Real Big American Zen – 1 Month

Hello Friends,

It’s been a month since the release of Real Big American Zen, and I’ve done a terrible job of staying in touch as life and work have conspired to keep us apart.

The truth is my indecision in how to best spread the word about the book has left me at a stand-still, and some life changes have taken the rest of my mental energy. Whatever I have left at the end of the day belongs to these two future leaders of the world, and that’s non-negotiable.

I’ve managed to jot down a few new pieces in the last couple of weeks, and the third collection continues to progress. I’m hopeful that life will soon slow down enough that my spirit can catch up with the rest of me, and the path forward will reveal itself.

I miss hearing from you. I hope wherever you are; you’re happy, healthy, and hopeful.

If you’ve finished the new collection, please consider leaving an Amazon or Goodreads review (or both if feeling generous) as it’s a big help.

Love,

Brandon


Brandon’s latest poetry collection, Real Big American Zen, is available now! Click the cover to purchase your copy today!

Real Big American Zen – Available Now!

Hello Friends,

Today marks the release of my second collection of poetry, Real Big American Zen, and I wanted to share some thoughts and this sweet picture of my beautiful girls captured by their Momma, Kenzie White.

Sending this collection into the world feels almost cathartic. When I reflect on the impossibly long year that inspired the pieces, my mind immediately snaps back to the uncertainty, the empty store shelves, how my children kept me anchored and focused.

I never set out to write a collection of poems about the headlines of 2020. Still, I was interested in capturing a snapshot of being a parent, a partner, a citizen hoping that the chance of a peaceful life had not vanished.

I hope these pages, these poems, serve you in whatever capacity you need. They’re yours now. Pain, humor, reflection, uncertainty, it’s all there – patting the empty seat and looking at you.

Love,

Brandon


Brandon’s latest poetry collection, Real Big American Zen, is available now! Click the cover to purchase your copy today!

Album of the Week – Veedon Fleece


Friends, I hope that February has been kind so far. I’m back with a new Album of the Week selection for your listening pleasure. This week, we let the soulful voice of Van Morrison take us away with this hidden gem of an album.

Veedon Fleece, for my money, belongs in the same conversation as Astral Weeks as one of Morrison’s most thrilling, mysterious, and consistent works. It’s not an album that I see mentioned when Morrison’s work is written about, and this borders on criminal.

So, friends, I think it’s time we pull this forgotten masterpiece from the dusty shelf and lay it in the bright light of morning. Grab your earbuds, take a stroll through town or your neighborhood, and let Van’s piano and voice wash over you. You’ll thank me later.

Veedon Fleece is available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

Album of the Week – Songs of Leonard Cohen


Friends, I return with a new Album of the Week pick for your listening pleasure. This week, we dive headfirst into Songs of Leonard Cohen, the debut album from the master himself. The album is a stark, brilliant collection of songs that will melt you to your seat with its timelessness and authority.

Leonard was a limited musician and considered a limited but powerful vocalist, but his words rise above these limitations and wrap themselves around you. They are as wildly alive today as when released so many years ago. I encourage each of you to make time for this record. Give it the attention it deserves and have your faith rewarded.

Songs of Leonard Cohen is available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

Album of the Week – Idiot Prayer


Friends, in thinking of other posts that may be enjoyable for you and myself, I’ve decided to offer up an Album of the Week for those whose love for song runs as deep as my own.

This weeks pick is Idiot Prayer by Nick Cave. Cave’s songs are beautifully haunting and his lyrics are of a poetic quality known only to the masters of the craft. Idiot Prayer is now available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

Soon, A New Day – Poetry Anthology


Friends, I’m thrilled to announce the release of Soon, A New Day, the new poetry anthology from Quillkeepers Press. The anthology features new poems from me, along with the brilliant work of many others. It’s an honor to be included. I’ve linked the cover art above if interested in purchasing a copy for yourself!

-Brandon

Gift – A Poem by Brandon White

A short, newer free verse poem that arrived fully realized while driving my daughters to school. I hope you enjoy it!


Gift:

I live not for risk
or adrenal rush

not for company men
or brass rings

I live for the song

For that perfect line
of a poem

where the muse rips
open the box of mystery

like a Christmas morning gift,
raises it to me smiling and says:

For you, the world


-Brandon White

Ghost Rider – A Poem by Brandon White

Another recently unearthed free verse poem, written a few months after my father’s passing. I was inspired to write about the comfort we find in art during times of uncertainty and pain. I’m happy it’s found a place.


Ghost Rider:

You’ve been the ghost
in the seat next to me

for more miles
than I can count.

Your voice rises
from the speakers

to illuminate
the road ahead,

to make yourself known
once more.

God knows
I could use the company.

We’ve never had much use
for conversation,

so let’s fill the air
with a song once more

and build a fire
by the roadside.

I’ll stretch this body out
and turn my eyes

to the western stars.


-Brandon White

The Musings of a Future Yelper – A Poem by Brandon White

I hadn’t thought about this free verse poem in a while. Before the pandemic, one of my favorite places to write was a restaurant booth or in a coffeehouse somewhere- surrounded by lives being lived and the hustle of the day. The electric air thick with poetry.

Please, come back.


The Musings of a Future Yelper:

They’ve never been able to
maintain a restaurant at this location,
and many have tried.

It’s not a bad spot, either.
Downtown, right on the avenue,
the best bars within walking distance.

I’ve sampled every establishment
that attempts to put roots down here.
They’ve all been decent enough.

For whatever reason,
the people won’t come.
Sushi, Burgers, Piano Bar, it makes no difference.

I’ve sampled cuisine
from four different countries
and sat in the same shitty booth each time.

Outside, the rain falls steadily.
It’ll be this way for the next several days, and I’m sad
my daughter might not get her last train ride of the season.

Three men enter the restaurant
and sit directly
in my line of sight.

Above me, a TV plays sports highlights
and when they watch, it feels like
they’re staring.

Maybe they are?
I’ve reached that elusive point in life
where it makes no difference.

The burger and fries
are too salty—
what a shame.

My waitress asks how everything tastes,
and I lie to make her feel better.
She smiles her crooked smile and fixes her peroxide-blonde hair.

I ask for my ticket
and she’s out of sight again.
I begin to review my latest poem.

I’m writing about food a lot lately.
I’ll be yelping before
you know it.

Outside, the rain pours on,
gathering into puddles
and flowing down the drain.

Like all the wasted minutes
in a life.


-Brandon White

The above poem, “The Musings of a Future Yelper, ” appears in my debut poetry collection, The Year that Stole the Light Away (Raw Earth Ink). Click the cover to purchase a copy!

Realization – A Poem by Brandon White

A recent free verse poem.


Realization:

I've often wondered why
you entered my orbit.

A test?

A threat?

Perhaps both?

You now exist
as a ghost, a memory,

something tragic.
That's it, isn't it?

Something tragic
to haunt the mind,

the heart,

the poem.


-Brandon White