Surrounded by ragweed and burdock. The silo, crumbling then, invisible now. A nimbus of squirrel skulls glowing yellow in the dirt. My memory as empty. Did I climb to the barn’s lightning rod, or just threaten? We weren’t farmers. In summer, the dead man’s fields, ours via probate caprice, sprouted gladiolus, blueberries, rhubarb. We watched bewildered, filled vases and bowls, but most of it rotted where it stood. The daffodils still come up without me to cut, rubber-band, and sell them by the roadside. Four cars a day came by. Here’s the rusty coffee can I dreamed full of dimes.
“These hundred-word ‘centuries,’ as Joel Brouwer playfully calls them, are filled with an esprit of times lived energetically in language vigorous and forthright. They work as missiles, pastries, or treasure chests.” —Andrei Codrescu
“No other way to say it: I love these poems. Couldn’t stop reading them. Began to crave being catapulted, teleported, or sucked into their succinct, hair raising, homey and exotic, epic yet exquisitely miniature hundred – word worlds. Serving up surreal riffs on love, war, fear, sex, disease, and the absurdity of being human, these revved-up, wacky, bottomlessly sad and darkly comic poems are comparable to the best cartoons. You are guaranteed a surprise in every line. How does he do it? Restore your faith in the language and the triumph of the imagination. Buy this book. Your brain will thank you.” —Amy Gerstler
“Joel Brouwer’s prose poems are like razor blades, sharp and flexible. It’s an immense pleasure to be led by this poet’s imagination, to be abruptly guided to all possible corners of our-and not only our-world.” —Adam Zagajewski