UNBOUND #1: Danny Caine

Shirt Pocket editors were overwhelmed by all the great submissions that we received during our last submission period. Due to budget and time constraints, we ended up saying “no” to a lot of work that we enjoyed. We would like to use this space to share some of that work with you, and perhaps help the authors place the chapbooks with other editors. Today’s featured author is Danny Caine. This poem comes from his chapbook manuscript Interstate Love Song.


Intersection of Cottesmore and Tallyho, Solon, Ohio

God said name the streets after English foxhunting shit and let every family have 3/4 acres and a narrow woods in the backyard, and it was night and it was morning: the first day. And God said let the parents watch HGTV to learn words like open concept subway tile backsplash kitchen island two car attached garage, and it was night and it was morning, the second day. And God said let the parents build big houses with open concept subway tile backsplash kitchen island two car attached garage children, and it was night and it was morning the third day. God said let a highway connect this town with the next town with the next town with the city to the north so the town’s fathers may have easy commutes; let every offramp have an Applebee’s and let every Applebee’s have a parking lot and let every Applebee’s parking lot have a Bob Evans too, and it was night and it was morning: the fourth day. And God said let the corporation that makes airplane bags of peanuts level a dairy farm to build a factory; let the factory pay property taxes to fund the schools; let the schools earn Super Excellent Plus on every year’s state report card; let every senior take 5 AP classes, and it was night and it was morning: the fifth day. And God said let the children hate it here, and it was night and it was morning the sixth day. And God said let the children totally can’t wait to get out of here; let the children graduate college and move to the cities their parents fled to come here; let the parents move further south after people with foreign names move onto their foxhunty streets; in every generation let this cycle repeat; let not the mansions crumble, let not the children stay away, if only on the holidays.

Danny Caine is the author of the chapbook Uncle Harold’s Maxwell House Haggadah (Etchings Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, New Ohio Review, DIAGRAM, Mid-American Review and other places. He reviews books for Los Angeles Review and is music editor for At Length. Hailing from Cleveland, he lives in Lawrence, Kansas where he works at Raven Book Store.