bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Forgetfulness

July 14th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

FINALLY, A POEM FOR THOSE OF US (ME) WHO FORGET 90% OF WHAT WE READ.

Forgetfulness, by Billy Collins.

The name of the author is the first to go

followed obediently by the title, the plot,

the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel

which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor

decided to retire to the Southern hemisphere of the brain,

to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye

and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,

and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,

the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,

it is not poised on the tip of your tongue

or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river

whose name begins with an L as far as you call recall

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those

who have even forgotten how to swim

and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night

to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Posted in books, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, poems | No Comments »

Silentum

May 29th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
I dream about the ten days I was in Russia a lot. My dreams are 30% high school parking lot, 30% plummeting airplane, 30% Moscow, 10% Target from hell. Last night, I was wandering through the Red Square. Sometimes when I wake up having dreamt this, I read something about Russia. This morning, I read about why it is frowned upon there to smile (a sign of foolishness of perhaps trickery.) I then found this magnificent morning poem:
Silentum
How can a heart expression find?  / How should another know your mind? / Will he discerns what quickens you? / A thought once uttered is untrue.
- Fyodor Tyutchev
NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH, YOU GUYS! YOU’RE WELCOME! – Russia

Posted in a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, poems | No Comments »

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

January 2nd, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

I am going through my books to make room for more books so that I can read more books and actually read some of the books that I’ve had but never read books books books books HURRAY BOOKS, and I finally broke into this one that I got for Christmas last year from a producer:

In which I read about Elizabeth Gilbert’s favorite poet, Jack Gilbert, no relation, which led me to this beautiful poem of his:

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

Posted in YAY, a lot, books, poems, words | No Comments »

seasonal poem

December 24th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

’twas the afternoon before christmas

and all through my head

visions of christmas excitement and also wedding excitement collided perfectly with a NyQuil hangover and perhaps some sort of festive holiday head snot and it’s pouring rain and 80 degrees outside and what is happening to this world and it has not been this hot here since 1863 I think I read and WHAT WILL BECOME OF MIAMI.

danced through my head

did I mention it was happening in my head

So I instead looked at staged pictures

of elf on a shelf

and spent sometime wondering what if I myself

had invented them

because I really should have

also what’s a kerchief

Posted in YAY, a lot, i am lucky, poems, whining, words, worrying | No Comments »

ég elska þig

September 26th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I spent some time today reading some Icelandic love poems don’tworryaboutwhy. Found this beauty:

Words.

I don’t want to say to you: I love you,

for the words have lost their meaning.

But if I say to you: I want to leave you in order to return to you,

you may understand me.

But those speaking the tongue of the wind are hard to comprehend,

and the magic of the sea is bewitching.

The tongue of the wind, the magic of the sea:

old poet jargon to dupe those who see little.

Therefore I better say to you:

I love you,

as thought I had never said those words before.

- Johann Hjalmarsson

Posted in Uncategorized, love, poems | No Comments »

Brave enough to worship out loud

April 13th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

James Morrison’s mom (hi Cam!) paid my blog the nicest compliment, with one of the loveliest phrases I’ve heard in a while: she said that she likes reading these here musings, because I’m ‘brave enough to worship out loud.’ Isn’t that once of the best sentences you’ve ever heard? The phrase keeps swirling around in my head, and now I must dissect it.

- I do not spend much time wondering whether or not I am brave. This part of me is not frequently put to the test. I very much like the idea that I might be That, or that I am capable of being That.

- Does Worship require said Bravery?

- And: What is Worship? I know what it means, religiously, but does it mean something even larger, beyond that?  Does it also mean, to SHOUT GRATITUDE TO THE SKY AND CELEBRATE ALL THAT IS GOOD?

- If so, then yes. Yes yes yes. I am in fact brave enough, and I worship out loud and louder, as loud as typed words could ever shout.

Posted in i am lucky, i have peace, poems, things | No Comments »

Life is fine

January 23rd, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, I like this poem.

I went down to the river,

I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

Langston Hughes

Posted in a lot, life, poems | No Comments »

THE HORROR

October 18th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Go ahead. Leave the room for five minutes. He will find your college poetry, and you will find him sheepishly, wickedly reading it.

Posted in boys, poems | No Comments »

Today, on WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS?

September 21st, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

This smart and adorable woman, Jacqueline Suskin, sits at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and writes poems on command for perfect strangers, for however much you want to pay her. You give her a topic, let’s say, love, and she asks you a question, what kind of love? and you say about how I feel about the girl in my Chemistry class or about how I love my child so much it makes me nauseous and then she goes to town on one of her many vintage typewriters, and hands the poem over, and never sees it again. It’s like my monologue business kind of but way more adorable and way more immediate. She doesn’t seem to ever have an unsatisfied customer, especially because she doesn’t demand a certain amount of $ for her work, but instead, just suggests, well, ‘whatever’ (oftentimes receiving 20 bucks for a poem that takes her a minute to write.) What I love about this woman is she’s taken her craft, poetry, and kept her life simple, but also, figured out a way to make a living while doing what it is she was born to do. (I could be wrong, she might not actually make a living, maybe she secretly Temps or like fills out online surveys a lot, but couldn’t find a mention of another job.)  She skipped grad school and opted to work as a vegetable farmer instead. To totally contradict my rage fest of early this week about playwrights being tossed under the bus for writing for TV: perhaps there is something to be said for the inspiration that comes from a simpler life?

Posted in a lot, poems, women, words | No Comments »

When a Woman loves a Man

August 31st, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

A poem from E’s wedding that’s stuck with me:

David Lehman, 1948
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, “I’ll never speak to you again,"
she means, “Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window.”

He’s supposed to know that.

When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in
     Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
     is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
drinking lemonade
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.

When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, “We’re talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
“Did somebody die?”

When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.

Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?

When he says, “Ours is a transitional era,"
“that’s very original of you," she replies,
dry as the martini he is sipping.

They fight all the time
It’s fun
What do I owe you?
Let’s start with an apology
Ok, I’m sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying “Laughter.”
It’s a silent picture.

One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
     another nine times.

When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
     airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he’s there. He doesn’t complain that
     she’s two hours late
and there’s nothing in the refrigerator.

When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She’s like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn’t want the day to end.

When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.

Posted in love, poems | No Comments »