The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Daniel Lassell

Something to Do




             “One Hucks employee said the business already has a space where the slot machines will go;
              machines that have residents on both sides of the fence.

              ‘I think it’s a little ridiculous actually,’ resident, Amanda [S] said. ‘I’m not sure who exactly would,
              I don’t know, sit and play anything in a gas station.’”

                                       —KFVS News, May 19, 2015


Here, it is a common practice
to brown with age, to enjoy the little triumphs
of stagnation,

like the clanging bell
that announces entry, that shakes loose
a cluster of lottery slips.

See how the barrier reef of a molded wall
illuminates a display
of Twinkies and trail mix?

Two people, slouched beneath the flickering,
play an aisle of slot machines,
pulling the levers of their incomes.

One has a fountain soda,
the other a corn dog.
In the bathroom, a toilet gives back.




DANIEL LASSELL grew up on a llama and alpaca farm in Kentucky. He is the winner of a William J. Maier Writing Award, runner-up for the 2016 Bermuda Triangle Prize and the 2016 New Writers Award, and a finalist for the 2017 Nancy D. Hargrove Editors' Prize. His poetry can be found or is forthcoming in recent issues of Lunch Ticket, Yemassee, Hotel Amerika, Rust+Moth, One, and elsewhere. Last year, he received Best New Poets and Pushcart Prize nominations from Pembroke Magazine. He lives with his wife and son in Fort Collins, Colorado.



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