sheet metal & 16 penny nails

by Michael Lambert

John Henry hammered a secret into my ear
& my fingers felt like the sound of murder.
He dropped dead from that machine
so I soaked him in sawdust
while I dipped my toes into a lake
whose name I can’t remember.

Tell me about the man made of wires.
The aluminum can calibrator.
The song that finally reached you.

When I came to & the gin
had taken my picture, there was a note:

If you cry hard enough
…………the drink will fill itself.


Michael Lambert is currently living in Wisconsin.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Red River Review, Symmetry Pebbles and IMG.  In 2011 he was selected as a finalist in UW-Madison’s Lit Fest, and in 2012 was awarded the Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Award at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  At age 13 he reached his pinnacle, won the D.A.R.E. essay contest, and has yet to live up to that end.