Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

THE OLD MAN SPEAKS AT COMMENCEMENT

You cannot stay here.

There is no longer room.

If I had my powers back

I’d throw dirt

at the sun and make

a world for you,

bright settlers 

hanging from parachutes,

little books of poetry

about where you come from

hidden in your pockets

instead of tools,

caution and inspiration

and pride

tossing seeds around

waiting to see what grows.

Steve Brammell has lived many places and has toiled at many jobs as varied as carpenter, bus driver, social worker, restaurant manager, sommelier, gardener, and technical writer, editing manuals for nuclear power plants and pitching news stories to media about medical research. During his years in Birmingham, Alabama, he wrote for Alabama Magazine, Business Alabama Monthly, and Birmingham Magazine, where he had his own column every month, looking at life in the city through a poet’s eyes. Brammell is a native Hoosier who finally returned home. He lives and writes in Indianapolis where he’s employed in the wine trade. He graduated from Wabash College. His most recent poems have been published in RavensPerch Magazine, The Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, The Write Launch, White Wall Review, TIny Seed Literary Journal, and a forthcoming poem in The Flying Island.

"I don’t have the right voice to read aloud this particular poem about a divine rascal, his halo flickering like a broken neon light, banished to Earth for a lifetime of ‘bad’ behavior and telling the truth, required by his probation to serve on the faculty of an institution of higher learning, but you know, despite his impudence, he deeply cares about the young innocents, lined on folding chairs before him, poised to enter a world for which they are not prepared."