Author Archives: Greg Brisendine

About Greg Brisendine

I'm a poet, playwright, actor, animator, motorcyclist, and corporate sell-out who lives in Seattle with my cat.

Three Poems (#2) – Greg Brisendine

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Art AIDS America

An artist reacts to artists reacting to AIDS in America.

Thank God the AIDS crisis is over, thank God it’s a problem of the 80s, 
like parachute pants, spiked hair and cocaine addiction. 
I am at a museum, I am at an exhibit about AIDS, 
I am surrounded by art about dead people, 
art by dead people. 
This is not my story. I am not affected by AIDS.

Affected. 
As if AIDS was a storm over some other part of the city, 
a hungry lion burst from the forest into an unsuspecting African village, 
a sinkhole that swallowed an entire family when everyone else was at the county fair. 
As if AIDS was a speed bump that America encountered on the best road trip ever.

As if AIDS was not a metaphor at all but a virus. 
A virus that eviscerates immunity, 
a virus that oozes and bleeds and drips inelegantly from orifices and sores, 
as if it was a virus that strikes at the core of our squeamish fear of sex, 
a virus that punishes men for sex with other men, 
punishes men for fucking. 

Thank God the AIDS crisis is over. Continue reading
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Dear Bobby

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OMG Bobby!
Has it really been 30 years since Bible Camp? Isn’t Facebook the best?!
That summer was the best one of my life!
How are you now? I bet you’re married with a bunch of kids!
I married Ronny from church and we’ve got three great kids, two boys and a girl.
They keep me hopping, I’ll tell you.
What are you up to?
Love Becky 

Dear Bob,
I’m so happy you wrote back!
People call you Bob now? That sounds so OLD!
I always think about you as Bobby.
What a coincidence that you wrote to me today
cuz just last night I dreamed that we got married, can you believe it?!  Continue reading


The Couch

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THE COUCH

The couch cried out your name last night.

I was startled awake from a dream of drowning to the concussion of its call
 still trembling the air. The floor fluttered when I stepped into it and 
asked if I had seen you. I shook sleep from my fingertips and asked what 
the hell the couch was shouting about.

The floor muttered about doormats as I stumped into the living room where 
the couch wept. It had found, you see, a fine brown hair from that gray 
Saturday when I soft-socked around your cushion-wrapped nap. From a fine 
brown hair, you see, I learned that I missed you. Continue reading

Three Poems – Greg Brisendine

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Say Goodnight

 

When you say goodnight, don’t kiss him on the mouth.

 

Wrestle your hunger into burlap and drag it to the river’s edge.

Hold your hunger under rushing water it loosens its grip.

Press your boot heel against your hunger’s throat

on the river bottom

until it squeals for its life.

Famished, clutch your drenched hunger to your chest

until it stops chuckling wetly.

 

When they kiss, don’t turn your head away too soon.

When they kiss, be polite amused exasperated at the home sweet home of their love.

When they kiss, don’t gasp a jagged breath across the barbed wire in your throat.

When you say goodnight, don’t kiss him on the mouth.

 

In your daylight dream of his kiss

and his fingers

and his eyes

and the crease of the C that cups his smile.

Walk through the dream all the way to where

betrayal egg-whites from his boyfriend’s eyebrows. Continue reading