Lee Ann Brown

Current Present

Decades of unbelievable grief —
Lovers with unfinished business
Visit my drama dreams I find
One of him in the sound booth
Health song — I’m in a wet red velvet
Dress draped and spinning over
Stroking his smooth back — he
Doesn’t have to be here but wants to
Be. He is released from all those earthly
Duties but comes back to me now
Again in a pink moon lag
Lacy jags of song healing over
Wounds all time again and here
We’re awake and clear

Dear reader are you still with me I love

Dear reader are you still with me I love
The taste of water it is like night grass
Intimately on my side I type to you / my
Dream comes back into view — then
Submerges again I get so specific with
You because it feels the right thing to do

Maybe you will contact me too, be moved
To do the same now what was that dream
A gradually increased knitting of the movies
My internal struggle to be a person worthy
Of loving and moving the earth inside some other
Oh yes! I left my coat, book and typewriter on the
Speeding train yet again but thanks to the station crew
They are returned to me so I can play Marco Polo Marco Polo


When I was young and slept with everyone
I wanted to    I always loved them no
Matter what —        a brave impossible thing
To do it’s true —      some folks I just had to
Rub up against time again
Somehow an immediate
Transmission —      Foolhardy utopian vision

Now I just listen and try to transcribe
This accumulation of Love like a sign, a wave
That would grow to a swell by the end of
The day or book —       there’s got to be a ground
Base throughout or it won’t work     I dreamed of
     Writing a trans mom guide    eleven short chapters
     Written with a woman doctor    who is part of me

Your Amulet

is on my door — Fat robins cherrybomb the car
The plants are brown with a trace of green
the sky is blue above the castle-like apartment
building parapeted across the backyard bird
sanctuary — Conrad hums on the phone — falcons
have been spotted here — Did you know there’s
a Blake Tarot? Three of Poetry I send to you
and there's a suit called Painting too which
is what poets do with words but you do with
colors pasted together and drawings of others
made diaphanous and layered — we’ll have to
have another session in person when you come
soon — meanwhile I’ll print this out and put
it on my wall for once not written with all thumbs

Everything Has An Expiration Date

I want to be one of those families who
has the radio on at all times in a certain room
usually tuned to jazz in this case WBGO
or classical WQXR like a message from
the very present past but with a randomness
implicit in what happens to be playing when
you walk in the room where my cat sits on
a mat of newspaper flat — It’s 9 degrees in
Central Park according to the somewhat
overblown DJ before the Adagio — I have
no sex change operation to write about but
maybe I do as what they call the change
creeps up in early morning flush with an
alarm that flashes wake up in the middle

Lee Ann Brown is the author of several books of poetry, including Other Archer (Presses Universitaires de Rouen, 2015), In the Laurels, Caught (Fence Books, 2013), and Crowns of Charlotte (Carolina Wren Press, 2013). Her most recent publication is a collaboration with Bernadette Mayer, Oh You Nameless and Unnamed Ridges (1080press). Based in Chelsea, Manhattan, where she hosts poetry happenings at Torn Page, she is the founding editrix of Tender Buttons Press, dedicated to experimental writing by women and other gender expansive beings. She will be guest faculty at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University summer 2023, leading a workshop on Poets Theater in collaboration with her husband, actor and director Tony Torn.

Read next: Poetry by Michael Palmer

Visit our poetry archive

Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.