Erika Jo Brown

April 25, 2010

Glass Tongue

In my apartment, which is nice, you should stop by sometime, I’ve collected women with golden tongues. That bit of drool is borosilicate.

It’s disconcerting. Do they know how they snap, those tongues? How they crizzle like sugar?

A woman’s work is never done. What I don’t know is, what is a man’s work? And what is woman’s work?

I keep thinking that if I stare into the gilt mouth long enough, it will yield something. But I tried this before, at the bar, and it does not end sportingly.

It ends with my tongue knotted in grotesque splendor. Papillae searching the next morning, renewed in its efforts, for clarity, mint.


Dear Danny or Daniel or Dan
We have named the names but still
Our capacity for desire and
Sorrow is like a grand hotel.

This day was like cigarette ash
On the porch of a wild friend
Whom in your dreams you seize
And forcefeed sparkle cake.

On the porch also, faint memories
Of undined wishes
Like the flaccid nub of a party hat.

We see the good students
Walking to the park in a sheer
Cacophony of spring being nearly sprung.
Touch it.
The dancers wait for no thumb.


it’s like the crazy juices just spray from me and at first it’s charming and then it’s not; it’s like my feet are always wet and only the guy at the sporting goods store understands
me and I even try to stuff paper towels into my socks at the House
but even then, there’s the panopticon, haha, not to bring
that into this, but that’s how it works, this
logic, its like the continual pruning
of a bush




Erika Jo Brown  is from New York, where she founded the Chinatown reading series Floetry at 169. She edits Stretching Panties magazine, an annual collection of experimental poetry, architecture and drawing. She’s currently an MFA candidate at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she’s hacking away on Lyrical Load, a manuscript dealing with the Midwest.

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