Alexander Chisum

The Tuba and the Cherry Tree

An abyss

widens: sleep:

o island

o island of the third, fabular


Human, there is a machine called seed.

Human, there is an instrument called tuba.

Upright in the cherry
orchard, gigantic

snail of wet brass. Un-
musicked, slithered up

from a child’s dream.

The tuba sleeps.

Golden trilobite, mouthpool

filling up with rain.

The seed sleeps.

Within the seed:

pimpled skin of future’s

ring by ring of rippled whiteness, year by year the eon spokes;

cog of root and bough;

the tic-
and-whir of leaves in wind. Each

a somnambular mechanism,



In dream gristle,
the gnarled pumpkin innards

of moon-

glow,      sleep.

Human, there is a machine called cherry tree,
rising from a tuba’s throat.


ferocious growth!

The tuba’s brass

is torn.

The horn

it does


Alexander Chisum, despite being born and raised in a small town near Reno, Nevada, is terrible at gambling. He blames his lack of blackjack skills on ineptitude rather than misfortune, however, as his good luck is exhibited by his presence in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Alabama, where he is currently pursuing an MFA. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Nashville Review, Arsenic Lobster, Bestoned, and elsewhere.


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