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Senior Class Poet Contestant, Wesley Brown: Nerve Damage

Wesley-Brown-edTo honor the University’s Senior-Class-Poet contestants and to commemorate National Poetry Month, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems, which are displayed throughout the first floor.

Each spring semester, all seniors are encouraged to enter the Senior-Class-Poet Contest. The Department of English will announce the 2013 Senior-Class Poet later this month.

……….Nerve Damage

… ……by Wesley Brown

Ever since I cried into this world and smashed

last week

my hand between those doors

Electricity has lied to me

 

Twinges in your neck call for massages

cold compress

hot bath

I’ve always wanted an electrician

to spread out my miles of nerves like Christmas lights

test each bulb and find

my broken parts

 

HOW DOES THIS FEEL

Wasted and it’s late

 

HOW DOES THIS FEEL

First-dance-bashful

 

HOW DOES THIS FEEL

A cheerful kind of dying

 

HOW DOES THIS FEEL

Every worst thing I’ve ever said

 

A tangle of nerves and heartbreak

He carefully unknots the slender tendrils

Each bio-electrical brush of his dusted hands bringing me

jolts

of Christmas and kitten fur

 

The thorniest part of the thicket

chokes around

barbed wire hydras hissing

like a throat trying to swallow against static weight

 

Here’s the part

Here’s the part that’s been cramping my

yellowed heart

 

He unwraps my uselessness

my sense of something more

my experience of God

and the taste of half-rotted apples

 

His electricity mixes with my own as he picks up

the grain of sand that’s been causing all my problems

all this time

 

It’s gone

 

My neck untwinges

 

I lie still

For a long time

My electricity flowing smooth

in a useless, perfect circle

 

It hums

 

And these days

I fall asleep hard

And dream of days when heartbreak mattered more

 

A Senior-Class-Poet Contestant, Wesley says “I write my poems with a certain vision in mind, but in important ways that vision doesn’t matter at all. My interpretation of my work is just that, an interpretation. I have often had friends of mine convince me that my poems aren’t about what I thought they were at all.”

Wesley Brown is an English and History major from San Mateo, Calif.

More of Wesley’s poems appear on his poetry blog: beautifularithmetic.wordpress.com.

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Last Modified: April 25, 2013