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Chicken Feet: poems

Seasoned writer and poet Brian Kenneth Swain knows that some seeds take longer to germinate than others. After entering a new phase of life several years ago, Swain began writing free verse that not only explored the meaning in real-life experiences, but also in the wacky and unorthodox. Swain shares truths he has stumbled upon during a unique journey from yesterday to now. In his third compilation of poetry, Swain reflects on a wide range of topics that include nature’s beauty and creatures, a confusing SAT question, the day in the life of a stone mason, the sweetness of watermelon pickles, and the morning after a party, hoping his verse ultimately sparks a younger generation to enthusiastically embrace imagery, inspiration, and ...

Sistina

Sistina, Brian Kenneth Swain’s gripping and thought-provoking new novel, is a story two thousand years in the making. The events set in motion following Christ’s crucifixion build to a crescendo during the Italian High Renaissance and will test the faith of the story’s historical and modern-day characters, as well as that of readers. When a violent earthquake damages Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoes, a team of experts undertakes the Vatican’s most important restoration in centuries, only to discover a perplexing secret hidden for five hundred years beneath the chapel’s plaster ceiling. The message, both cryptic and incomplete due to the rash actions of a tourist at the time of the quake, baffles the team and awakens ...

The Curious Habits of Man

The Curious Habits of Man shares an amusing glimpse at life as one man contemplates many of our greatest-and smallest-questions. What is the one true secret to weight loss? What is the correct way to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Is the designated hitter rule the salvation of baseball or its undoing? Is it rational to be an optimist? And-the question that haunts us all- should toilet paper unwind over the top of the roll or from underneath? In his first collection of essays, author Brian Kenneth Swain tackles hundreds of life’s questions while exploring a vast array of subjects-from tubas to two year-olds, from field goals to child labor laws, and from high school shop class to the worst round of golf ever played. With an acerbic ...

Alone in the Light

In Chechnya, a terrible mistake costs a brilliant young engineer his family. In Istanbul, an oil tanker on its maiden voyage sinks for no apparent reason. In Moscow, an astonishing new weapon threatens to upset the balance of world power. And in Sochi, a cutting-edge energy facility opens for business. Movlady Saidov is a young man struggling to navigate a tightrope between rage and love, embroiled in a complex web of conspiracy only partly of his own making. His story is fiction, but the technology, the politics, and the tension are as real as the headlines of yesterday’s newspaper. This is Swain’s most compelling thriller yet, drawing together the seemingly unrelated worlds of cryogenic fuel technology and directed energy weaponry ...

World Hunger

THEY SAY “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”… Using facts straight from today’s headlines, Brian Kenneth Swain, author of World Hunger, takes a fictional but frightening “what-if” look at the genetically modified foods currently being grown and consumed around the world. Looking through the eyes of the three major players: the corporate giants that control the purse strings, the scientists who are trying to play by the rules of ethics, and the environmentalists who vehemently oppose this exploitation of nature, Swain tells a gripping story of exploitation versus assistance. He says, “The concept behind World Hunger centers on the most controversial option for feeding the world’s hungry. Do those ...

My America

My America is a poem that examines the full range of human experience and emotion in the context of everyday places and images. From urban to rural, from the coasts to the plains, the stories are of ordinary people, their loves, their fears, and their dreams. It is “Winesburg, Ohio,” “Leaves of Grass” and “On the Road”, rolled up in one audacious and unforgettable journey. The project came about in 2005. As Hurricane Rita approached Houston, Texas, residents were ordered to evacuate. I spent a week driving across the southeast, and, having no particular destination, took the opportunity to visit many small towns one would normally never encounter if one stuck to the major highways. From each town that I ...

Secret Places

Secret Places by Brian Kenneth Swain is worth a look.  This is a competent, well-balanced collection of free verse narrative poems that engage the reader in the author’s reflections on love, war, friendship, family, death and even Leonardo Da Vinci. “To An Old Friend Across the Ocean” is a fine example of the “epistolary” (letter) poem, written in this case to a dead friend. The poet discloses that he has written several letters to his friend in the past that have gone unanswered, until one day he finds an envelope from your address/ but with my name/ written in an unfamiliar hand. He discovers that the letter is from The one who lived with you./ The one who knew no English./ The one who tolerated/ my bad ...