It’s a wonderful life.
Though there’s sickness,
and bodies melting
in trailers outside
It’s a wonderful life.
and division threaten
the stability of our country,
and the house is rotting,
and I feel like a walking
It’s a wonderful life.
The river rushes on.
The cardinal watches
through the window.
The mystery remains.
This evening I opened a box and pulled from it the first copies of my new poetry collection, Real Big American Zen.
It hit differently this time around. When I wrote The Year that Stole the Light Away, all I could think of was my grief. When I held the first copy, I felt pride in what I considered a worthy tribute to my Father. This time, I stare at the cover, into the darkness of my own eyes, and feel sure that I will inhabit this skin, this life, fully.
This week I was so wonderfully surprised to find Real Big American Zen on Amazon’s Hot New Releases chart in multiple categories, a result of the support from so many of you purchasing the book and being kind enough to help spread the word. You have my gratitude.
June 1st can’t arrive soon enough.
Thanks to all of your help in spreading the word about the new release, Real Big American Zen is now #15 in the Family Poetry and #5 for Inspirational Poetry on the Amazon Hot New Releases Chart! Thank you all!
It’s the beginning of a new week, and as we’re drawing closer to the release of my new poetry collection, Real Big American Zen, I wanted to share some thoughts on the new book and how it came together.
The first poems began to reveal themselves in early April of 2020; I was gearing up for the release of The Year that Stole the Light Away and experienced a roller coaster of emotions revisiting the loss of my Father. Covid had only been considered a global pandemic for a few weeks, and while promoting my then-new collection, I was wondering where I’d go next? I intended to continue writing, creating, but now that my still present grief wasn’t fueling my every thought, I felt a bit directionless.
I knew early in the process that I wasn’t interested in writing pandemic poetry. We were all experiencing this together; we knew the stats, we saw the press conferences, we all had friends who were suddenly experts on infectious diseases. I’ve always found writing to headlines to be a dull and lazy way forward.
As the days passed and the world fell into lockdown, I became increasingly concerned about the effects these things would have on my family and mental health. I knew I would do everything in my power to keep them safe, but was it possible to protect them fully? How would I keep myself above water with depression always lurking just out of sight? What would become of the life we’d worked so hard to build?
These thoughts became the fuel for the poetry that would come in bursts over the next several months.
There are no political lines drawn in the book’s pages; there were/are enough of those everywhere I look.
I worked at these pieces to make sure there was room for you, that you could take and use them as needed, that they would continue to feel vital long after the pandemic had faded from memory.
I’m now trying my best to spread the word about the book and find it more and more challenging. Word-of-mouth means the world to a writer, so feel free to share these posts with your followers.
“Throughout the poetry found in Brandon White’s second collection, Real Big American Zen, weave the themes of an ache established in isolation, the depths of soul-searching, and unexpected humor scratched out of dark places. He ponders raising young children in times of great uncertainty while digging into what it means to be an American during times of unprecedented political turmoil.
As such, White holds the unsteady mirror up for us all, making adjustments to a life in chaos and advancing over the uneasy path of a year swept in pandemic.”
Paperback Edition Available 6/1/2021!
I’m excited to announce my second book of poetry, Real Big American Zen, will be released on June 1st by Raw Earth Ink.
I began writing this new collection in early 2020 as a way of responding to the tremendous uncertainty I felt in the early stages of the pandemic as a father of young children and attempting to make sense of a time of unprecedented political turmoil.
I began to wonder; what does it mean to be an American when the house seems irreparably divided?
How do I raise children to be loving, curious, and open-minded participants in our democracy without letting in the poison?
I’m very proud of the finished product, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Digital pre-order coming very soon.
All my love,
My apologies for the lack of contact. I’m working to realign myself with the muse and to refocus my heart.
Sometimes there’s too much noise, too many opinions, too much ugly in the world. The mind gets clogged up with it all.
Here is an attempt at confronting my writer’s block head-on to free myself.
A new free verse poem waits below.
When the grief lessened,
the pen, too, seemed to run dry
As if the mind
has no say in such things
As if it isn't enough
to want to create
While in alignment,
the poems drip from every surface
When out, things
are what they seem and nothing more
The words struggle through
thickets, ripping themselves open
to find their way back
to the page
A new free verse offering waits below. Enjoy.
Become now the unwitting trigger,
the convenient symbol of a trauma
in which you had no part
Become now the beaten dog
at the mercy of validations cruel hand,
dodging kicks, begging for love
Become now the bitter taste
that floods the mouth
at the mention of a name
Become now the last of your kind,
screaming into the endless dark,
I'm still here
I'm still here
Here’s a new free verse piece to greet April. Exciting progress is being made on my new collection, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Feedback is always appreciated!
Take Your Seat:
A songbird serenade
You now marvel
at what’s considered
at how the world
seems to rejoice
at the sight
of you reclaiming
place in the
A new free verse piece waits below. Continuing on a path of change and reflection and excited to see where it leads.
Kill your dreams
if you want to see this through
The mind brings
false hope when you're vulnerable,
and morning comes
bearing cruel reminders
Why not opt
for the safety of assured oblivion?
Why not you, yourself,
dip your toes into the void?
The night can
be made to stretch on forever
is so inclined