Mangled and the Demon by Santee Frazier


Mangled liked to spin the chickens,
                         liked how they danced headless
in the dirt, unable to cluck, flapping
                         their wings in the tin shack.

He ate lunch outside chicken house,
                         white plumes stuck in his taco hat,
                         eating boiled eggs and wild onions.

He smelt like livers, like chicken head,
                          his skin dark as a plum.

And as he roamed the pasture, he saw the Demon
                         on cinderblocks,
windows busted out, hood propped up,
dirt dobbler nest in the muffler.
                                                      Mangled thought
                           of tanks, of spark plugs and pistons,
of demolition, and the crunch of steel.

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Calling Collect by Santee Frazier

Contributor Notes

“Mangled and the Demon” is a piece of a longer serial poem about a character named Mangled Creekbed. At this point in Mangled’s life he has since left the circus, as a performer, and has taken to wandering the countryside doing odd jobs. The serial poem as a whole consists of 30 poems, in prose and verse forms.

Santee Frazier is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. He is the recipient of various awards including: The Truman Capote Scholarship, Syracuse University Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, and is currently the Lannan Foundation Indigenous Writer Fellow. His poems have appeared in American Poet, Narrative Magazine, Ontario Review, Ploughshares, and other literary journals. His first collection of poems Dark Thirty was released by the University of Arizona Press in 2009.