Three Poems by Brandon Shimoda

Poetry: Brandon Shimoda

Blind Children

What is the first thing you remember?
Kicking my sister
My father hitting me with sticks
Lying next to my mother
Being hit, I can feel it
When I remember
Mother saying, But he’s a miracle, when
The doctor said, He has 48 hours.

Desert Poems

I have some artwork I want to sell
Paintings, I’ve been making some real nice paintings
I want to sell them to my sister
She’s the one with all the money
She’s got all the money

Last time I was in town, my sister wouldn’t see me
Her husband came down, and said, I said
Hey man, how’s it going?

Maybe she’ll buy some paintings for her house
She’s got an $8,000 chandelier in one room
And a $12,000 chandelier in the other room

That’s $20,000
Just to see what you’re looking at

Holy Week

Paper flowers
Beat against
The pediment of a church

In the wind, see heads penetrate
Like flood flowers overhearing obese people singing against the curtains


Gentile profusion

Clown face with deer head
Deer head with braided faucet hair
Braiding back and forth the garbage dust
Flowers delight above obese people in sleeping bags
Moth cocoons around ankles, deer hooves around waists

Masks remind us, independence is inherently sad
To be mourned as much as celebrated
Beans and loaves, fried hands and skull feathers
Shrunken vixen faces receding starlet faces
Black diamond heads and carpet beards
Huntsmen faces and eagle faces

Brandon Shimoda is the author of several books of poetry and prose, including The Grave on the Wall (City Lights, 2019) and Evening Oracle (Letter Machine Editions, 2015), which received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. His poems in Heavy Feather Review also appeared in The Desert (The Song Cave, 2018), which is where he currently lives.


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