That Brick

I am swarmed with the absolutes
whenever I sit with this world — nothing,
nowhere, everything, everyone.

Sit, trying to see details,
trying to examine the particulars
that vanish in the wash of

outraged experience. The older I get,
the more I am drowned in absolutes,
the more I extrapolate from

that brick on the sidewalk, most likely
left over from some long-abandoned
project, kicking around here

for so long I can’t recall
its first appearance. I fantasize
it’s a leftover not of building

but of destruction, a leftover
of streetfight, revolt, of windows smashing
in defiance of landlord and overlord —

fall headlong into
nothing, nowhere,
everything, everyone

and there I am again, out in the world.
Far away from the brick on the sidewalk
in front of my house. The one

I have kicked aside for years
and never picked up. Never looked at,
not much anyway.

Never tried to build
or break a thing with it.
It’s just a prop for my immersion

in the absolutes of theory
and what I ought to be doing
with this art, this life.

I should be ashamed
that I have never
lifted that brick myself, stopping

to notice the specifics of any concrete
adhering to the sides. The discoloration,
the pitting. The weight.

I ought to have known its particulars
before deciding if it was to become
weapon or poem.


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

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