Tyler Cain Lacy


Driving Dad’s Jeep

Brother says Mom said
our cousin Wes

is on death-row in Texas


                 was having trouble with a guy he worked with

in the oil-field so

                 out of nowhere in the middle of

nowhere said             that’s it

let’s settle this right here
                right now

but the other guy walked away

Wes got so pissed
that he walked off that

he got in the work truck

ran him over not once
but twice

                 Several hours later

another group of roustabouts
found him driving

in circles

around the body


He confessed to the cops and Mom

fears he’ll be given the electric chair             After all

it is Texas

                 Brother says
which is the worst place

to be any kind
of bad

                I shrug and nod


that we are such

a family

                 Little Brother isn’t wearing a seat belt
in the back seat             We hit a bump

and everyone’s okay but Brother looks
at Little Brother in the rearview mirror

and says “Whoa there             you were almost

a Little Ginger Splat             buddy.”



If I were an astronaut
the first thing I’d do is
fill the window of
my mask with the Earth,
snub out the moon with
my white-fisted glove
and the last thing I’d ever do
is go for the sun. Ouch
to feel the burn like a tattoo
you woke up drunk
from getting, especially if
it was something stupid
like a sun around your belly-
button, or a made-up tribal
symbol with no meaning
or even worse, a Chinese character
you thought meant strength or
courage only to have people
laughing and pointing at
your bicep all over Chinatown.
I’d act out entire space
movies in my head, all
the parts line by line
if for no other reason than boredom.
Last night in an Oregon movie
theater an ex-astronaut got kicked
out from Gravity after yelling
drunkenly at the screen.
He had no one else
to talk to about that feeling, being lost
in the world, out of the world.
No one talked back.
Tonight is dark and bright
signs scream at me
to buy this or that or
this and that. I follow
the white Binny’s sign and head
in for wine and beer, where lost
in the aisles, a clerk in maroon
fixes me with a beady
stare. “What’re you doing, tracking
prices for our competitors?” “What?”
I say, writing in my notebook,
“No, I’m working out a poem.”
“Oh.” He moves on.
Everyone has the dream
where they show up to school, find everyone
laughing at them, and only then
realize they’re only wearing
their undies. “Oh.”
I wore an astronaut suit
to school one day for no reason
and everyone laughed
in my dream. Too many poems
have been written about the moon
though. I check out.
A green sign at the laundry
in the window simply
An old lady sits alone
at a hot dog joint pouring
Coke into a styrofoam cup
watching it fizz
across the street
from a construction site for a new
hospital ward. A huge grey chunk
of concrete sits loudly
by my house next to
an empty port-a-potty like
a space station. I never believed
in the moon, that we ever landed
there. It’s too easy to stage
a fan blowing air onto an American flag
in some vast Hollywood warehouse, Universal
Studios. Plus, it doesn’t affect me either
way. I’m here and don’t know what
to do as it is, just look at the lost
cabby’s face reflected by
his GPS screen telling him where to go.
An other-worldly sound comes
toward me. It is a concrete truck


Tyler Cain Lacy is a New Mexican living in Chicago. He is the author of Reus (PressBoardPress, 2014) and his work has appeared in Stolen Island, Sprung Formal, Caliban, and elimae, among others. Find more at http://tclacy.tumblr.com/