Tuesday, March 13, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Midafternoon at the Mason Guild meeting (& built like a brick house)

Image by SueAnn
brick the sky
brick dirt, brick grass
brick brick, brick plants
brick everything
but you won't keep me in
and you won't keep me out

& Amontillado can't lure me to the cellar,
i thirst-ache for air filled lungs, fresh & biting
yet we build houses closer & closer together
one on top of another, not un-like our lives
leaving little alleys in which kids congregate to play,
rat tails wiggle beneath bags of trash & green space

is reserved in the city center, round-abouts
and occasional flower boxes, but only
on the sunny side

chink-chink-chink
chain nets on the basketball goals, chink
don't swish, chink
and bricks bounce to the chain link fence
where they gather to watch the cars go by
in a slow parade

my son & i on a sunday afternoon,
when i am tired
        and a nap would feel nice
after a long week, but each time my eyes
blink, he's there and asking,
     "daddy can we---"
         "daddy can we---"
               "seriously dad---"

chink, chink, brick, brick, chink, brick
we play, until sweat glistening, hair matted,
breath ragged we sit on the asphalt court
& suck water between our smiles,

our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
 mortared by choices & children
   to play or---

either way
         we are always building

brick by brick by
brick the sky
brick dirt, brick grass
brick brick, brick plants
brick everything, brick every
                                   one

chink

Yo, yo, yo...it''s OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets and tonight your MC is me. I will be opening the doors at 3 pm EST, so I hope you join us. Grab a pen, get poetic...I will be waiting. Smiles.

115 comments:

manicddaily said...

First! Lovely. This is one of my favorites of yours. K.

manicddaily said...

Now that I've cemented my position, I can really comment! (Ha.)

This is lovely--So wonderful the way the bricks move from entrapment to building blocks, the closed in by space, then time, but opening up to son, sweat, smiles, sky--the change in attitude makes the same things look so different, even though both views completely true and valid. K.

Maggie May said...

That is how it is!
Lovely poem & I love the art work you chose.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Bonnie said...

So true. So beautiful. So Inspiring. So Brian.

Daniel said...

Oh this was good. Love the spirit in which it was written and the pay-off at the end makes it all worth it.

Yousei Hime said...

How cleverly Poe slipped in, that sly dog. Fun read. I'll have one up today too, I'm happy to report.

janaki nagaraj said...

Smiles....like the way you play.

izzy said...

Bricks, moments and demands-
fill it ?
I do not like crowds (mostly)
thanks for reminding me!

The Silver Fox said...

I loved the Poe reference, too.

Pat Hatt said...

So if you get bricked in
There are your bin
Will you huff and puff and blow the wall down
All across town?..lol
Bricks we make
Some real some fake
But they can be worked over, under or around
If the correct path is found

darsden said...

Love it :-)

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and I felt as if I were there. I especially like:


our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
mortared by choices & children
to play or---


... yes indeed, these are the critical years.

Raven said...

It never ends does it Brian ... I think "Urban Sprawl" and White Flight." And without an ability to touch nature we become ungrounded and something other than we are meant to be. Very good.

ayala said...

Love it, Brian. Thank you for your sweet comment over at Victoria's :)

AmyLK said...

very nice! love it! :)

Jyoti Mishra said...

daddy can we---"
"daddy can we---"
"seriously dad---"

that was so so so good..
u captured the best moment !!
loved it

SueAnn said...

Love it!! Nice turns of phrases. Really adds to my piece. Thanks
Hugs
SueAnn

TALON said...

I love all the layers in this, Brian.

ds said...

But there is no choice when it comes to our children, is there? You've certainly laid your brickwork well here. But please, please don't brick the sky!! Lovely, thoughtfull stuff as always, sir. Thank you.

Blue Flute said...

Love the sound quality of the poem!

Valerie said...

Bricks, they get everywhere. They hide the fields and soon might even cover the waterways.... I'm glad you can still take your son out to play.

Tara Miller said...

