Yo, Bro! Belly Up To The Bar And Recite 'Broetry'

Bros like beer and sports.  But poetry? i i

hide captionBros like beer and sports. But poetry?

istockphoto
Bros like beer and sports.  But poetry?

Bros like beer and sports. But poetry?

istockphoto
Broetry
By Brian McGackin
Hardcover, 128 pages
Quirk Books
List Price: $12.95

Read An Excerpt

"Broetry is poetry for dudes," Brian McGackin writes in the introduction to his new collection of poems. "It's poetry for people who don't like poetry."

Brian McGackin received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Southern California. Broetry is his first collection of poems. i i

hide captionBrian McGackin received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Southern California. Broetry is his first collection of poems.

Brian McGackin received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Southern California. Broetry is his first collection of poems.

Brian McGackin received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Southern California. Broetry is his first collection of poems.

The slim volume draws inspiration from non-broets, McGackin tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. Even the cover poem mirrors the famous William Carlos Williams work, "This is Just to Say," which Williams wrote as a sort-of refrigerator note to his spouse, apologizing for eating plums left in their icebox.

"A lot of poets have broetic qualities," he says. "Robert Frost liked baseball; he wrote about sports. His poetry was always very accessible. Even Shakespeare — Shakespeare was just writing about chicks."

Broetry is divided into five loosely autobiographical sections: High School to Hangovers; Sophomoronic; Girls, Girls, Graduation; Extreme Poverty Is the New Poverty; and Twenty-Five to Life.

Each section contains a variety of sonnets, haikus, and rhyming and free-verse poems, including, "O Captain! My Captain America," "Ode to Taylor Swift," "On the Origin of Reese's" and "Why Do Buses Smell?"

"If you think you don't like poetry, you just haven't found a poem that's right for you," McGackin says. "Broetry is poetry that's right for you. Broetry is a literary chili cheeseburger."

Excerpt: 'Broetry'

Broetry by Brian McGackin

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This excerpt contains language some might find offensive.

Stopping by Wawa on a Snowy Evening

Is Wawa open? Yes or no?
We need to stop if it's not closed
To stock up for the party. Shit!
But Wawa doesn't sell beer, though.

Broetry
By Brian McGackin
Hardcover, 128 pages
Quirk Books
List Price: $12.95

I'm such an ass. I must admit
I'd completely forgotten it:
Convenience stores don't sell booze here.
Now how the hell will we get lit?

We've only got two racks of beer
And one bottle of Everclear;
That's just enough for maybe three
Or four of us. It would appear

That some of us will have to be
Spending the night alcohol-free.
I guess I'll drink lemonade tea,
I guess I'll drink lemonade tea.


Final Final Fantasy

I will not spend one hundred and thirteen
hours of my life on a video game
ever again. I will not rationalize,
claiming that it is somehow "research" for
my future career as a comic book
writer. I will not allow myself to be
sucked beyond the event horizon of an
RPG situated on a distant
planet, no matter how good the graphics are
on the nubile female lead character's chest.
I will no longer waste my time seeking out
arbitrary unlockable achievements.
I am going to start beating games faster.


For Mama Celeste, as a Child

Mother cut tiny
slices for my small boy hands:
delicate pizza.

For Mama Celeste, in College

Hold up. This whole time
you were only a dollar?
You cheap, frozen whore.

For Mama Celeste, after College

Sorry about that.
Please take me back, Mama C.
I'm sick of ramen.


Why Do Buses Smell?

The young girl asks her
mother. I listen, because
I want to know, too.


He's in Miami

Just in case the Los Angeles Police Department
is looking for information on the whereabouts of
a crafty-looking Latino male, age 30, about 5'10"
and extremely skinny, who likes to smoke pot
(a lot) and play video games all day, and who
enjoys drinking Newcastle, Guinness, and high
quantities of Vitamin Water, in the interests of
any ongoing drug-related crimes in the area, for
example, illegal possession, illegal sale, or illegal
production in his friend's apartment in Los Feliz,
he's in Miami.

If you manage to track him down, please let me
know. He owes me rent, two bottles of Arizona
Green Tea, and a frozen pizza. Supreme, please.


Impact

I am making eggs, and waking up much
earlier than I would normally choose, and
also leaving the apartment in the morning,
before the slits of light shining through
the blinds would have naturally blinded me
awake anyway, and now that I mention it,
I am leaving the apartment at all, which I
am loath to do these days, since I am
jobless, prospectless, hopelessly skirting
around inevitable acceptance of the fact

—-brace yourself—-

that I might have to take a position less
than perfect for my particular skill set,
i.e., I am flat fucking broke, folks, and can
no longer afford to leave the peace and
relatively inexpensive quiet of my slowly
mold-growing cave of a home, but I go,

and not only do I go, I go to drink beer, lots
of beer, and I go to eat chicken fingers, and
most likely mozzarella sticks, and maybe wings
if someone else orders wings; I go spend
money, because it is Sunday, it is fall, it is football.


[Cover Poem]

I have finished
the beer
that was in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for Friday

Forgive me
this girl came over
so sweet
and so hot

Excerpted from Broetry by Brian McGackin. Copyright 2011 by Brian McGackin. Reprinted with permission of Quirk Books.

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