4 Poems by Perry Brass at Christmas, 2012



Christmas Tree Lights




Suppose you could look at everything differently,

and a steel chair with gracefully curved lines

would look like the first chair ever made,

and the tall brown-skinned man dunking

chocolate chip cookies into milk in the atrium

at Olympic Towers on Fifth Avenue

would appear as innocent and angelic as

a figure on a Tiffany stained-glass window,


and every moment and movement would appear

original, conceived only for your notice

and yet with a purpose even your notice

could not understand? Therefore you’d have to accept it

as real, significant, contained, revelatory, that

you could enter but not create with judgments.

So it would go. You would look. And see.


Sept. 4, 2012

Olympic Towers Atrium

New York


Emilie Parker-Victim at Sandy Hook Elementary

Emilie Parker, 6 was a victim in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School / Family photo


Newtown, Conn.


I want to draw a box in the middle of

this page

and in it put a blank space where I can

put all the questions we ask: Why did

he do it? Why these children? How can

the NRA control so much of the country,

and how will the parents face each morning

from now on? And December, how will


we see December, this beautiful December

darkened, clouded? And in the box I’ll put

the names and the faces and the hands

and feet sleeping. And try to see this

just as it is, with only grief ebbing slowly away

as it does, and inside the box I’ll place another,

and in there I’ll hear that Handel chorus

proclaiming from a distance


“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son

is given,” until that sound, like all sounds,




Dec. 15, 2012

Bronx, NY



Geminid Meteor Shower



Starlight at Canaan


This dance of light from afar

in the heavens, five hundred feet

up in the woods, with shooting stars

and meteorites and comets glowing

leaving paths of crystals burning above,

necks craning, eyes opening

gateways to the heart, so deep, expanding,

as far

as the firmament is high, and black.

True black, but etched with constellations


we see now clear as dreams,

such things more magical than art,

more real than eons of fiction—

how did this come back to us,

from so far that mastodons seem

recent and the Ice Age only yesterday;

and yet here we are in the eye’s bright


in its perfect acceptance of marvel,

while stars shoot above and leave

their message for each to behold:

this is a thing you cannot keep,

but must know, must accept,

like the silent paths holy men cut into

the complex schemes of human life.



July 22, 2012

Canaan, NY, for Barry and Steven


Wishing you a kind holiday season, Perry


Perry Brass


By Perry Brass

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