Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Day 27

Elyse Brownell

If there was a way to come back
and stretch my body beneath this heavy light
I would do so until the rain subsides
and the flooding is over
and you are standing in your papery canoe,

Lover, when you hold my hand
I am no longer in my own body
but rather, opening wide enough to
envelop the sea, to envelop the land
to take everything.

It isn't what we are it’s what we were:
the transference of energy asleep on
the shoreline, the movement of landscapes
beneath the sacred heaving of skin,
pushed aside, another hole to fall into.

I will find you again, if but only to
touch the silky vane, if but only to
remember what it was like
when our bodies were our own,
when the separation of atoms was something


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Straw Writes Unveiled

We at Two Crows are proud to announce the release of Christopher Shugrue's new prose chapbook:  Straw Writes!!  The book was published by the great people at Monkey Puzzle Press and is now available for purchase here

You can also read an interview with the author about the work here.  Get your copy today and enjoy!

Praise for Straw Writes

Straw Writes is nothing short of astonishing. The ghosts of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg weave through the text, and Christopher Shugrue ably shows himself to be one of their literary heirs.

Christopher. P. Shugrue is an incredible person.  Have you heard him read?  Try.  It's an altering and intense experience.  To read his work, yourself, is to enter into a space that is shattering something, always.  And finding a way back.  In this sensitive and brave first book, Shugrue works hard to make sense of the materials of war, and of the time that follows it.  He considers the memory that a person might build -- and loop -- in civilian life.  The life where you get to love someone and follow them a little bit of the way.  He is not afraid to write into the madness.  What it means to go and not, always, return.  I am honored to write in support of this generous writer who is -- as they say -- the real thing.  I never knew what that actually meant until I encountered Chris himself, as I hope you will one day.

-- Bhanu Kapil, author of Schizophrene

World on fire, ghost winds, naked children in the American night, as a Whitmanic and Ginsbergian ethos permeates the battleground of a Fallujah nightmare.  This is the scape of Straw Writes, a hybrid text of conviction and urgency.

--AnneWaldman, author of Gossamurmur

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Poem Written As a Patent Application: First Attempt

Elyse Brownell

The presented poem is broadly directed toward what it means to arrive and what it means to depart, as well as the steps and materials needed to leave. Such a system will prevent entrapment, loneliness, and other mental conditions.

Presented is one method and apparatus of arrival and/or departure having an aperture of the space-time continuum for the sake of travelling from one location to another location.  Specifically, what are the steps needed to take in order to come to the decision to leave one location, to depart, and to arrive in another location, to arrive.  Furthermore, what is contained in the decision to leave said location, i.e., the heart, a hollow muscle or organ that pumps blood throughout the blood vessels, among other methods.  Further, further, this one method of arrival and/or departure is one that could not be ignored, avoided, or prevented.
There is that check-in that you must procure.  Which, if you think about it, you’re just reconfirming the confirmation you’ve already made and if you’re not “checking” bags but rather carrying them on your persons, then what is the point of the check-in?  To Check-In: the process whereby a person announces their arrival.  Airport: I am arriving.  What it means to arrive. To carry your body across point A to arrive at point B. With arrival comes the departure, the departure of body, waiting, sitting still, crossing lands and oceans.  Fall asleep in one state wake up in another. Insomnia. I am body awake beneath this dream. Lover, I am awake beneath this realm holding your hand in another state. When we arrived we departed.  When we departed we arrived. 

The following listing of claims will replace all prior versions/listings of claims in the above-captioned poem: 

What is Claimed:

