Recent Work By Derrick Brown

Why is there a fish on your book cover?

I like the idea of shooting fish in a barrel, or even a stream. The feeling that I am constantly overdoing it, living with a sense of desperation and the easy way out, which is often messy.

Grateful for the way we once walked through the pines
you, apologizing to the boughs and needles with your gentle heels noticing the light warming one side of the conifers
capturing the way moss sneaks to live on in the dark bark,
tiny holes, vacant homes, thanking the ferns
harmonizing the body with the poplar

I tried to live this way

I am from plywood and Datsun noise
skate ramps and shitty forts
you are from purple milk thistle and where storms are born running high in the Santa Lucia green
With black nightgown whipping
I watch you fall in the coastal fields-
a credit card flopped on a poker table
laughing like it’s all going to be okay

Your polished back is arched like Saint Louis.
I can see your fingers pushing into the bricks
when I lift your hair
to smell October drain from your neck.

You are cotton caught in the air
I am unfurling laces in your body.

I move on you steady like a fleet of ships pushing ice.
I want to break it all.

Your tank top strap slips down the huh huh huh of your shoulder –
and I will not strain meaning from this.

I have to taste all of your shapes with my teeth.

I am waltzing a wrecking ball.

I am wading in the dark felt Tijuana paintings of your hair.
Molting my bed clothes
uncoiling towards Sahara.

All I want to do is hot lust you
into dead sweat.
To watch your legs, those bent sickles,
to watch them shake
like poisoned wrens.

I am gnashed and dazzled.
Smother me in the exhausted thrust of your yes. . . .
as all exploding laundromats.

Darling, may I be the image you turn to
when you are heaving alone,
burning like Halloween in Detroit?

I am breathing up your legssssspitting at the hiding nightingale.
Drift your breasts into my mouth
and I will be that doped up, spinning victrola.
La la la la la la.

I want to make love to you while you’re wearing figure skates
until the hardwood floors are toothpicks.

I want to kiss your throat in a dressing room with my hands
bound around the slow song in your voice.

I don’t care if you made that dress, hippie,
I will shred it until you look deserted.

You’re as restless as a New Orleans graveyard in a storm
with the coffins boiling up to the surface.

That’s all this writing is. She is across from me and the
soup is cooking.

I sit up all night listening to her dental records.
I will teach her of exorcism and screw the hell out of her.
I will carry her steam in my mouth.

Daydreaming of the evening of loud struggle.
Call my name—I will cascade like a suicide.
I will fall upon you like a box of fluorescent bulbs
dropped from a five-story building.

I will do anything you ask. . . .
unless I have been drinking; then it is opposite day.

I can’t believe you can sleep through all this.

Chunks of brick in your fingernails.
Mortar on your pillow
a bomb shelter
sketched on your skirt.
It says “safe.”

Do the Kings of Leon hate you?

They don’t hate Derrick Brown, they hate my alter ego, Dr.Carlos Mandible. A big “how do ya do” broke out when I wanted to play a small electronic party in Nashville on a Monday night for about ten people. (Kings of Leon are from near Nashville.) I didn’t want my pal to know I would be in town so I leaked clues about my band, The Spring Hill Spider Party, to the club.  Dr. Carlos Mandible is the lead singer. Clues like, the secret band playing on Monday night hates Kings of Leon and used to hate Amy Grant, this band has a drummer who dresses like Merlin, etc. Instead of ten people being there when I showed up, there were 350 due to some insane postulating and himming and hawing that the mystery band was to be Kings of Leon. Next month we will hate Rascal Flatts. People in the audience wanted to kill me. I got boo’ed for 30 minutes straight. It was a real test of wills.

Where do you write?

Often times on my boat, the sea section, where I live. I used to drink and write. My body got pissed and I can’t anymore. I can’t write mid day.

What’s the most dangerous thing about Derrick Brown?

That’s a weird question.

Your job is to answer these questions, not judge.

But I don’t even know what you mean.

Do your job.  Speaking of jobs, what is the job of writers?

Hmmm. I think to lure in the audience without spelling out what is to…

Next question:  How do you release inspiration?

Are you going to interrupt me?


I get inspired by taking motorcycle trips. I get inspired by sitting in the back of the room.

What offends you?

Flip flops. Open-toed shoe night.  Shirts with too many graphics happening. The word affliction. Ed Hardy. Lady Gaga. Horrible Pastors. River rats. People who text while they’re talking to you. People who are on their phones, checking it all the time.

Sorry, I have to take this.