Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, April 21, 2011


by Michael H. Brownstein

How do you go someplace with nothing?
We have different memories, you and I,
entering the room of other thought,
a rude space strong as dripping water,
a lapse of memory, a lasting envy,
whatever this is sitting next to me
cursing into the yellow darkness.

I never lose sight of responsibility.

On the train platform of predators,
I do as the wolves taught me—
stare into them until they leave me go.
But none of this has any real importance.
Twice I lost my way. This is what is important.
Once in the snowfields, Northern Montana
and again in the bogs, Southern Wisconsin.
Last night I felt my place slip again.
Where do you think you are going?


  1. Another great poem.

  2. I've been following Michael H. Brownstein--his Xmas tree poem was too great--and I enjoy every poem he sends in. I'm actually reading this blog more now in hopes of seeing more of his work.

    An idea--is it possible for you to present his poetry as an e-book--thirty to forty poems? I know for myself this would be sensational.


    Debbie Woods

  3. Oh, I know he taught in the inner city at one time. I wonder if the above poem has three motifs or themes--imnner city school teaching, relationships, and lost in your soul?

    Do you think you can request him to send you an essay or story on his inner city days.


  4. An essay or story on inner city teaching? Might be interesting, but only as it might relate to poetry, I'd think. Do you think the predators might have something to do with his teaching?

  5. Just to let you know I seldom explain poetry--but, the predators on the tain tracks are the gangbangers who bother people at stations that are not very busy or are in ugly areas of the city. Once two guys tried to rob me, but when they saw a well dressed man in the next car, they decided to rob him instead. Since one of them was afraid to go between cars, they had to wait until the 43rd Street station to go to the other car. I knew what they wanted to do so when the doors opened I asked them a question and they actually wasted time answering. Then they jumped off the train and the doors closed leaving them at the station and me and the well dressed man safe and sound. Another time I did enter a car only to see three of my former students robbing someone and I did make them give him his wallet back, apologize and sit nexzt to me until we got downtown where they got off. Stories of predators on the CTA subway and elevated system go on and on.

    Thanks for all of the nice comments and suggestions.

    Michael H. Brownstein