The first part of this made me feel closed in and unable to breathe. But then reading futher the bricks were seen in a positive light and being able to build good bonds and memories. Cole has a blast with you...especially when it involves getting sweaty!! Good write my love.

darkangelwrites said...

I had to put away my own metaphoric visions of bricks to see yours. Mixed emotions here.

Magpie said...

I love the turn this one took. You know me, a sucker for a happy ending.

Natasha Head said...

It's all good as long as the mortar holds...loved that you threw green space in there...we have 3x3 chunks about our newest developments they like to call the same. They claim it increases property value...but if that's the trade off, I'd prefer the painted bricks...may you mortar hold strong poet!

chromapoesy.com said...

I like how you build divergent metaphors out of your bricks. I had to look out my window to see the trees and sky to remind myself the bricklayers haven't yet contained this forest. We sacrifice so much for control.

MorningAJ said...

There's always a moment of perfection in your writing. I love 'moments & monuments,
mortared by choices'

It's almost painfully good!

happygirl said...

I want to live in the city so bad. I can't WAIT to leave suburbia behind and be in the brick and mortar in the sky. LET ME OUT!!! :)

turtlememoir said...

love it, Brian - and most of all this:

"but you won't keep me in
and you won't keep me out"

that's the spirit!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Bro, this was great, as one Pop to another. Everything rang true and was beautiful. Please phone it in to my virtualpoetryreading.com site (951-665-8161) I'd love to feature it.- thanks Moskowitz

Glenn Buttkus said...

A little Poe, a lot Miller, and we
are off into an apocalyptic moment
where we dig your day with the
son, dig basketball, and yet we
are forced to face urban renewal
and the incessant chink chink
of construction, destruction, as
you give us no instruction, but
raise our collective awareness.

Nikki Rules said...

"chain nets on the basketball goals, chink
don't swish, chink"

I kinda like that sound. Like a dream of freedom lost in an urban jungle...

hedgewitch said...

Great sense of movement, and that bricks are not doing their job properly with you, my friend. Lots of plosives and clunks make this an aural as well as verbal and visual experience. Next to last stanza says it all, and the last one bricks it in.

Teri said...

How do we get past the crowds, the people closing in on us, the tiredness we feel on the weekends (when it is the only free time we have for our children)? I guess we just keep playing, keep building, like you say: brick by brick, chink by chink, clink by clink. Otherwise, we lose and no one wins!

Fred Rutherford said...

always liked the metaphors bricks and chains can represent- great display here, love the sounds throughout- great way to build up the scene of a city. Great job Brian. Thanks

Daydreamertoo said...

Try living in the UK, if you think buildings are too close in the USA, you ain't seen nothing yet ..hahaha
When you think how big (or how tiny) the UK is and know that it is home to nearly 60 million humans. It is crowded! First time I came this side of the pond I could not believe how 'wide open' everything is because theirs so much land here compared to over >>there. I can see you though, eyes drooping, longing to take that nap as your fight to stay awake, (giggling) but, give in to your kids because that's what dad's are supposed to do. I'll take the nap for you ;) Your kids will never forget sharing those precious times with you Brian, may be a missed nap to you, to them it's memories of you, they'll never forget.
Lovely write once again.

Lady Nyo said...

Brian, this spoke deeply right now. Yesterday, my neighbor, with a new brain tumor, was standing with me, feeding some dumped puppies, too feral right now to catch (we plan to later,when we can lure them with trust and love) well we were standing in the middle of a 9 acre burned off (frost) kudzu field, and talking about this....the apartments planned for this 9 acres too close together, and we were looking at the hawks, and the open sky, and some days it seems that the only openness to nature and AIR is looking up at the sky, cause the bricks, bricks, bricks certainly hem us in and our lives become more and more narrow.

But you soldier on, with your son, and I wish for you LOTS of green space to run in, to breath and to fall into the grass, weeds, whatever out there....and watch the hawks, the new spring robins, and teach your child that Nature isn't brick, brick, brick.

Fine, and resounding (in the soul) poem.

Lady Nyo

Claudia said...

i like the double use of bricks here..the ones that cement you in or others out and then those that build moments and monuments..that are used to build relationships...either way we build and it's our choice what bricks and how we use them..loved it

Mary said...

