Brown Liquid

By Eddie Swayze

Smell that brown liquid

See it sparkle in a glass.

Come on, let it seep into your blood.

Bad circulations.

Bad breath.

You are a barfly on the run.


See beauty in that brown jewel

Glowing in the sun.

The reflections.

The refractions.

Begs you to give it a taste.

Tastes sweet on your cracked lips.


You want to quit and throw it away

But the whisky devil

Trips you down to the floor.

Gives you a sly grin.

Gives you alluring glassy eyes

And you crave for more.


Kiss the jewel in the glass.

How it softens your mind.

Feels warm in your blood.

The rush.

The sigh.

And you can’t seem to get enough.

Let it drain down through your throat.




Corroded liver.

Saturated blood.

“Come on, can’t I live?”

There is nothing left at all.

You lay still with a bouquet

Rested on your wet lips.


I studied Painting and Illustration at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1989. I continued at the same institution for Painting and Computer Graphics and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1995. I have been teaching and tutoring Art, Art History, English and Literature plus several contract-paid, art-related positions at RIT. I taught ASL under BOCES #2 and Rochester School for the Deaf.

I have been performing since 12 years old. I discovered ASL (American Sign Language) poetry in the 80’s through Peter Cook, Debbie Rennie, Clayton Valli, and other great ASL poets/performers. I began to perform my own ASL poetry ever since. I currently perform my ASL poetry along my original composed electronic music, which includes my recorded voice in the music, and create videos that relate to my poems. I presented my ASL poetry at Lovin Cup for Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam in 2009 and Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 2 in 2010 in Rochester, RIT’s Innovation and Creativity Festival in May 2010, NY, Interborough Repertory Theatre (IRT) in NYC for their Deaf Festival in 2008 and 2010, Writers and Books’ Genesee Reading Series, and many open mic venues in Rochester. My poems have been published by The Gallaudet University Press, The Tactile Mind Press, HandType Press, Clevis Hook Press, Dark Lady Poetry, Masque Publishing, and The Talon Magazine. I received The New York State Council on the Arts Special Opportunity Stipends Grant in 1998 and 2001. I also received The New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant in 1993, 1997, and 2000. I also received the Strategic Opportunity Stipends grant in 2008.

I am a visual artist, poet, performing artist, electronic music composer, actor and educator.

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