Poetry to Music Series: “Brea, 1986”


Below is an original poem titled “Brea, 1986”. My long time friend and collaborator, Andrew Mauzey, adapted this poem into song. And this isn’t the only one he’s adapted. There are more completed and still more to come, hence the idea to make this a series of posts. If anything, skim the poem, but please stay for the song.

Story Behind Poem

This is somewhat of a sensitive work that involves details too personal to share. But I’ll say this much: Channeling this experience through poiesis has been nothing short of therapeutic.

The song itself offers more by way of accompaniment, compared to the more broken-down versions in this series.

Thanks for listening!

Brea, 1986

For a day’s work, he

climbs city wall, climbs and

climbs until smiled upon

shallow fountain below; the

late morning pushes.

Shines, everything,

inside her, a

permeable static of such bliss

she has to caress

one cheek to keep from

mouthing certain words.

Sober, mom’s been

confused of who this standard

Californian is, able even to

silence signs of his sexual

association. The diver, young,

invited us here now

understands both

Arizona and Christianity, but has

heartburn from leaping

to and from the

explanation of both. Attempting

sensibility at age four; I

imagine the diver and my mother, taking

each other’s stupidity

or hate

or even a horrible experience,

and retract from deconstructing a soap opera of

such repugnance that even the

scorpion stings

on the back of my calf will remember it.

We watch, he finds the air, wings spread,


all the way down to the thin

pool. The impact wobbles

our knees, mother

covers our eyes.

Song Adaptation

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