1.  A decision to leave, comprising:
                a reason, consisting of:
                                i) a need to see a person whom you have not seen in a long time, said time greater than or directly equal to six months, said months comprising the Gregorian calendar of months; and
                                ii) a want, a feeling you cannot contain, like sunlight in a glass jar, like, holding a hand a little longer, a little softer, said hand relative to the person whom you have not seen in a long time, said time greater than or directly equal to six months, said months comprising the Gregorian calendar of months;
                monetary value greater than or equal to the cost of your heart, comprising:
                                i) a hollow muscle or organ that pumps blood throughout the blood vessels, relative to cardiac, relative to emotion, directly comprising:
                                                collections of de-oxygenated blood;
                                                a mesh work of cardiac muscle cells; and
                                                love: a variety of feelings, states, and attitudes.
2.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein a circumstance does not prevent a person from making said decision.
3.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein the need is not in direct contact with selfish reasons to arrive at said decision.
4.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein the want cannot be avoided at any cost, wherein the sunlight in a glass jar is a metaphor but the holding of a hand is literal.
5.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein the monetary value is on a scale of USD and heart strings, of which are equivalent to the relation of the amount of heart strings that will deteriorate if a person does not make the decision to leave.
6.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein the heart remains inside the chest of the person who has made the decision to leave.
7.  The assembly of claim 6, wherein the chest of the person who has made the decision to leave, is located on said persons.
8.  The assembly of claim 1, wherein the composition of said heart is only an opinion made by the person who has made the decision to leave.
9.  A method and apparatus of arrival, comprising:
                an aircraft assembly unit containing passenger seats for said person who has made the decision to leave; and/or
                a motor vehicle containing a seat for said person who has made the decision to leave;
                monetary value greater than or equal to the cost of your heart;
                the desire to arrive, consisting of;
                              i) the act of coming to or reaching a place;
ii) someone or something that has come to a place; and
                                iii) the time when something begins or happens.
10.  The method of claim 9, wherein said aircraft assembly unit abides by the terms required by aviation safety, specifically:
                the theory, investigation, and categorization of flight failures;
                the prevention of such failures through regulation, education, and training;
                various campaigns to inform the public as to the safety of air travel; and
                the passenger who is standing in the row adjusting their carry-ons after the captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign, and the passengers have been informed it is no longer safe to move about the cabin, does not exist.
11.  The method of claim 9, wherein said motor vehicle, comprises:
                a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails;
                the vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor;
                is identified within a number of vehicle classes; and
                the operator of said vehicle is either the person who has made the decision to leave or is the person who was convinced by the person who has made the decision to leave either by monetary, sexual, neighborly, and the like, gestures.
12.  The method of claim 9, wherein the type of fuel is the preferred specialized type of petroleum-based fuel used to power an aircraft.
13.  The method of claim 9, wherein the monetary value is on a scale of USD and heart strings, of which are equivalent to the relation of the amount of heart strings that will deteriorate if a person does not make the decision to leave.
14. The method of claim 9, wherein the time when something begins or happens is relative to the location of arrival, directly opposite from the location of departure.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein said location is directly relative to the end result to the decision made by the person to leave.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein said location is directly relative to an infinite number of results to the decision made by the person to leave.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

TWO EVENTS Friday April 4, 2014

Two Events in Boulder
Boulder Arts Week &
NoBo First Friday Art Walk
Friday, April 4, 2014

6:30 & 7:15 
Elyse Brownell & Steve O'Bryan
1740 Linden Avenue

7:45 & 8:30 
Chris Shugrue, Stefka Trusz, and Kathi Sutton
1510 Zamia #102

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

EB's Response to "My Skeleton" by Jane Hirshfield (Poet-to-Poet)

Ode to the Hole-Punch
Elyse Brownell

My hole-punch,
sitting on the mahogany surface
awkward in stature.

Your origins date back to Germany,
1886, designed to “punch holes in paper”
your founder, Frederich Soennecken,
treated you with such care, precision,

after the invention of a paper, Nietzsche
himself wrote to other poets,
declaring the paper’s top quality
to write on

and now, a hole-punch,
created to punch holes
in such paper, to allow
the acco of breath, to suspend

data in portfolios
organization is your primary purpose,
utility, but a design patent is where
you began.

Centuries later, mass-produced
and landing on my desk,
an office tool I rely heavily on:

black ceramic skin, a lever used
to push a bladed cylinder straight
through sheets of paper

through Soennecken’s original thought
creating space for more ideas,
more metal prongs, protruding through bodies,
combining the elements.

Palm flat on your lever,
paper placed between the long silver guides
running through your core

and I press down,
a slow creak from your springs
and you recoil
producing two, perfect circles
placed apart evenly, accurately,
ready for placement

and I wonder:

how many hands have touched you?
paraded you?
relied on you?
complained about you?
forced weight upon you?

only to leave remains of paper
in your belly
a silver sliding door beneath you.

Do you miss each one of them
a mother to their child—

After all, it is you
who created such perfect
round, holes.

