By on Nov 8, 2020 in Poetry

Clouds with sunset colors

The Official Cloud Creator of the Tattoo Garden of Capella
traces ink across the vapors in his fire and brimstone cavern,
colors the clouds greens and shades of blue, adds a touch of ruby
red and lipstick, forms ripe sunset papayas, Mexican yellow,
Waimanalo orange, and fleshy Kapoho, gathers the mangos,
peaches and pears, dips them deep into his molten liquids,
lets them simmer and flame, then opens each lid one after the other,
inks the clouds with color and lets them float into the sky.
Why must a cloud be a shade of gray? he yells, his arms exuberant,
White? Cotton made? Why must the sky be blue? The sun yellow?
Everything should be a sunset even in the brightest part of day.


Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).