Definitely always building! I hear you when you say you might like to take a nap on a Sunday afternoon, but your son has other ideas. But you are helping him build a firm foundation by going out and DOING with him. These days will not last long..treasure them while he still wants to do things with you. LOL. Your poem has a lot of imagery and many messages, but I will stop here!

Jannie Funster said...

makes me want to get off this computer for a while and play with my kiddo. And I will a little later! Good stuff on that Brian,you and your kid and quality time.

xo

jen revved said...

An intriguing poem, Brian-- the bricking of every aspect of our existence is a compelling image-- for me an intriguing line is the Amontillado one-- and repetition works well for you here. xxj

Geraldine said...

Yes, an intriguing poem. Most of the ones you write, are. I can imagine you and your family have a lot of fun, hanging out together, whatever you do.

Happy Week Brian, G :<)

Bar None Publishing Group said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bar None Publishing Group said...

I'm a Syracuse fan and I hope against hope that they don't throw up any bricks in the next two weeks...It's maddening!

Cheers,

Mark Butkus

(I had a typo in "bricks")

Sue said...

"our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
mortared by choices & children play or--"

Love these lines, Brian.

and also

"brick by brick by
brick the sky
brick dirt, brick grass
brick brick, brick plants
brick everything, brick every
one"

You really lay those bricks in here...

Well built.

=)

Linda Kruschke said...

Even though I do not live in a place with so much brick - I'm a much more suburban / rural kinda gal - I really felt the closeness of all those bricks. Made me appreciate my open air environment! Peace, Linda

mrs mediocrity said...

wow. yes, it is all built brick by brick, and someday, your son will remember that day, the things you said, the games you played.

and this: "i thirst-ache for air filled lungs, fresh & biting"

oh my, yes.

i really felt this one. once again, the layers and undertones are brilliant, all brought home by something real and significant.

poemblaze said...

Great poem. Drew me in with the rhythm and onomatopoeia.

PoppySilverUK said...

Beautifully reflective of the restrictive quality to how we live today, an amazing portrayal and yet somehow we cope with it all ey? Stunning piece xoxo

Louise said...

Great poem ...Reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall' ..."our bricks piling up, moments & monuments, mortared by choices and children" is a seriously good line... :)

Anthony Desmond said...

really great poem... I never got to experience those kinda moments with my dad, bcus he hardly acts like a father... so you building those moments brick by brick with your kids really made me smile.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Lovely write Brian--lots of bricks-lots of love

pandamoniumcat said...

Lovely, great sound effects and just see you playing basketball...nice write...we play backyard cricket...but all good!

Shawna said...

My jaw has dropped; I am in awe. The sound alone, Brian, is magical. And your commitment to play even when everything inside you screams for sleep.

I'm crazy about that first stanza, and then coming back to it at the end.

Slam dunk.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

kellie said...

"...we play, until sweat glistening, hair matted,
breath ragged we sit on the asphalt court
& suck water between our smiles,"

how I remember! Love this!

marousia said...

Stunning take on our urban lives - love the details

Anonymous said...

skills; the repitition is perfect brian - what is it with brick... it just kinda says it, dont it and then you weave a V smart piece - its a deep capture that reasonates nice work brian

cheers bro :)

Heaven said...

I live in the city so I can see those buildings and houses so close together. Yet for me the bricks are about building and cementing relationship with our children. Those moments are precious...very soon, they quickly want to spend the time with their friends.

phoenixofthelinnet said...

Very clever write on a subject that both makes me cring and feel a longing at the same time :-)

Josh Hoyt said...

Isn't that the truth!

Charles Miller said...

You always build a house and in that house there's a heartbas big and solid as the world. Your love of what makes solid the hours, shores up ruins with care and understanding - man, you always bring home the truths that make it real to keep it real. These lines just went straight to the spirit that blows me across this globe:

our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
 mortared by choices & children
   to play or---

either way
         we are always building

Goofball said...

we can't all live in the open spaces we'd love.
You always manage to give your images of a city such a claustrofobic feeling? Unless we turn our bricks into memory building

Grand Pooba said...