In response to "My Skeleton" by Jane Hirshfield

CS' Response to "Fast Break" by Edward Hirsch (Poet-to-Poet)

Fly Free #1 (Sliver of Light)
Chris Shugrue

For Byron Caleb Ligon (1987-2007)

Written while simultaneously reciting Poem 52 of “Song of Myself” and listening to the boys rip through “Fire on the Mountain” in front of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt 1978

You are the spotted hawk my friend—
Swooping in to talk shit when my drive
travels thirty feet; my disc dies horrible death against Douglass Fir—
You smile, ghost, tell me to pick it up, to be mindful of my footwork,
laugh . . . tell me to rip it from my center.
I’m not complaining about your feathers or your presence,
but perhaps sometimes a hawk is just a hawk:
me seeing you in him just imagination overrun by memory.
Because you dead to the core now,
and you're ghost ain't there after all . . . 
just a sliver of light; a trick of the shadow.

Christmas Day, 2007:  “He’s gone,” a voice whispers

First time I saw you:  Sixteen, mouth full of braces:
Disc golf bag hanging from shoulders
couldn't yet carry all the weight of living;
Your smile what caught me off guard, a grin beyond your years,
smile I remember, as I finally attempt words for a brief life well lived.
Yet the prophet sings: statements just seem vain at last, and compared to your loss,
this will never be enough, but I try.

I’m so pissed at you!  Why, bro? You were the golden child

Watched you grow in that place where the discs fly:
Zenith Park, Cloudcroft, New Mexico, dizzy 9,000 feet:
Baskets handmade by the high school shop class.
On this course, through this lovely game called disc golf,
you became my friend, my brother,
watched your golf game go from tame to barbaric to untranslatable
as you filled out your frame,
as you gained the flesh memory required to master this game.
Remember that day when we had the driving contest in the field?
Crushing discs between the quiet summertime skating rink and the outdoor theater?
You jumped forward, pulled back, and let that disc fly . . .
Fluid . . . with devastating power . . . a disc golf poet in motion . . .
Landed 400 feet away: we sounded our yawps from the roof of New Mexico.
I knew in that moment:  you’d be king of the world.

November 2007:  you messaged me to say hi, sent me a photo of your shadow.  I couldn't see it

You had everything my brother:
The world like a perfectly weighted Valkyrie in your hands,
but I hardly knew who you were or what you meant.
And now you’re gone and you gained eternity . . .
which i reckon ain't so bad.
You decided to take to the dirt,
Become the grass, and I will not judge you for your absence.

You are vapor

And years passed still filled w/ regret, a gnawing in my gut:  you reached for me,
but I was gone; 2,000 miles distant; with no hands to lend;
You caught in slow motion as you fall to floor.
No long distance runner there to witness, to cry out:  Fire!  Fire on the mountain!
You slipped through crack in clouds above mountain peaks:
A sliver of light and a smile left in memory,
but ain't that what we all are once we're gone?

You are the dusk 

Fly free beautiful brother,
Fly free:  rip that disc,
make those chains sing!
And as I walk courses among the living,
I carry with me the disc of a ghost,
the Valkyrie your mom let me take from your bag,
when the brotherhood gathered in secret to mourn your loss:
Tears at the bar, Mayhill, NM, and shots of Don Julio,
your disc golf bag between us:  I was afraid to touch it
as the sun shone and the Sacramento Mountain day so beautiful,
I wanted to tell it to fuck off,
To go away and bring me rain and snow,
thunder and lightning, wind to quell a savaged heart,
but we mourned for you in the sunlight and the blue sky mocked us.

You are the runaway sun

I touched your disc and took on the weight of letting you die.
In response, I flitted through crowd gathered around stage:
I mounted it, a ghost covered in snow,
and read poem 52 for you,
still not sure if I did it for you or for me, an attempt to lessen the weight.
Forgive me, brother, I suck at goodbyes;
I couldn't write about you then so Walt had to suffice.

You are my brother

But I have words for you now, and the hawk don’t bother me no more.
But there’s your ghost again on the trail before me?
Or that you ripping a drive with a grunt from cobbled tee box?
Or behind tree deftly lofting a putt sure to land safely in chains?
No:  just a trick of light and of shadow or my old eyes making me fool.
I try to remember who you were while you were here,
try to write your smile in words, only to fail over and over . . .
I chant it again; I have nothing else: fly free, brother, fly free!
And I fail to fetch you, so I’ll search in another times forgotten space
and know you stop somewhere waiting for me . . .
Maybe then we’ll write a poem together about life lived as sliver of light.

In Response to:

"Fast Break"
Edward Hirsch