"Princes and Charmers" and "Roach Giant"

Princes and Charmers


we felt fucking great
at the 1984 World’s Fair

            When Doves Cry

            was one of our main jams
            that summer

   & it wasn’t your typical
teenage royalty
on the town     situation

  after 10 the rides got cheap
and the loves got piled
onto laps and strapped in

for the lights and the music–
 the round and round
still a trip

            the city still delightfully shitty
            all by the water where it should be
        defiance in its best playful strain

   something about the clouds and us mixed

 it never rained

                           we did it again and again
                           all summer



Roach Giant

And after I just see the
Are you kidding me? -size
cockroach, somehow not
fleeing the scything foot,
then I see why– he’s a roach
with a fuzzball sidecar!

got a fuzzball sidecar tagalong
anchor weight in nano-ounces
yet enough to lame him
as he ouijas to the corner
behind clawfoot tub
and I’m suddenly sympathetic

I too have started mornings
with kites made of lead
flying off foot, pushing a big
lint racket up the mountain
blowing my own levee
ruining for the hills

I go into the next room
and write these lines down

He appears again!
as I return to the bathroom
& just after I had written
the previous sympathy bit
he now flagrantly forces the kill

I return with paper towel
but when going in for said kill
he goes belly-up
and does the ill-pickle
leg-wiggle thing

so half against my will again
with the towel
I perform a fuzzball-ectomy
(just last week I lost a dog)
and send him on his way


These selections are from Meaningful Poems, a forthcoming collaboration with Christopher Shipman.



Brett Evans studied at Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama, Drexel University, and the less-than-mean-now streets of New York City before returning to his hometown of New Orleans. Recent poems about Vienna appear in the Xavier Review and a poem about Sicily in the Italian-American Digest. Less traveled work can be found in his Slosh Models collection, as well as in Ready-to-Eat Individual (with Frank Sherlock) and The T. Rex Parade (with Christopher Shipman).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 23:56