Your vocabulary always astounds me!

(You bet your ass I used a thesaurus to come up with that amazing adjective!)

Wolfsrosebud said...

there will be plenty time for rest one day soon... enjoy while you can... your impact is greater than anyone can be... great job at being a dad

S.E.Ingraham said...

bricks ... and a brick s*** house of course came to mind! lovely circular way this wound around showing masonry and masonic stuff and father-son stufff ... very cool ... I like how much you packed in here; very well built

colleen said...

Bricks has such history and metaphor. The poem seems to mirror the building of structure. The Pink Floyd song is in my head and the memory of my son's BFA show featuring a wall of bricks he made.

Ed Pilolla said...

together - another
matted - ragged
i like the way you clothespin both of those boxy graphs with a faint background bell.
suck water between our smiles is so strong.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

But you won't keep me in and you won't keep me out ... nice nice ... as always, you do not disappoint one tiny bit

EKSwitaj said...

Great use of repetition.

Fireblossom said...

There's something about the way you assembled that repeated sequence about the bricks that's very appealing to the ear.

Mystic_Mom said...

Bricks and bricks! Your poem made me glad for my country life, although the Lego bricks and the needs of family and animal can build brick walls all their own. Very well done (as usual) and with a nice twist...

Mark Windham said...

Love it, trying to pay more attention to building them than tearing them down. Too often the nap has won out in the past.

David Caruso said...

I like the way you bookend the poems with all those bricks--claustrophobic! Terrific!

Beth Winter said...

I love that you pulled Poe into this. The Cask of Amontillado is the ultimate dark tale of revenge. But even more, your bricks build a foundation and the warmth is so welcome. Much enjoyed.

Lolamouse said...

You are building one strong foundation for your boys, Brian.

1emeraldcity said...

cough...cough....so much dust from all those bricks..whole and broken.... A great image of urban progress/decay...and the the little green space..which seems so pathetic here..and yet..not so..that claustrophobic Poe's sealed in brick wine cellar..and yet you build blocks with your son..great mixture here of sacrfice love and cementing relationships. Bravo, Brian!

Mark Kerstetter said...

I feel fatigued! After a day of climbing up and down a ladder I relate. Sometimes it feels like we spend our lives building something, wondering if it'll ever be finished.

Henry Clemmons said...

I love how this piece was built; vision upon vision, phrase upon phrase, realization upon ... you get it. Great job and so true!

Gloria said...

Lobe this Brian!

Cindee Snider Re said...

Wow, Brian! What a way to say so much...much so many need to hear, that I need to hear, see, feel...especially these words:

"our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
mortared by choices & children
to play or---"

Wow. Still thinking. All good!

adan said...

"we play, until sweat glistening, hair matted,
breath ragged we sit on the asphalt court
& suck water between our smiles" -

that's it ;-)

worn out despite the bricks with the bricks as the bricks, but smiling and sucking water

that's a good life brian, makes my eyes smile ;-) thank you ;-)

Anne said...

I like this Brian, it speaks of fatherhood, most sacred. I'm a country girl and no brick nor mortar hem me in just cow paddies, silken corn and blue skies as far as I can see.

Hannah said...

I really enjoy the pace created in this one by the words you chose to repeat and the transcendence you reach by the end of your poem. Nice one, Brian!

Secret Agent Woman said...

A friend of mine used to talk about the Toddler Torture Game - when a kid wakes you every time you start to nod off. :-)

Semaphore said...

A poem that builds - consciously, or not - on the onomatopaeia of words themselves being mortared, one on top of the other, like bricks, building piece by piece the walls that define our lives.

Ravenblack said...

Minecraft. :D

I can relate to this, being one from a dense city -- buildings are being build closer together and flats and apartments are getting smaller. We make the effort of keeping the green but they are nonetheless surrounded by bricks and cement.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'm glad you didn't give in to the nap. :)

RD said...

I have a few tears
secreted away
their purpose protected for
special occasions

this is one....

