The Poetry of Chance Chambers

Chance Chambers is one of the finest poets and short-story writers working in the South today. A Top 100 winner in the Mainstream / Literary Short Story category of Writer’s Digest’s 73rd Writing Competition for his short story “Miss October,” Chance later saw that work included in the acclaimed Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology. Another of his works of short fiction appeared in the anthology Gathering: Writers of Williamson County. Chance has been a quarter-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story & New Century Writer’s Short Story Competition, a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Poetry Open, and a three-time nominee for the Sensored Starving Artist Award in fiction and poetry.  Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Chance has lived in Nashville since 1985.

Underground Nashville is honored to present this new poem by Chance Chambers, which will be followed by another later this week:

“I’m Not Interested in the Chemistry of Kisses”

by Chance Chambers

I’m not interested in the chemistry of kisses,

only the taste of you on a night broken

by the asphalt music of sirens and helicopters,

finished in a round of water meter hopscotch

in front of a stranger’s house with a fireplace

that makes your hair smell like a bonfire,

miles from any field worthy of such a burn.





I have to tell you,

I no longer have much of a stomach

for gut-burning nights.

I’ll never miss the grip

loosened by the pitch and yaw

of cocktailwinds; the friends

are always true and the ride

is, more often than other, hell-of-a.




My taste is turning for salt

and tomorrow, for the water

that touches two highways named “One,”

for the sand where I’ll write our story

next to a basket boat waiting for the tide

to lift both into a sea that cares

nothing about our chemistry

or that of our kisses,

water that only wants to carry us




we no longer float or breath,




our story sinks beneath the bellies

of bottom beasts we never met,




the basket boat fisherman alone remembers us.

For more information about Chance Chambers, please visit

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.


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