Titanic

BY SEAN BRENDAN-BROWN


No romance in disaster, in
blanching alive when boilers
burst. Or blinded with grease,
screaming from a galley
where steam has peeled
the face from your skull;
bravery is tits on a boar
in an engine compartment
where a pipe-wrench swings
and a flotation vest is unlaced.

I think of Jacob Astor
drowning in his favorite tweeds,
the platinum Cartier, a gift
from Edward VII, chiming half
of “Witch of the Air” before
freezing on its fob into
a glittering halibut rig; Astor
wasn’t the type to save himself
with lipstick and a wig.


The 2015 Charter Oak Award for Best Historical
FINALIST

We are pleased to announce this poem as a Notable Mention for The 2015 Charter Oak Award for Best Historical, honoring the independent press’ best writing on historical topics. The winners are selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blindly and selects the full list of 12 finalists from hundreds of entries. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final. Notable Mentions receive publication on The Coil and publication in the print journal, Footnote: A Literary Journal of History.


SEAN BRENDAN-BROWN is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently resides in Olympia, Washington. A medically-retired Marine, he is the author of three poetry chapbooks (Everything Repeated Many Times, King of Wounds, West Is a Golden Paradise), a poetry collection (No Stopping Any Time), a fiction chapbook (Monarch of Hatred), and a short story collection (Brother Dionysus). He has published with the Notre Dame Review, Wisconsin Review, Indiana Review, Texas Review, Poetry East, Southampton Review, Common Ground Review, and the University of Iowa Press anthologies American Diaspora and Like Thunder. He is the recipient of a 1997 NEA Poetry Fellowship and a 2010 NEA Fiction Fellowship.


Poem originally published on 4/22/15

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Alternating Current Press

Written by

Indie press dedicated to lit that challenges readers & has a sense of self, timelessness, & atmosphere. Publisher of @CoilMag #CoilMag (http://thecoilmag.com)

The Coil

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Alternating Current Press

Written by

Indie press dedicated to lit that challenges readers & has a sense of self, timelessness, & atmosphere. Publisher of @CoilMag #CoilMag (http://thecoilmag.com)

The Coil

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store