poetry quarterly

10th anniversary


Tony Brewer

This is a funny story, which is why it take two poets to tell it. Tony Brewer and Joseph Kershbaum each sent manuscripts to one of our earlier contests, and while they didn’t win, I thought highly of each. I suggested they contact me during our open season. We accepted Brewer’s first as I thought it was a brilliant short novel in poetry form (I maintain that view) and then we accepted Kerschbaum’s. It wasn’t until we got into the “nuts-and-bolts” of publication that I noticed they both lived in Indiana. Then I discovered they were part of the same poetry troupe, the Reservoir Dogwoods. When I wrote them to mention this, it was news to each of them. They didn’t even tell each other they had submitted to Plan B Press! Their books were scheduled to be published at the same time, which led to their mini-tour which occurred the first week of April 2010 to the Poetry Lab in Vienna, VA with stops in Columbus, OH. Brewer and Kerschbaum work well together and individually. It was our good fortune to end up with both of them on the Plan B Press imprint. .Brewer's book is titled Little Glove in a Big Hand.



Haven’t left, always leaving
enough of themselves behind
to impress the veil between us.

Filled with hidden anger
and a disquieting need for attention
amid a constant human static
only the most violent revenant can penetrate,

we hear and ignore weak spirits
who never make their presence known
and so remain transparent.

It’s loneliness that catches
and keeps our memories of a life,
while ghosts only want to be
here again, climbing back
through the vault of our senses

to arrive where we would rather be left alone.
Their echoes sound in empty rooms
we have just departed,

reminding us we too are not long for this world
and the next is just bearable upon release
if one can withstand the solitude

pushing a draft through the window sash
and billowing a curtain into something vaguely familiar
until we become see-through ourselves.

Tony Brewer's poems have appeared in Bathtub Gin, decomP, Flying Island, and Poetry Midwest, and the anthology And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press). His first book is The Great American Scapegoat (2006), and Plan B Press released his chapbook, Little Glove in Big Hand, in 2010. He lives in Bloomington, IN.


Published in Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 2010.