Posted by: tsopr | August 5, 2009

Alan Britt, American Poet

Alan Britt’s recent books are Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). The Poetry Library ( providing a free access digital library of 20th & 21st century English poetry magazines with the aim of preserving them for the future has included Britt’s work published in Fire ( UK ) in their project. Britt’s work also appears in the new anthologies, American Poets Against the War, Metropolitan Arts Press, 2009 and Vapor transatlántico (Transatlantic Steamer), a bi-lingual anthology of Latin American and North American poets, Hofstra University Press/Fondo de Cultura Económica de Mexico/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Peru, 2008. Britt recently served as Panel Chair for Poetry Studies & Creative Poetry for the PCA/ACA Conference 2007 in Boston and read poetry at Ramapo College in Mahwah , NJ (2009) and the WPA Gallery/Ward-Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River , NY (2008). Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2008. Alan currently teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown , Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formerly feral cats.


Like wool strands
through a chrysalis,
mist surrounds
the white ambulance.

A heart beats,
a soul beats.

Beautiful white and brown
field mice
behind the compost pile
harvest each heartbeat.


A star yells;
the chill is six
feet away.

A patio lattice
with the warmth
of a puma
rubs her diamonds
my naked soul.


Mr. Himmler, even if all my grandparents
were full-blooded Christians,
I’d still proclaim them Jews!

You, Sir, are a vile life form,
a parasite
sucking pus from the Devil’s wounds!

And, unfortunately, for you, Mr. H.,
I’ll be around years,
perhaps eons from now, watching
you fall asleep
each night with a warm gun in your mouth!

(After Duane Locke)

A reed in the throat of a creeper frog?

Or a pearl of some kind,
soaked with humidity?

I understand that birds sometimes
resemble verbs,
and adjectives
grow hair of sexual darkness
like mussels
below the black Gulf.

So, why do I wear this shirt of ashes
during my present encounter with grief?

After several days of grieving, I watch my grandfather
rise from his grave and stir blue ashes
around his fireplace, Tampa, Florida, circa 1962.

Then Grandfather nods his head
and I follow him through thick Florida palmettos
dreaming all the while of creepers’ topaz irises
submerged in the humid waistline of darkness.


The gutters slurp
white rain
like aluminum gazelles
straining into a crocodile-infested pool.

There are times
when the thirst for truth
completely overwhelms your sense
of trust.

Copyright © 2009 Alan Britt



  1. […] Alan Britt, American Poet « The Sound Of Poetry ReviewAug 5, 2009 … Alan Britt’s recent books are Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning … […]

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