Best of Ways – A Poem by Brandon White

Best of Ways

I bear witness to your innocence
and for its preservation I do pray
For your safety and my vigilance
It breaks my heart
in the best of ways

The student and the teacher
these are the roles we trade
We are but briefly sinless creatures
It breaks my heart
in the best of ways

At night I hope you dream
of something better than what waits
after childhood colors fade
to grown-up gray
It breaks my heart
in the best of ways

-Brandon White

Photo by Kenzie White

A piece for all the Momma’s and Daddy’s out there; the veterans and the newly initiated. What the rest of the world is searching for, we’ve found.



Book 3 – Spring 2023

While watching ink dry on the contract for my third collection of poems, I realized how much life fits into these pages. It feels much longer than it’s been since my last offering.

I’m grateful to my publisher, @tara_caribou, for her continued support, guidance, and honesty. There’s no better feeling than knowing those you collaborate with want what’s best for you and your work.

I’m also grateful to those of you who continue to support my endeavors. Your kind words, encouragement, and inspiration are a gift.

There’s much work to be done, but this feels like a moment worth remembering.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Book 3 – Spring 2023.


Book 3 – Coming Soon!

Hello Friends,

I’ve officially handed in the manuscript for Book 3.

There’s still work to be done, but I’m thrilled to officially be on the road to release and anxious to share the work with you.

Keep an eye on this space. I’ll be switching up my efforts to spread the word and giving sneak peeks and updates as they become available.

Talk soon.



Enough – Poem by Brandon White


Maybe this is all it'll take

for the wall between the words

and I to come crumbling down

to feel myself giving up ground

to the anxiety I naively

believed under control

I've nothing to sell you,

no body to help lure you in

I don't pander

All I have are these lines,

this nervous heart;

what I hope

is just enough

-Brandon White

Real Big American Zen – Update – Poetry

Click the image to purchase your copy!

Hello Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to talk about this book as I haven’t nearly enough.
As I wrote the poems that would become Real Big American Zen, I knew the book would be a tough sell. The idea for the cover featuring my masked face would rub some the wrong way; the title would cause some to assume (wrongly) that the writing would lean to one side of the political aisle or the other, and it would stand as a reminder of a year that most of us would rather forget.

I also felt in my bones that it would be, in some way, disingenuous for me to try and steer the work in a different direction; This was the world I was inhabiting; these were the decisions my family and I faced; this was the feeling of my country and the world teetering on the edge of the unknown and unthinkable.

Fast forward to May of this year, my publisher and I are putting the final product together; we’ve managed to incorporate some of my artwork and photography into the book, and though I’m thrilled with our work, I’d come to realize that significant change was needed in my personal life.

In the two years since my father had passed, I hadn’t been treating myself very well. My mental and physical health had gotten away from me, and I was relying heavily on alcohol to suppress the sadness and rage I felt inside. I knew that significant changes were needed, and there was no time to waste.

Now here we are in late September, and I’m proud to say that I feel I’ve regained some control. I feel happier and healthier than I have in years, and though I’m still learning how to steer my creativity with a clear mind, I know the next chapter will be an exciting one.

One of the casualties of these changes was the promotional efforts for Real Big American Zen. I’m going to attempt righting the ship and shining whatever light I can on this collection of poetry, of which I’m still so proud. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be sharing pieces from the book, perhaps some readings, as well as my Recent Abstractions series.

If you haven’t purchased a copy, I hope you’ll consider doing so. If you’ve bought and read the book, I hope you’ll consider leaving reviews at Amazon and Goodreads or anywhere else you like.


At the End of the Day – A Poem by Brandon White

At the End of the Day

It might be a heart attack
in the liquor store parking lot
because it feels like more
than anxiety this time

I downloaded an app
to test my heart rate
and it tells me
I'm in the green

What does it say about me
that I would allow my phone
to determine the seriousness
of this or any situation?

My job requires me
to face the world
so I chew little white footballs
to avoid coming apart

I don't write about
what I do for money,
because it has nothing
to do with anything

other than my heart

-Brandon White

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

The Hurt – A Poem by Brandon White

The Hurt

If anyone asks,
It was cold turkey

I exorcised my pain,
spoke the words,

sent it into the world
and out of me

I haven't touched
the stuff since

I wanted to quit
hot turkey

but apparently
that's not a thing

The world is coming
into focus now

Color stops me
in my tracks

Steady rain
is overwhelming

I don't remember
how to do this,

how to get out
of the way

It all feels new
and terrifying

My inner critic
is louder than ever

I'm just trying to find
my footing again,

to get steady,
to remember

a version of myself
before the hurt

-Brandon White

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

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.



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

Reassurance – A Poem by Brandon White


Oh this,
the blessing
of little bodies
that beg to be held

of little hands
that reach
in the night
for reassurance

Oh this,
our legs
entwined beneath
blankets and stress

our heads
on opposite ends
of the couch

Oh this,
the twitching of toes
says I'm needed,
and you don't know

how dark it gets
in this living room
when you go to bed early
and it's just me

and that little voice
that turns every
shadow into a

-Brandon White

The above poem appears in Brandon’s latest collection, Real Big American Zen. Click the cover to purchase your copy!

For Tony, Wherever You Are

Hello Friends,

It’s 10:10 pm as I begin to write this. It was a busy day, my usual responsibilities dragging me away from the page, the words, the work I prefer.

The day was as I expected – heavy.

Today marks three years since the passing of Anthony Bourdain, who I (like so many) considered a personal hero. The day still reverberates from the quaking of so many diaphragms, bodies physically rejecting the shocking and painful news that a man of such an enviable life had decided he’d had enough.

Anthony was a rebel chef, a silver-tongued bad boy with a checkered past that spent years living on the fringe before slowing down long enough to show the rest of us what an amazing world we inhabit and just how little there is that separates us all. A recovering addict, a father, and a true citizen of the world.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here. Perhaps I just wanted to say something to mark the day. Maybe that’s enough? The idea that a person I never met had such a profound impact on me by doing nothing more than sharing their spirit in the name of bringing us closer together.

Thank you, Tony, wherever you are.