Evan Williams



My brother and I sat on a wall and talked
when it started to snow. We wondered,
If one were craving snow, would they be hungry or thirsty?

We went sledding and I asked to be buried like tourists do on beaches,
so that I might tilt my head and make a ramp for his sled.
I left with a slight crack above my ear, and woke up on Christmas morning.

Santa brought my brother a drum set.
He headbutts the cymbal and sprouts a crack.
He wears the hi-hat so no one will see. Our fractured heads leak
in tandem at breakfast, an eggy goop, and people
think we are twins because of this simultaneity.

I've bought us bandanas so that people might think we are bikers instead.
We take to the road in faux leather jackets
to maintain this illusion. We do not wear helmets on our already-broken heads.
We conclude that we have come from eggs, and abstain from diner counters.

I can only assume that some time soon our heads will burst from the inside out                                           
to reveal smaller versions of ourselves. We will need new bandanas, and to have our jackets re-sized.





In my special coat, I am a tall man.
I am a special man in my tall coat.
I am a man in my tall, special coat.


When I marry, I will paint my tall coat a special white.
I will attach a veil to its collar.
I am a man who enjoys beautiful face drapery.
I will be taller than the priest, who will be specially-picked.


Each morning of my marriage, I will tell a tall tale to my special person.
Our windows will be coated with scenes in stained glass.
Listen, I will say, of all the special men I have dreamed to be.


In my tall coat on the high seas, I am the Gorton's Fisherman.
If I'm feeling shaven, I might be a maestro with my special coat.
I want to be Billy Joel. Without my coat
I'm just a regular man who never learned to play the piano.
I started a fire and hid inside my special coat.
The fire became tall and I wanted to become a fire.
In my tall coat I ate a special pepper and breathed fire.
What sorts of men become dragons, and who are their tailors?
St. George gave me water in a tall glass to drink.


Lying in bed in a medicine coat, I am treated like a special man.
My spouse brings me tall bowls of special broth and irons my coat.
The gravedigger leaves sacks of dirt on my doorstep in his special coat.
I would want to be a gravedigger if I could carry a scythe.
The reaper would not be so grim were his coat a touch more special.


I had a portrait commissioned, of my special coat.
It was held by a mannequin, a tall one with shoulders like me.
I stood in the corner, especially naked.


In my naked coat, I am a corner man.
I am a naked man in my corner coat.
I am a corner in my naked coat.





Tall Man: Last winter I bought a second-hand trench coat, a departure from my usual dress, and began to make up one-line stories about who this dressed up me might be. I was taking a poetry course at the time and thinking about iterative writing/speech, which is where the style/structure of the poem began.

Zen: During winter break of my second year in Chicago, I came home to sled with my little brother and sister. I was taking a biology class at the time, and thinking a lot about amnions, cell reproduction, and my dad's weekend breakfast specialty, eggs. We had some minor sledding injuries that night, Santa did bring a drum set, and my brother got upset because he didn't get a motorcycle.