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steve brightman
burton, ohio, poet steve brightman won first place in in the best of ohio writer 2001 poetry competiton. he has two chapbooks: "nothing but targets" and "using the whole handle". he sometimes exceeds the speed limit and likes to think he can talk with birds.

Works on this page:
Dentistry And Archimedes Meet At My Side Garage Door
Cavities Fill, Then Drain
Forty-Four South
Looking For The Sucker(S)
I'm Not Sure I'm Sold


Dentistry And Archimedes Meet At My Side Garage Door

Fourteen days
of rain
last month,
below ninety

The side
garage door
is warped and
and no longer

The hinges rust
stoically and
the weight of the door
pulls the screws
from the door,
one by one,
like teeth
from a jaw.

If the weather
would cooperate
I could stop writing
this poem and
go about fixing
the hinges.


Cavities Fill, Then Drain

Pressure from
the sinuses
blurs the eyes.

The moon is full,
the tide
is surging.

She throws
off balances
and winks
at the unease
with which
we handle


Forty-Four South

I own everything
from Burton
to Ravenna.

The cops in Mantua,
who drool over my
out of county plates,
they're mine.

The cornfields are mine.
All of them.
The two teenage girls
in the Dairy Mart parking lot
are mine.

The dirt runway at Portage County
Regional Airport and
all the single engine planes
are mine.

Dead raccoons
on the side of the road
are mine.

Thirty-five minutes
in my 1994 maroon
Geo Prism -
heading south
on 44.

To give it to her.


Looking for the Sucker(s)

Castles and bloodlines,
one-eyed jacks and
who was burdened
with which roman numeral
is better left
to the historians.

I don't know the history
behind the kings and queens,
nor do I care.

Valuables are being thrown into a pile on the table.

There's a conventional wisdom
when playing cards
that says,

"If you look around the table
and can't see the sucker,
then it must be you".

I'm looking around
the table and I know
it ain't me.

I'm keeping
a couple of things
up my sleeve,
even though my wrists
have chafed and
are beginning to scar.


I'm Not Sure I'm Sold

on the idea
of first thought,
best thought

If that were the case,
most of my poems would be
about sex, my bills,
and why the Ottawa Senators
need better goaltending.

And not about a black and white
picture I saw when I was
fourteen or fifteen.

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky
were holding hands -
a generation away-
singing "Red rover, Red rover,
let Steven come over."

I didn't care
about them holding hands.
It takes a certain strength
for a man to hold
another man's hand.

It's just
that they called me "Steven"
and that was
a little too pedantic
and authoritative
for me.

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