Heath Brougher

Heath Brougher is the Editor-in-Chief of Concrete Mist Press and co-poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Awards for Best Magazine. He was the recipient of Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award and is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. He was recently awarded the The 2020 Wakefield Prize for Poetry. He has published 11 books and, after spending two years editing the work of others, is ready to get back into the creative driver seat. His next book “Where Hammers Dwell” is due for publication in 2021.

Built to Die

The wrinkled gesture of death
winds its wicked and wounded wisteria
around the undercurrent of breath—
the physical function of life itself.
A Universal reality that exists 
throughout this human experience 
but has been reduced 
to a mere subconscious validity.
The importance of keeping death close at hand 
as a constant reminder of its sanctity 
has been turned into metaphysical rubble
in the cesspool of the West.

Built to Bleed  

This is not “Made Of.” This is 
a dissection. It is an examination 
of constructs and their impact upon being fully raised. 

My mom died a few days ago. Suddenly.
No goodbyes exchanged. Happened overnight.
Still don’t know exactly what occurred. 70 years
of life snuffed out in one night. It 
was not the order I expected my parents to go.
Still in shock. Still covered in a ghastly and ghostly blood. 
The Universe seems as if it has been knocked 
off kilter. I witnessed a rock turn into a viscous 
substance and I do not contend that what occurred
is explainable by science in any of its many-fangled existences.

I spit and realize I must become a Stoic. 

Your Safely Superior Work

You have published the same poem 14,871 times now.
And all to such critical avail. All the academics agree.
The mountainous mediocrity of massive mundane missives
are accepted before they're even read—
now that's post-postmodernism's ultimate reward. 
As for me, I like to fall flat on my face. 
I like to fail but fail big. I like to speak rude Truths
in unconventional ways. I like to hurt and distort words. 
I like to twist them into clusterfucks of clever maneuver
so the reader must ponder the cultivated creation I have conjured.

Something tells me that by the end of our lives
we will know for sure which one of us was the actual Poltroon.

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