"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Approximate Answer


At eight the train pulls through, announced by its brutal horn.

The trail behind grows louder, the rumbling of the cars

against their tracks, a rough release of mourning.

I can’t ignore it where I am. I hear the alarm

as if it were on my nightstand. Soon it will fade

and I will go back to myself. I don’t deny that it’s hard

to say what that is. Nevertheless, we burn through days

as if there will always be more. Only, tonight I doubt

the number. I question the stars and even the haze

between us. My life must make that sound

I think, a train pulled over tracks, not by any grace

but rather force and fear of leaving something out.

So how do I answer you, how do I speak to evening’s face,

You ask where I go when my eyes elude you.

What can I say, when I don’t have a name for that place

that makes nowhere and here, at once, both true.

And why do I answer now, why, when you’re not even here?

Because the question wasn’t asked or meant strictly for you.

I was there and involved in the asking, so need to hear

where it goes. And now, because I am a part of everything,

I hear the church clock chime the hour and disappear

so cars in the street can be heard. And then he sings,

some drunk, up to a shuttered window, and the closing of doors

behind people coming home. But what do I bring

with my listening? Why have I not answered you before.

Where do I go? Where. Listen, a song is playing in the distance,

building to the clouds and crashing to the floor.

I get caught in it’s travels, turns, the interludes, the twists

and sometimes I truly believe that it won’t end,

because I am too beaten to even raise my fist.

I have had enough of mourning, and so pretend

that it doesn’t touch me. I watch where this is heading

as if it were the second act of a play I watch again.

Because it is. Still, I want to be surprised, instead

of always knowing how much will be lost

in between the sounds and what is said.

                                               -Brent Allard


  1. I used to read and write a lot of poetry. I don't write poetry any longer, and I believe that yours is the only poetry I still read.

  2. Thanks Kap! I really do appreciate that, tremendously. I took a couple years off of writing in general, before starting this blog and this is the only place I put any poetry anymore.

  3. Well that's an intriguing thought. I certainly hope so. Where we got it? Personally I think it's lingering backlash from the realization that the American Dream is much more complex than we originally attempted to mythologize. But as far as my stuff, I'm happy when it speaks to and about anyone. Thank you!

  4. well,i don't know much about poetry and i don't read them usually but you follows my blog(thanx for that)so i thought i will also check yours..and when i did,wow!! your lines sounds interesting...i never knew that poetry can be this good...!!!
    and I'm a bit elder than your son/daughter(u didn't mentioned that),but i guess appreciation from a younger one is also valuable.
    Keep writing Brent...
    Best wishes..

  5. Thanks Sonu! I appreciate the kind words, and your opinion is valuable no matter how old you are!