Chandler Lewis




Live in chairs exactly the right size,            
buckle-cinch their minds' guts out,
grind seedcorn-crown off a tooth's
scarred plate, gesture their remotes.

Grief is a greed. Caul-veiled stalker
betroths the town to night. Blood's
purr fills the ear with new longings
to walk the tracks, to see their ends.



You wake to a truck. Slept hard as
a log. Arise with some wood. Press
sludge into reams & hock the time
with gnarly news for the timebeing.

Then wrestle with what to say next:
Reorganize perspective, chemically,
& with fistulaic void between saids
& unsaid, recite your new alphabet.



There're men against whom you've
been plotting. These men, they are
quick to anger, occupy comfort like
stench nosed backwards in memory.

These men, they know what a limit's
advantage will be, paraphrase muscle
curtails behind a glowering expression
and progeny's an easy excuse to make.



With a yellowed talon the harrishawk's
hooked the ground squirrel's spine and
dropped it from altitude. The gambler
advises: Don't ever deal w/ bloody fist.

A cramped crawlspace has occupied
our house's history. The men would
sanitize the afternoon disassembling
the Ruger, disemboweling a rooster.



These are men worth fighting for if
no one fights them then they'll win.
The men will slop the jug, & dance
a jig, & play some line, & multiply.

Smelt a piston & hone the bore &
decoke the head & walk off the hit
& order a strike & embargo placid
emotion, & trust somehow in you.






 These poems came out of my friend Bean and me talking about the difference between men and women. How like our brains are different. How men are supposed to be all engineering-brained, and women get the psychology of people and stuff. And she said how wrong that is. Bean isn't planning on being a scientist or anything.  It's just that she's got all these things in her head.  Not facts.  I mean, things like trivial stuff.  Names for things you'd never in a million years even need to know, like “brown sound.”  That's a frequency, like a super-low sound, that makes people poop when they hear it.  So, you know, brown equals poop, right?  I don't know, like 20 hertz or something?  But anyway, that's the kind of thing Bean knows.  It's like she was clicking on some random wikipage and somehow knew and understood all the stuff she saw.  Like Cam Jansen, remember that?  “Click!”  I used to go around doing that all the time.  I'd go up to my mom and be like “Click!” and hold my hand up like this, like I was holding some huge-ass old camera I guess, I didn't even really know what I was doing, and my mom was like, I think we better get you tested.  I loved those books though.  But even when I'd do that click thing, I never actually took a mental picture.  Not like at all.  Do you think that's what the book was doing, like trying to teach little kids how to have a photogenic memory?  ‘Cause I don't think that works.  It's not like you can just learn a technique – not even a technique, it's just a sound and a thing you do with your hands! – and like suddenly you'll be able to remember stuff.  I know I couldn't.  So, yeah, fail.  Whoever wrote that book, your dreams of creating millions of little kids who were brilliant, that didn't really pan out, did it? Maybe it was a book about a really smart girl.  A really gifted girl. That makes sense.  That someone'ld write a book about her.  She's so unique and all.  But you know what else I don't get?  About people who can do that?  Who can take pictures in their brains?  How do they know what they see later is right?  Like, I imagine stuff all the time, like me “remembering” that we saw Chip and Dale at Disney, and then later it turned out that was on the video we saw on the busride to Disney.  But in my head, there's Chip and there's Dale and I'm watching them stand next to me so Bean I think or maybe it was mom could take a picture? So I wrote these poems and now I don't know if I could engineer anything. A little model train maybe. Like not even N-scale. I'm talking z-scale.

PS Bean told me to tell you I got it all wrong and that these poems are about Trump.