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Poem: "Fairy Tale" By Sam Sax

"can you believe / there’s freedom in being so out / of control you can pass through / a man unseen"

Posted on July 19, 2016, at 11:42 a.m. ET

a boy’s kicked out of his house

so he moves into the baths

+ becomes the steam

men breathe in + out again

+ this is a kind of homecoming,

tendriled in these strange lung

gutters, aqueduct full & emptying

of mucous & curses. god

as he passes through a hand

clamped over a drooling mouth.

god as he’s sucked back up

inside a body. can you believe

there’s freedom in being so out

of control you can pass through

a man unseen, lay dormant

as an idea or disease until

you remerge years later

through his speech or semen?

in this way the men bring him

into their homes, kiss him

onto their wive’s + children’s

sleeping foreheads. in this way,

the boy is everywhere + everywhere

is the boy. sort of how matter

can never be created or destroyed,

that same idea, just much

much sadder.



Sam Sax is a 2015 NEA Fellow and finalist for The Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He is a poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he serves as the Editor-in-chief of Bat City Review. He is the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014), sad boy / detective (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and All The Rage (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016). His poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Guernica, Poetry Magazine, and other journals.

  • Picture of Sam Sax

    Sam Sax is a 2015 NEA Fellow and finalist for The Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He’s a poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he serves as the Editor-in-chief of Bat City Review. He’s the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion & author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014) + sad boy / detective (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) + All The Rage (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016). His poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Guernica, Poetry Magazine, + other journals.

    Contact Sam Sax at saeed.jones+samsax@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

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