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Good Actors


I want to make a movie before I turn 41

About two characters exchanging money.

I give them directions. I say to them, Earnestly.

They push the money into each other’s hands

As if holding grilled cheeses.

I call out, Reluctantly. They look down

And say, Goddamn it, this is the last time, Ray.

And weave it between their fingers.

They are good actors. So I say,

Hopefully. They blink and gaze into their hands

Like into a new baby. Angrily, I say. They gnaw

The money to confetti. I tell them,

As if in mourning. And the money sweats

In their palms. And now, Like a bank.

They grab it and throw it like garbage.

And a forest? Now a forest? Like seed

They sow it. You’re doing very well, I say.

They drop it at my feet.

Exuberantly, I say. They remove their clothing. 

Lovingly, I say. They move toward me.

They are such good actors.

They turn off the camera.









To Drunk To Fuck


And now what do I do =?=
Too drunk to write’

Too drunk to type
Do I try to din a eer===pserosbn>’

I am only drunk enogh to type
No one to ruck’


Aare you an asnswer?’

No youalways seemed srukned wnought
To fuck
But I am not
I am too crunk t oevven fuck

I will take off m y dresss
And then will I ven want to typeanymore

Provalbly not
Too tired’

There is no man here
There is cothing in the washing machine

I don’t hav e energy to ‘
Put it in in the dryer

But you bukowski
The lust’

But you rimabaud’
The bukowski’

I play naiu=ma

I am alone
I wanted ot love a oet

Wanted to love a poet
Wanted to laove a oemt

This seems true
I will watcha  wmovie and
T will make me m elss lovely
Maube an Altman









There Are a Few People I’d Like to Thank


Thank you Moms Mabley.

And thank you Moms Mabley and Phyllis Diller.

And thank you Moms Mabley who ran away at 14 to join a vaudeville troupe and Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers.

And thank you Moms Mabley and Phyllis Diller who started doing standup at 37 and Joan Rivers and Carol Burnett.

And thank you Moms Mabley who came out at 27 in 1921 and Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers who kept a note from Lenny Bruce that said They’re wrong, you’re right in her bra for years and Carol Burnett.

And thank you Moms Mabley who came out at 27 in 1921 and Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers who bombed every night for two years and Carol Burnett who said, There’s laughter in everything.

And thank you Moms Mabley and Phyllis Diller who started doing standup at 37 and Joan Rivers and Carol Burnett who said, There’s laughter in everything and Bea Arthur.

And thank you Moms Mabley and Phyllis Diller who started doing standup at 37 and Joan Rivers who claims she was the first female host of the Tonight Show but so does Florence Henderson, Phyllis Newman and Della Reese and who really cares anyway and Carol Burnett and Bea Arthur whose TV character Maude chose to get an abortion at age 47 in 1972.

And thank you Moms Mabley who gave birth to six people and Phyllis Diller who gave birth to five people and Joan Rivers who gave birth to one people and Carol Burnett who gave birth to three people and Bea Arthur who mothered two people.

Anyway, thank you.











Best ending to this story, Ben, is for me to finish the movie.

Best ending to this story, Ben, is the thud of the script hitting your front porch when I deliver it to you.

The drama of that thud
like the tomb closing, Ben, on Jesus, Ben, Jesus Christ, Ben, a few
days before he comes back, Ben, how Jesus came crawling

back, Ben asking for forgiveness from his apostles, Ben, for calling them
addicts, Ben, for telling them how great they were, what good
mothers they were, Ben, how their careers were really gaining

momentum, Ben, for telling them they were
his forever people, Ben,
and then calling them sociopaths, Ben.

Forgiveness for that.

Best ending to this story, Ben, is our movie winning that prize, Ben,
and me telling you and you having to say, Thanks. Thanks for supplying the perfect ending to our story,


that’s the best way to end this story and make the stars cum all over the galaxy, Ben,

all over every fucking planet, Ben, watching cum streak through the atmosphere of some dead planet, Ben,
watch it burn off in blurs, Ben, watch one seed escape and
land on that dry, rocky landscape, maybe Mars, Ben, maybe it
melts, Ben,
making stains all over the face of that planet, Ben, a seed, Ben, breaks
open and releases a blueprint, Ben, that cute
little tail sperm have, Ben, that potential energy, the stupid
spark of which the planet’s lone molecule of Mars water has been dreaming, Ben,
that molecule looking up from its parched porch, into the forever black at the blue, so blue, blue Earth spinning and needy.
The water and the sperm fall in love and,
Ben, that’s how babies are made, Ben, the baby roots, two into one, Ben,
it clutches the desiccated earth (but Mars), Ben, and wheezes itself upright into a cacophonous, impossible storm of scabs,
it wheezes Life,
it says, Life, Ben,
Ben, it murmurs Mercy,
it says, Mercy, Ben,
Ben, it says, We, Ben,
Ben, it screams We.











I knew today would be special,
but not eating-wings-alone-in-an-Asian-fusion-restaurant special.






Sommer Browning

Some of Sommer Browning's recent books are WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THIS DREAM I HAD (Reality Beach, 2016), The Circle Book (Cuneiform; 2015) and Backup Singers (Birds, LLC; 2014). She writes, draws, and is a librarian in Denver.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2017

All Issues