts compared to where it ends. Sometimes the simple ideas end up having the most layers.

        Very cool story. Thanks for sharing!

      • Tony Brown

        Thanks. If you’re interested in more about that, check out

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