PoetryIssue 08 | February 2010

Four poems by Mahogany L. Browne

Brooklyn Tongue VII

he is a brooklyn hydrant sitting
on the corner of nostrand ave.

he aint used to seeing the thugs twitch—call
them names with all the tough love and spit

one can fit on his tongue—say, ‘this block
ain’t what it used to be,’ cross his arms

until his elbows bend black, cock his neck
against the bright headlights tourists, he

is bass booming cool. ‘long as they don’t
bother me.’ hennessey proof eyes

blink back bedstuy love, before she paled
her tongue. before her noise of sagged

jeans and construction boots whimpered into
pavement prowl full of bar boutique for yuppies

—he sighs, ‘Big said things done changed, i
just didn’t believe it would be like this.’

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About the author

Mahogany Browne, host and curator at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, is a Cave Canem Fellow who facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. She owns an on-line marketing and distribution company for poets. Mahogany is editor of His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by HER and author of Destroy Rebuild & Other Reconstructions of the Human Muscle. She has released five LPs, including the live album, Sheroshima. These Brooklyn Tongue poems are from the forthcoming collection, SWAG (Penmanship Books).

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok