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and to think i saw it on floyd terrace

Tim Martin's Sonnet Project

Thursday, June 26, 2014

home again

            I’ve always wanted
                        the balls
to start a poem like that

     it’s after dinner &
I’m practically forty
     the one night stand last
     was obliging enough
tho, I am sure, bored
at my beige corduroy chair amid tennessee
williams background & notes recounting
how much money my old roommate owes

the crime is neither of us takes the time

to pay respect to the dead
            even on high holy days
too french, you say
to speak of deaths of fire and of stone
            or the ghastly waters
            that hitchhike up our veins
in time for the charcuterie to arrive
            (at forty, I can afford the good cheese)
as we indulge in a planned amnesia
long enough to pass communal stories
in our Sunday best

the best of our outside voices
come to announce our forgetting
of the indiscreet
diaspora of those I care for
we all end up
under the employ
one way or another
and learn to hustle even
in our waking hours
and very edge of our hard
earned beds

this can be a prayer, if you like
the kind of plea for justice,
for past pleasures,
karma to swallow the heart
of the old gossip who stands indignant
on the corner certain
someone has stolen her tomatoes,
for one of the good days,
for Chris, whose father died,
for too many grieving friends to
name like column inches
of newsprint giving honor &
at least memory to our

it is summer again,
I thought we’d just lived through the last one
with the rains in my boots ever present
while my friends choke
back the ash of western

I once was a singer
and after four days rested
seems as though I am stuck
in accidental harmony
a flaw between my ear & throat
not all rhymes have reason

never to hit the true note
I’ve made a career out of the misheard

Bryn Mawr

Monday, October 22, 2012

Penny Drops

Penny Drops

peace comes with gravity
I mean, there is no true shoe
to carve our feet into
but that adage of the tinker
exhausted, hour-slave at the wake
to become  amazed by ocean views
these days are a sea change
of deaths come in threes,  a sleep no
more when nights on the porch provoke
enough of the kool aid we forgot to sip
sober millennial houseworkers unite in song
torn carpets,  unkept gardens are union brands
we know as we know movie quotes
oh, those with nothing to lose

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Forgeries of Jealousy

Dear Joan-whoever-you-are-now,
are phoenixes just boojums of reincarnation?
they have taken the seats out of the theater
& my pulse is adjusting to middle aged rythmns
i wish there was more time for mothering
since they took photos of drag queens on Thursday
it was dance that replaced irony
there are a thousand words for sarcasm
just like eskimos and snow, here
in my fantasy we become hydras
my many tongues crave detail
& wine and coca cola, you call it bamboo
even in texas, there is strategy
where people’s eyes are dedicated to the fire

Monday, January 30, 2012

It’s Come to This

instead of combing a paper full of news
we only truly enjoy predictions
when the lights need to stay on
& there is time to practice excuses
there is a science dedicated to disappearing
amidst flamenco dancers and their guitarists
so i keep a passport in my nightstand
ready in case of the untelevised riot
we cringe at the silent spring
ignoring the notion under cover of social niceties
where i am an elvis with rattling chest
who does not despise the gambler
even though it is his faults
that remind me how i must survive

Monday, November 28, 2011

Your Ride is Here

here is a list of facts i have told
you & was completely wrong
the sky is made of empty gestures
that dance with a kind of duende
and make the shadow of joy on the ground
we meet in places we cannot be found
with public service messages pinned to my sleeve
they appropriate the names of bands that
play the tourist in a garden of french accents
in my five year plans there are no years after
my confidence calls for a vote
and  is a decisive voice that repeats in my ear
it is philadelphia in the autumn
and the sky is made of falling objects