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Lavonne Westbrooks: How To Become Famous & Other Poems
Part of the PoetryCircle Showcase series.
  • How to become famous

    i wanted to quote
    my own poems
    but i knew
    how disinterested he'd be
    being preoccupied
    with my breasts and all
    i mean
    why should i waste
    my breath?
    so i quoted shakespeare instead
    you know
    hamlet's speech
    to ophelia
    where he makes her
    feel just like a slut
    i know
    he won't remember
    what i said
    but one day
    he's gonna tell his friends
    he fucked a poet



    she modeled
    for the only nude
    I ever painted
    amid lamplight flickers
    in a humid garden
    we drained
    glass after glass
    of berry wine
    liquid alizarin
    sparkles in my memory
    what's left is
    a warm recollection
    voices and tinkling glassware
    damp skin and canvas


    On the delusional aspect of love and housecleaning

    Found a shriveled black thing
    under the bed
    while vacuuming today.
    Gingerly picked it up.
    An apple—
    and all the time I thought
    that sickly, sweet smell
    was love.


    Feed the bear

    She's buried up there.
    He raised his thin arm
    and pointed at the hill
    behind his vegetable stand.
    Halfway up the slope
    is a grave.
    Further on—a shack
    with two rockers on the porch.
    He dropped the four dollars
    into a can labeled Honey
    which sat in the lap
    of a hand-carved oaken bear.
    he puts up a sign that says
    Feed the Bear.
    Disappears round back
    and the air fills
    with the sweet smell
    of corn whiskey.


    Behind the man

    Uses her sex well,
    damn bodacious.
    Wields her aegis
    bosses him onward,
    no words


    Shower me with duck feet

    The trees are full of hearts
    and arrows
    , Polly says.
    There’s tons of duck feet, too.
    Her sundress becomes a basket
    filled with fragrance.
    I’m sitting on the bottom
    stone step as she stands above.
    Look up and close your eyes!
    I laugh and say I’ll try.
    When she showers me
    with the skirtfull of leaves
    the green joy of them fills
    my nose and prickles my cheeks,
    See, she whispers, I’m always right.


    Fishing the snake

    I have fished the Snake
    from the bottom of a canyon
    in July and in August,
    where I watched cutthroat
    stroke the S
    curve, undulate through bush
    and rock.
    I have stood on the sandy leavings,
    imagined the scene
    I might care to paint,
    formed words spoken
    to wind.
    I won’t bother you
    with what I saw there,
    I will only say
    I was.


    Spider sky

    i stood on the driveway in my night gown
    watched founders day fireworks
    sulfur in the air made you sneeze and
    looking up so long made me dizzy
    we both sat down
    the finale burst above us
    we kissed like teenagers on the street
    and stayed long after
    watching smoke spiders walk in the wind
  • Lavonne Westbrooks has been a PoetryCircle editor for many years.
  1. Rick Stansberger
    These are lovely.  The sound is clean as an autumn morning.
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  2. David Belcher
    I like the originality of these, you write about ordinary things but here they have zing.
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  3. Amanda
    This is an incredible collection. I can't even pick a favorite.
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  4. TrishSaunders
    The series of poems you've chosen...quite wonderful! I have read them all. Each one is different. Uniquely beautiful!
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  5. TrishSaunders
    I like this first  poem immensely. I will read the others when I have time to sit and slowly savor.
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  6. Budart
    Liked the first and the third poem particularly.  My sister is always quoting other people without attribution.  I'm one of the few people who reads enough to catch her at it.  I liked  "Spyder sky" also.
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  7. Bobby Andreas
    Thank you for sharing these. They're beautiful. :)
  8. Anita L. Russell
    "...she sings..." <3
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  9. Cheryl.Leverette
    love it, love it, triple love it
    Jay Dougherty likes this.
  10. bodkin
    Really enjoyed these!
  11. William Antcliff
    Nice to see them, Lavonne!
  12. tiko lewis
    we need you to write more.

  13. Tom Riordan
    Great poems, nicely chosen and laid out...
  14. silent lotus
    Lavonne has also done some fine readings .......hopefully a few mp3's will appear here soon as well.