- Paperback: 245 pages
- Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing (April 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098214881X
- ISBN-13: 978-0982148815
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,352,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Good Things About America Paperback – April 1, 2009
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About the Author
Derrick Brown - former paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne, gondolier, magician, and fired weatherman (Flagstaff, AZ) - has performed at over 1500 venues and universities internationally, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, La Sorbonne in Paris and CBGB's in NYC. As president/captain of Write Bloody Publishing, he is dedicated to bringing American poetry into rock and roll status. He has performed with The Cold War Kids, The Flaming Lips and comedian David Cross. His work has been featured in books with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and Billy Collins. He lives on a boat called The Sea Section.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Crab Apple Pirates
by Andrea Gibson
We were chubby-faced school kids,
Snickers bar windpiped, crab apple pirates,
backward-baseball-capped, knee-scraped snow angels,
Dukes-of-Hazard dreamers, bumper-car-bodied
Michael Jordan believers.
I couldn't fly, but my hang time was three minutes and ten seconds.
Smart kids were stupid. Books were trees cut down...
I thought history was over.
I cried during the national anthem.
Once I found a butterfly's wing on the sidewalk.
I wanted to keep it but I didn't.
I knew there were things I should never find beautiful.
I started writing songs,
recorded them on my ghetto blaster
and mailed the tapes to the local radio station.
They never played them because they never had good taste.
My mother did. She was a secretary.
Her fingernails were red and she loved my father,
who after the war became a mailman
so when I was a baby she would carry me to the post office
and weigh me on the postal scales.
Once, years later, I got lost in the mail.
The next day I came home from college and corrected my
When I was ten my mother had another daughter.
I heard babies sometimes die in their sleep
so at night when my parents went to bed
I'd put on my Karate Kid kimono
and I'd sneak into her room to guard her heartbeat.
The heartbeat thieves didn't find her for fifteen years.
At eleven I discovered beer.
At thirteen, shame.
At fourteen I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior.
At nineteen I nailed my palm to Amanda Bucker's vagina,
actually drooler on her breasts,
and said yes so loud God couldn't disagree.
But my family did.
So I lost them for a while, and in that while
my uncle Barry lost his fingers to the paper mill.
My uncle Peter lost his liver to Vietnam.
My mother lost her legs to God's will.
In her will I inherit everything:
the seventeen photographs we didn't lose in the fire.
All of them with charcoaled edges.
My mother holds them to her chest and tells me she can
still smell the smoke.
I tell her I will guard them well.
My father's freckled shoulders.
My sister's brown, brown eyes.
My mother's patient hands buckling my tiny blue suspenders.
That one December when we built a bonfire in the middle
of the frozen lake
and I skated around the flames
with my snowsuit's frozen zipper sticking to my tongue.
My mother called me name.
Told me to smile for the camera.
I still remember the flash.
And that enormous fire.
With the ice beneath it.