Devil’s Lake

Fall 2016 Issue

Tony Mancus: This Space Eagle Has Landed

A moon alone in the workforce

at home there. The simplest disc in the back

is a breakable plate

and us denting the future

like the tin can it’s imagined to be. One trash ring

for the planet. I don’t know

how to say I am

boring with my thought saddle

and my possession myth—

one emblem foot-holds a nation

before its inevitable plummet—the cliff

a drawn thing—our legs-a’wheeling

beneath the cartoon

graveyard of our minds. Remains are as populous

as ever but we will not be undersold

knowing another chicken is born

every minute into this egg-scratch

death race—for a bird

only knows what it can’t

steal and the oven only knows

how to make it

more than cozy after the bird’s been

cleaned right down to its wingspan,

and the moon knows more

than how to light

us spread-eagled on our beds aching

with whatever breast-death we did

or didn’t consume

as the ring grows and goes

dark behind us now.

if I put the skull next to the lampshade

and tell you I’m documenting all of the feelings created

or dispelled, will you bury your next body

in the hole nearest mine? when it comes time

to plant the cycling records so they’ll grow more luminous

over the short and straight-lined decades there’s little

mention of each drug dispensary

candy-shaped and neon

glowing along the roadside—where the cap

guns are really terrific this year.

their wanton handlers get noodle-armed at the sight

of a silhouette to make loud noises in front of

with the hope that what isn’t real and what

can be believed

converge and run away together: matchstick

in a broom closet, fit of angels

on the pinhead choked

off and pointing. the feedback loops

through a pedal until all this noise becomes

one uniformed voice

disguised as a vibrating string—a fist

among flowers

bobbing its fingered head off

TONY MANCUS is the author of a handful of chapbooks—most recently City Country (winner of the Seattle Review chapbook contest) and apologies (forthcoming from Reality Beach). He co-founded Flying Guillotine Press with Sommer Browning in 2008. He currently co-curates the In Your Ear reading series with Meg Ronan in Washington D.C. and is a chapbook editor for Barrelhouse. He lives with his wife Shannon and three yappy cats in Arlington, Virginia. More from this issue >