Saturday, December 10, 2016

Up, Down, Sideways, Across by Ann Chandler

This is a piece I particularly liked. We published it in a previous issue (#6 or #7?) Check out the back issues on the website at to see the whole piece.

Up, Down, Sideways, and Across

Ann Chandler, Wayne, NJ


Needless to say, I think we all need less to say, since mind takes over voice, takes over Length, that stretches and circles, what goes around comes around to the last sound set for beginning, for ending, into nothing, rushing in and out of mouth to lower regions, to lower meanings of self, of body, and I’m not listening to his philosophy, his curiosity on a meaningless subject merging into lessons and sayings, so I’m near the end, nearing water, bordering the edge to test my acts, so let me uncover my underneath, my underside, where we’ll all being kept here to die, but I’m alive, prime, so I’m going to stop repeating . . .

You know where to find me if you need me. Up close, close, personal, hiding behind the first line.

II. Breast

I could never brush up against the wind and transcend many things of the above and the beyond, and wave this magic wand to hope for the best, and pretend I never knew this mess, this breast that hangs over my shoulder, and some men call if my four leaf clover, the luck, the life it brings to this world, and feeds the soul in order to grow to full potential, a special body a human, not a zombie, that heart beats 190 times a minute and stop in a second and signal the gods to touch the stripping of something inside of me, when she said it’s probably something you ate, or faked, I don’t believe so. This bra holds them together to make them look better, but no one appreciates their true form, their scorn, the precious milk they deliver to the child, the lover, the pillar. The production of a machine that switched on and off when carrying a son or a daughter, how true, a miracle, although some may use it against her, a weakness, a taunt, but the breast never talks.


They e-mailed me and said my opinion wasn’t worth anything, and I should tone it down. So they kept me from getting inside the question. Where is my freedom? Where am I living so honestly conformed to their thinking, and I’m not beginning to settle my reasons for their happiness, their seriousness, and I’m weightless of all that is calm. Like mother earth, I don’t watch what I say so I’m put away, in the back of rooms. What makes us so important? The fact we mock our homeland, our home, the land we were born on, and I’m stepping outside the question, I’m stepping outside the question beside my thin short body that was once somebody, that was once one body and they tell me I should hide my mind . . .

They told me my opinion wasn’t worth anything, wasn’t worth any thing . . .

I am not a thing.

IV. The Night Before

Falling to the sound of a rhythm
Like a movement is a liquid
I am one two motions crumbling to the beat of a woman
To the drums pounding to the sound of a call
To a scream
The light a simple beam
Word, have you heard
The jokes, the smell of smoke
Treating my like a toy
The boy a symbol of survival
The woman a test to his ability to walk to talk
To wash out the connection to the belly of the dog who does tricks for his master
I am not his or his weapon to use against the outside world
Do I have a name?
People walking around me
My contractions closer and closer together
Can I hold his hand without people saying I am his?
Like my body was a thing
I am, she, real, trying to scream can he wonder why I love him?
Can he wonder where I’ve been the night before?


When there’s no source of knowledge or this garbage which I produce from top to bottom over emotion down into cellars where dwellers dwell, on things, stupid things, over some things that I can only hope to trace to embrace many of what stand and pick colors and perfect lovers that hold up to expectation, and we can reason like we can tell our favorite season, like spring, like winter, something colder, something better than sitting, than staying in a town where nobody loves you or those who cover your eyes from these bruises from these choices that have been made by ducks and geese, that kill and ask where is peace, and I ride and spray these sayings to the next working man where there is no lawyer to guide you through this unwanted land.


They wonder why we hate certain things when rings are forced onto fingers, where dinners serve to congratulate our ties, our lives together, joined by a letter which expresses our love and honor for one person, and we place them in white dresses and black tuxes over the alter, waiting, expecting them to say I do to the rest of their life just to fill a place in society where normal is viewed as the American Dream, and our mothers and fathers water color our fate with that one special mate, and then we fly out in spite of our wings . . .

They wonder why we hate certain things.

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