Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 33
Summer Solstice, 2019

New Works

Evan Nicholls


This is where you start. Drying out. There are baskets hanging from the ceiling. There are sunflowers by the bunch, dangling from a beam. Faces of black all percolating, asking you what exactly you are. Like anything, when you are green, you are not ready to open or be opened. Do not come out of the garden house. This is how you survive: Eat all of the sunflowers' seeds. Chew on coriander to pass the time. Play with chinese lanterns. The haggard pot of mums in the corner will treat you like a son or a daughter. She will teach you how to open. She will teach you how to leave. This is how you leave: Wear a white chemisier, a blue cotton suit, a wicker necktie. Chrysanthemum is a seamstress, she will have worked late nights on these, she will have even included some of her own parts in the design. Then, tie a bow on your head in jute. Step out into the garden. Announce to the place what your mum always told you: I am a gift, I am a gift, I am a gift.


Heirloom tomatoes, plump bellies protruding in rows on the farm— this is where a child like me is a child, picking up bruised pustule beefsteaks from the ground. I dumped them in an old cement bucket, they had such a smell. And the barn had a pussycat, so fluent in mouse we called him Lee Harvey Oswald. When he died, we buried him by the boxwood stump. What should we have done with his personal effects? His mice bones and his overalls... Put them in a bucket too? Airlift them away? Down a ways, there is a rickety house so rich in bees you'd imagine they could pick it up by the gables. Like a stomach over a waistband. When the house slumps, where will we put its weight? And dead bell of bee shell in my left breast pocket. Everything has a birthright which is a body which is numbered. If a poem has a body, this is the rump.

The Bomb

is composed of black pepper and gunpowder matcha and other multitudes. It is in the shape of a pipe and makes a sound like a syncopated concerto, like jazz, like an art film or a collage. It is a pipe bomb full of tobacco and pepper steak and green tea and weirdo music. Any second now, it will go off— hear the ticking that is not a ticking but actually just timbales? What is this thing, anyways? Someone must have cracked open the bubble of a television on their navel, an otter and his oyster, then tossed in a tornado, generous chunks of red snapper, cow parts, white noise, flowers and rain. Used a funnel to niagara the recipe down a PVC tube, gigantic wine cork plugging the opposite end. And everyone will grope at it now, climb over each other to throw the thing up in the air. Everyone will pass the involuntary baton, all while it is cooking, till finally somebody chucks it into the sky like a graduation cap. The clouds will shower us in food. When it does go off, we are all so surprised how many faces are covered in beef tartare. All so surprised at the silence of congratulations.

Evan Nicholls has work appearing in Passages North, Maudlin House, THRUSH, Pithead Chapel, GASHER and Whurk among others. He is from Fauquier County, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @nicholls_evan.