Home > Issues > PRISM 53.3 Sneak Preview: “Something Funny” by Michelle Brown

We’re a couple weeks away from launching PRISM 53.3! The issue will showcase poetry from both sides of the 49th parallel, including new work from Americans Todd Boss, Derek Sheffield and Katy E. Ellis. Work from Canadians will include a five-poem excerpt from Nora Gould‘s new manuscript Joy, breathe and new poems by Evelyn Lau and Patrick Warner.

A highlight of this issue will be two travel poems from Michelle Brown, “Something Funny” and “Sun Rises in a Chinese Hospital”. Here is a sneak preview:


Something Funny – Michelle Brown

Here’s something funny. A clamshell that you couldn’t
open. In a market, and it was definitely funny.
The others thought so. They were wiping their
eyes with dirty napkins as they watched you dig your nails in.
In the market, as the night was closing up. The people were laughing
and you were angry because you wanted it so bad, wanted
it all, the hearts and brain of it all together, and I was laughing
because it was funny, so funny, and that’s what humour is,
it’s funny because you’re afraid it’s true, and here I was laughing
at your stubby fingers, laughing at the woman scrubbing the shells
in a bucket of seawater, laughing at the sea, that impossibility,
knowing that nothing would ever be funny again
as we stood up from the table and returned to the train,
all of us laughing at you and the timing that death
seems to have, lapping at everything.


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