Peace B
______________________

thanks Brother

signed...bkm said...

the importance of being a dad...we are not our own once we become parents...nice work as always brian..bkm

Simone said...

Those bricks are serious memories. Love it!

Bradley Howington said...

Brick by brick you're creating wonderful memories with your son. Marvelous poem, Brian. Just marvelous.

beckykilsby said...

mmm.. constant bricking-up and bricking-in.. but moments and monuments are altogether different.

What a thoughtful and insistent piece, brian.. love it.

James Rainsford said...

An urban reality, well expressed.

kaykuala said...

Brick by brick, mortar by mortar,gosh there's a lot of building up in the making. And what pleasant memories for your lad, Brian! Great write!

Hank

Andrew Kreider said...

Just in time for March Madness. I love this one - I've put up plenty of bricks myself over the past decade, first, to keep the game close - and now because I'm old and slow, and shorter... This one rings so true, and it sings!

Yousei Hime said...

I can't tell if I've said something already or not (crappy memory). I love the bricklaying structures and sounds. You always do such clever things in your writing.

I appreciate your comments on my latest. Definitely one I'm proud to have shared with you.

the walking man said...

There is building and then there is building. I think of the first we have overdone it and the second have near forgotten how to place mortar and knowledge down in a straight line.

Adam said...

awesome as always

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

we build walls inside us, we build walls around us. We live so close together- yet so far apart. We have no room to breathe. This poem made me feel claustraphobic- almost metronomic with the bricks! your flow and form as always- so unique- so interesting to read

Beachanny said...

Well in the "parable" of the three little pigs, they were less likely to fall to the wolves and all three moved in behind. The philosophy of brick, baked from earth and ever threatening to crumble back to it, but trying with whatever baker's hand and faith to stand between what's been placed inside or who's chosen to be there and the raw force of the elements. For me, bricks speak security and safety. My guess the same can be said of your sons. Well done Brian.

tony said...

Bricks Rock!

Steve E said...

Prayer-Girl and I going to Cracker Barrel this evening for their one-week-a-year-famous corned-beef-and-cabbage, etc. "Out of this world GOOD!--grin! And we will "BREAK BRICK TOGETHER!"

Steve King said...

Yes, we're surrounded, isolated, insulated from most of reality--until you find that particular moment...you don't want to miss it. Very nice.

william said...

bricks, what would we do without them and yes we were inspired as kids to build, and hopefully that continued on to later in life, great post..

gardenlilie.com said...

Bricks. Awesome. The picture is great.

everedwater said...

The opening to this is stunning Brian! I love it.

Victoria said...

Just brilliant, Brian. This felt like L.A. to me. In an effort to reduce graffiti,they have the kids paint incredible murals. But the problems that our contracted space create cannot be underestimated. As always, you are one of my favorite effective activist poets...

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian...sorry I am so late, but this is awesome! I think there was a beat in here...haaa. Just loved:

''our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
mortared by choices & children
to play or---''

Thanks for your poetry and all you do with dVerse...I'm grateful to be connected : )
-Eva Von Pelt

mairmusic said...

A novel introduction in verse form-- I always love how you write from plots, situations, rather than reflection.

adeeyoyo said...

'...closer & closer together
one on top of another, not un-like our lives...' 'Bricks bounce to the chain link fence where they gather to watch the cars go by in a slow parade' Lovely! Bricks are building blocks for our lives?

Aidz Giannini said...

Rhythm n Flow, Flow n Rhythm, clink clink clink clunk

Obviously I enjoyed the pace of this one clink

Aidz Giannini said...

Rhythm n Flow, Flow n Rhythm, clink clink clink clunk

Obviously I enjoyed the pace of this one clink

Syd said...

You are building something really special with your boy.

Wander said...

Brian I like the idea that the bricks in the wall dont have to be bad things...smile=brisk laughter filled afternoon=brick first toddering steps=brick
solid good memories good poem

Wander

Lydia said...

One-hundred fourteen people ahead of me appreciated this enormously. Consider me one more brick in the awed comment box.