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November Poet Spotlight: Brendan McBreen

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Hello Poetry Lovers!  The rains have arrived, the daylight has been saved, and it is dark before 5:00 p.m.  But that just means the light is even more precious, so I am excited about this latest poet spotlight.

Brendan McBreen is my partner in crime when it comes to the Striped Water Poetry group, and working to make poems better.  We are not shy in moving stanzas, changing tenses, flipping the poem upside down, whatever it takes to make it stronger.  I will let him speak for himself:

Meet Poet Brendan McBreen

A white male holds up a book
Brendan McBreen shows his book, Cosmic Egg | courtesy photo
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Hi, I am Brendan McBreen, I write poetry. I have foxglove and violets and mint in my little garden. I spend too much time in front of my computer and not enough time outside. I like iced tea, doughnuts, Thai food, and Mexican food best. I also do arts and crafty things. Did I mention I write poetry? I’ve been writing and daydreaming for as long as I can remember. I really enjoy creativity. I love to hear the poetry my friends come up with and to see their artwork just as much as I love creating my own art and poetry. I think words are important and I hope my words can inspire someone I may never know to write something, if that happens then I think the world will be just a tiny little bit of a better place for it.

Poetry in Auburn

I guess the Uniquely Auburn program was my first time organizing and presenting local and regional poets in Auburn. The program consisted of dinner and a show with activities in the lobby of the Auburn Performing Arts Center in Auburn High School. It ran from the late 1990s through the early 2010s. We had poetry posters and artwork in the lobby and poets featured on stage.

On June 6 2006 Striped Water Poets was born. I was a member of the Northwest SPokenword LAB, or SPLAB!, founded and run by Paul Nelson. But he was moving out of town, so our members decided to form our own group and continue meeting. It started as a critique circle and quickly expanded to presenting poetry workshops and running an open mic which is still continuing on now via Zoom.

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At some point in all of this, I found myself involved in the Auburn Good Ol’ Days festival. Now called AuburnFest. Here I organized all-day poetry events, including writing workshops, readings, contests, poets on parade, a book and small press fair, and various other odds and ends.

In between all of this I’ve been featured, published, presented workshops, written some nice poems, done a bunch of networking, made advertising and programs, and generally have been a smart ass through it all. But I didn’t do it all alone, all kinds of Striped Water Poets members and others have helped me along the way.

Brendan’s Poetry

A bird in the hand

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frightened flutter
of a tiny heart
trying
to stay
as still
as possible

first
there was
the flutter
of wings

I thought
I imagined it

then
lying on the floor
playing late night video games

the air
of wing beats
against my foot
an uncertain
tweet

a sparrow
lost in a world of walls
I caught it
using a towel as a net
went to free it outside

hesitated
fascinated
by this warm
fragile thing
this life
I held in my hands

in the dark cool night
I let it go

invasion

spinning worlds
full
of dizzy aliens
trying to conquer
Earth
with tableware
ray guns
and seriously flawed strategy

but failure
doesn’t stop
these bug-eyed buggers
from coming back
|to be blown up
again and again

no match
for black and white
Earthlings
falling in love

wishing on a black hole

before the ender of time
finds us

wishing

           we had more

before all dust

is returned

to its singular source

let us add

a few splashes

           of color

to the unfinishable canvas

of understanding

Wishing on a black hole was originally published by Bear Creek Haiku 2015, and Cosmic Egg MoonPath Press 2017

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