Poetry from Lewis LaCook


at night the brain loves to torment me
talking to the one not here

in my body I’m trying to crawl out of my body
I’m coming to get you

night draws a bow across the brain
throat bores a hole into everything I say to you

in my body you’re trying to crawl out of your body
room piled to the ceiling with thread

the brain loves to be tied up
fireflies disappear in late August 

To do

well tomorrow there won’t be any beautiful distance
between you and the still lives of hours

at least today the brain’s not watching
far above your head a jet squeals as it splits the sky

if you’ve got time to think about
the sky and what harms it
maybe you could walk farther away

maybe you could stitch back together
what’s left of the ground under your feet

The day Pan died

the day Pan died it sunshined
then puckered up like I insulted her

alright I’ll let you cut me

the day Pan died wildflowers rioted in ditches
foaming stalled white over deer bone grin

when she smiles at us broken animals
when we smile back with crowds of teeth

I tried my best as a sullied tongue
seeking what the pipes implied
soft piles drifting

we had to make everything with our hands
even our hands

The novitiate

in sleep country we count stars behind our eyes
dark engines that gasp and spark over our heads
on a pinched afternoon I’m lazy with cloud-cover

in the dark I pause at the screen door
drenched in longing from the beat of crickets
everything I will never be just out of reach

what god could be trusted with the color blue
that didn’t slip out of the woods
what novitiate lilts in bourbon-bronze fumes

on the hissing roads of sleep country we billow
our gods made of the blood of dog days
the willow sobs on my bare chest

everything I’ve ever been runs down our legs
waiting for you to fall out of the woods

As a child, on interstate trips, Lewis LaCook thought the moon was following his family’s Econoline van. Upon reaching adulthood, he couldn’t tell whether the truth disappointed or relieved him, so he started writing things down. Some of these things looked like poems, and they may have appeared in journals like Anti-Heroin Chic,  Lost And Found Times, Otoliths,Unlikely Stories,Whiskey Tit, Lotus-eater, Synchronized Chaos, Argotist Online Poetry, Medusa’s Kitchen, Reapthrill, Exist Otherwise  and Slope, among others. In 2012 BlazeVOX published Beyond the Bother of Sunlight, a book-length collaboration with Sheila E. Murphy; previously, Anabasis published his book-length poem Cling. His collection My Kinship with the Lotus-eaters was published in 2022 by BlazeVOX.(http://wp.blazevox.org/product/my-kinship-with-the-lotus-eaters-by-lewis-lacook/) Lewis can often be found wandering the wilds of Western New York state with his wife Lindsay.

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