EMOTIONOGRAPHY

unique collaboration of art, poetry, and voice
     

BROKEN COMPASS
1977-1984
 


by Jerry Browning    

 


The poems in Broken Compass are for the most part in the order of writing from my first poem in Athens, Ohio as a sophomore at Ohio University.  They progress through the hitch-hiking, rock climbing days to the cowboy clubbing idiot that wanted to settle down but couldn't shake adventure's tempestuous call.

1977

     Child of the World
..about seeing a shooting star and feeling the insignificance of being on this tiny planet...this started it all, my first poem

     I Am Old
..a Christian's view of looking back on their life and forward to the next one....written for my grandparents when I was a teenager...this is the poem I showed her in the piece "
Sensasia"

     Stroke of Midnight
..a look at the underbelly of the world around a novice poet

1978

     Sunward
..about taking off on his motorcycle and riding towards god know where

     Life Longing
..a  naive dream of what love and marriage should eventually be

     Masterpiece
..first love poem I ever wrote...I love looking back on the old ones and smile at the naivety

     Spirit of Eve
..about an innocent young man's view of girl he places on a pedestal

     Marilyn
..a take on the sad life of Marilyn Monroe

     Timeless
..written to my first love when I realized there was no way fate would ever let us be together and I took off for the bright lights and big city

     True Love
..written for my little sister when I decided to leave home and head for Texas

My last quarter at Ohio University was fall of 1978.   My best friend, John Palombo and I packed a U-haul trailer and hitched it to my old Chevy Nova and headed for Texas.  We left New Year's Day of 1979 heading for Dallas and those beautiful cheerleaders but ended up heading into the worst ice storm in that part of the country in half a century.  Unfortunately we couldn't get an apartment without a job or a job without an apartment.  A old college roommate of mine had a brother who lived in Houston, so we decided to head down there.  He let us crash at his apartment for the night and told us where there was a construction site that was hiring.  The next day we got lost and went to the wrong site, but were hired on the spot.  We bought a newspaper and found an apartment that offered the first month's rent for free.  So, Houston became our new home.

1979

     The Last Mustang
..this is one of most popular poems receiving hundreds of views a month...about the the end of the dream of the old west and what it stood for

     Stormy Night

..about loving your family and friends.....written while visiting my parents and realizing that shelter I grew up beneath was gone for me forever

1980

     Street Wise
..written before rap...about the plight of a poor inner city kid and the vortex that is the ghetto

     Sandscript
..about the anguish at watching the fall of a great empire

     The Crusader

..about my journey into life and those I've left behind.

1981

     Butterfly Effect
..about the death of John Lennon...written on a hangover

     Charlie Thrash
..this is a true story....I went to the geriatric home in my hometown to do a speech for a public speaking assignment in college.

     Beer
.the way the art works on this poem may be better than the poem itself...that's ok, I like beer!

     Mason Jar
..about the thoughts of a man trapped in a coma

     Song of the Serpent
..a gritty little ditty about a naughty man trying to have his way with something sweet and pretty...LOL

     Visionarium
.about that alternate existence that we enter when we turn out the lights on this one to start another day

     Raindrop
..a comparison of the circle of life and drop of rain

     Sizzling Rain
..about the loneliest night of a man's young life

     Earliest Memory
..about a real dream I used to have and a real memory of my mother's reaction of not wanting to hear it because it disturbed her....feels kind of like a foreshadowing of my life

     On the Air Waves
..poetry and art are merely arrows shot into the infinite mind

     Legacy

..an alien's view of the earth millions of years from now

 

1982

     To A Son Unknown
..I went through a abortion with a girl when I was young and will be haunted by it for the rest of my life

   
  Too Long
..written when I used to hang out in the "Urban Cowboy" dancehalls in Houston back in the 80s

     Paula’s Poem
..how much does a beautiful woman define nature?...we poet's try but never quite get there

     Savannah
..about the seasons of life in all their raw glory

     March 6, 1982
..about the death of John Belushi

     Exorcism
..about the drive to push the frustration of the world away with iron. My buddy John and I used to hit the gym so hard in those days that we wouldn't quit until one of us threw up.


     Let’s Run
..written in the Harris county jail...I got in a barroom brawl over a woman and landed two counts of assaulting a police officer, public intoxication, and a few old traffic warrants...I had to memorize this because I didn't have a pencil and paper

     Crescent Moon
..portrait of the awkward feeling before the first kiss and onward from there.


     After the Rapture
..about a guy who missed the rapture - I was raised a Southern Baptist and my grandfather was a Baptist preacher. I wrote this long before the "Left Behind" series that became so popular with the evangelicals.

     Translucence
..about the realization that not even Homer and Shakespeare will be remembered forever

     Left Lane
..portrays a the thoughts that gnaw on a young man's soul as he leaves home to head out on his own

     Broken Glass
..about how being grounded to your room looks through the eyes of a young boy.


     Total Eclipse
.. wondering how long before someone pushes "the button"

     Endless Night
..about waiting for the end...you know they don't want you anymore, but you refuse to see it until it dawns upon you on an endless night...please let me sleep!

     Enchanted Rock
..about rock climbing at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, Texas and that deep fear we love to hide and challenge

     Human Race

..about the marathon of life...how much ground have you covered?
 

1983

     Déjà Vu
..about seeing someone for the first time and knowing you've loved them somewhere before

     Puzzles
..about loving a beautiful, innocent girl who's demons somehow prevent her from letting go and giving you her all

     Today
..about that moment when a man realizes her push a woman he loves too far...maybe over the brink!

     Thanatos Lullaby
..about succumbing to the big sleep and how it's just part of the circle of life

     Just Words
..about the realization that it doesn't matter what I or anyone else writes or says...they're just words

     Lighthouse Belle
..about a woman who's you guiding light and shelter from the storm


     Rachel
..about the a young mother's hellish choice to give her baby up for it's own good

     Bedtime Stories
..written for the first girl I lived with. I was learning a lot quickly

     Lost and Found
..about being lost in the forest, but finding your soul

     Mental Menopause
..written ten years before I got married and probably why I was thirty-two before I did.  Sometimes I think I had premonitions and saw events such as my midlife crisis coming when I was twenty-three although I did figure I'd live to be thirty.

     Letting Go

..about finally being able to truly let go of someone you're dearly in love with
 

1984

     Misty Dawn
..an analogy of a tryst with a beautiful woman and the long shadow of possible nuclear war....really

     Malnutrition
..a brief and direct take on the death of a romance

     Blue Sunday
..reminiscing about a lost lover on a lonely weekend day

     Bigot
..about life from the view point of a stupid bigot.

     Sensasia
..about being led to the other side after death by a loved one who's passed before you

     Let the People Talk

..heading back to the single world appreciating the relationship that broke apart instead of being angry or sad about it...a guide on how to break up with a lover with a touch of class

 

 

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 BOOK 2


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