I have authored a devil
to cull in me
to lace these boots with rainbows and wade the bogs to
Breathe smoke in the cryogeny
Break dismal syntax
of existing as
— from “Lottery”
Think back to before the digital sky overshadowed the world. Think back to small hands, poppy seeds, summer scenery, vermillion skies, and the sound of a film spool falling off its wheel. Think back to when the clouds were the movies of the sky. The Sun gave way to set changes, blue skies to backdrops, and the moon – a final curtain call.
Zach Johnson’s Chandelier (Broken Sleep Books) is the evil color of sundown mixed with mother’s voice; the way scenery sets mood, and day turns night turns day, and the “dust brews like strong forgotten tea.” This chapbook is a fight between what should be good, and what follows during when the moon goes down. It is English language caught between the tides.
Because we are the authors of devils. Because we only know our story through the science and the syntax and the skylines. Because we breathe the smoke and duck the “wide swing satellites.” Because we exist, we can continue to swing from this fragile chandelier, and “wait for a coffin to shake / or a pallbearer to die / while the grave, for me, / already darkly / hollows.”