The Poetry of Chance Chambers – – Part II

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


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The Poetry of Chance Chambers – – Part II

Chance Chambers is one of the finest poets and short-story writers working in the South today. (For more about Chance, please see below.)

Underground Nashville is honored to present the following new poem by Chance Chambers, which follows the one posted earlier this week:

Happy Buddha

By Chance Chambers

I had crazy summer hair,

curled from sweat,

when Em took my picture

and said I looked like Robin Williams.


It was your birthday, too, and I

was everybody’s Happy Buddha,

nobody’s MacArthur,

as the last cinder fell on Riverfront

to the star spangled music of a thousand

cars going nowhere.


A parking garage hour is enough

to remember the night you hated

your new haircut, short and tapered

in the back, and I drank

so much my eyes crossed.


Sake and vodka, that’s a lot of alcohol

for one drink, but not enough to forget

a field marshal and bass drums marching

up the theatre aisle. I could have

touched them.


I could have touched your hand

as we walked along darkened shops,

stopping to look at sleeping cats

and someone else’s wedding dress.


I could have told you, but only

stood there cross-eyed while you

and your haircut were beautiful

in the Village windows.


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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