The Poetry of Chance Chambers


by Dave Carew

Someone once said, “In a world devoid of poetry, what one must do is . . . write poetry.” One artist living and working in that spirit is Nashville-based poet and short story writer Chance Chambers. And the world is richer for it.

In a recent conversation with Underground Nashville, Chance—who also is a musician and songwriter who played in Jessica Speltz’s band in the late ‘90s and early 2000s—discussed why he’s drawn to poetry as a means of artistic expression.

“I’ve found poetry to be a less confining means of expression than music,” he said, “at least the sort of music that I’ve played and written. Still, there’s some sense of structure and form, even in free verse, and that offers just enough of an anchor and palette to satisfy my lingering songwriter sensibilities.”

Underground Nashville is proud to present the following poem by Chance Chambers:


“There’s a huge spark if you breathe it out loud.”

When she said this, I knew it had nothing to do
with getting stoned or the Vietnamese lullaby
we agreed was perfect for getting stoned.

It was about a caught breath on the gray
edge of hurricanes where a man stops
to argue with a newspaper machine.

It was the breeze from the spokes
of an ao dai girl’s bicycle as she passes,
quiet as a memory.

It was about exhaling, releasing a moment,
framed contraction of imagination and muscles,
full torso collapse into slapped-skin weariness,

and the minutes after,
when there’s more breath
against my neck and we dry and fall
asleep to a lullaby from the country
where my Father fell.

For more information please visit:

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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,” both now available at and Dave is also a freelance book editor and ghostwriter, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew




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