Civilian Aboard U.S. Navy Ship at Sea. Number 3 in the second volume of our limited-edition Summer Kitchen Series. Click here to order your copy.
Published: July 31, 2011 [49 copies]
Jonathan Bracker, born in New York City in 1936, grew up in Louisiana and Texas. Bracker attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied creative writing under Frederick Eckman. Teaching English at colleges in Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California, he enjoyed being a civilian college teacher on U.S. Navy ships at sea under the aegis of P.A.C.E. (Program for Afloat Colleges Education). His previous chapbooks are: Constellations of Clover (Prickly Pear Press: 1973), Duplicate Keys (Thorp Springs Press: 1977), Some Poems About Women (Bootleg Press: 1993), and Paris Sketches (Thorp Springs Press: 2005). Bracker has lived in San Francisco since 1973.
Learning at Sea
The mind is no great thinker I have thought
but only now begin to sense this may be true.
Making my stands on deck, legs braced
against the new movement,
I find I am more at one
with the brown albatross or gooney bird
in its utilitarian swoop
and the stars that faithfully muster
than with constructing my future.
This living at sea having drugged my intellect,
I hope I am ignorant,
unconcerned with happiness or its lack.
After dinner I wait topside for a student jogging
to finish and approach readily. Sunset coppers us.
During these courses my shoulders get touched
and my knees when two sit to confer.
The heart can be one’s mind is how I feel.
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