Clifford Brooks

in the south

offer no history, only
a permanent revolution of seasons --
a melody,
 a natural catastrophe.

our loose thoughts combined after i told you
about the blond vagabond playing vivaldi downtown
with only his toes touching the ground,
the soothing sounds those strings
spread were his roots among us
that challenged reality, in it
he was the only soul entangled --

his violin was spotless, though he was not --
he was a stalagmite, vapor, the remnants of awful parents,
vacant eyes, gaping mouth

-- unkempt, he was another time-wasted thing, disintegrating
from an inability to remain tangible, shadows crowding 'round,
same as you see on the road home through yazoo, waco, and monroe,
impassable because your headlights always shined
behind … nevertheless - a surreal sight on hancock, that man

like the dark wood of a dining table, primer still smelling
of orange blossoms wiped up in dusty plumes, letters propped up
against a vase beneath the bowing heads of crested irises,
nearby is grandfather's photo in black-and-white,
expensive parchment for better letters is unused,

today, for me, a lady is a fading reflection as i look out
from a sturdy frame; the air is filled with cynicism,
for years i collected specters in a blue bible,
and tonight i give them all to vivaldi’s madman --
those motels, the lying sleep, this time to mend –
they are forgotten secrets between us and lunacy,
they are no longer yours,
they are no longer mine

play to help remember, keeping
time the way a metronome does --
not to pass the hour,
but hone its rhythm,
a blade to slice away
what i don’t want.

Clifford Brooks is a poet, teacher, and rebel working out his dreams in North Georgia.  He and Joe Milford sat ten years ago mulling over how to pull a family, and business, out of art.  Over that decade Clifford’s book, The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics, earned a Pulitzer and Georgia Author of the Year nomination. Yet, more importantly, his passion born sitting beside his best friend has come to fruition – The Southern Collective Experience is on the map. This collection of artists of all genres is still in its infancy, but can be found by the same name on Facebook and at He is nearing the completion of Athena Departs, a collection of verse that continues where his last book left off; and The Salvation of Cowboy Blue Crawford, an epic with autobiographical intent.

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!