.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

and to think i saw it on floyd terrace

Tim Martin's Sonnet Project

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Tree Love

thrust to the branches
screaming about everything
“i’m regulated”
to the trees and country
“hands are over my head”
with anatomy of clay
sprayed head to foot
with comic book colors
this state is unreal
i am made & remade
in the larchwood
which trades its needles
for this carnival performance
of the children of the sex of the state

Monday, June 28, 2004

I’ve Been Everywhere

Iowa City pizza parlor,
anonymous lodge in Jackson Hole,
broken wagon in Carlisle,
Laramie, Reno, Colorado Springs,
one-room cabin in Huson,
two-floor apartment in Boulder,
row home in Bryn Mawr,
mexican restaurant in Spokane,
gambling stop in Windover,
hot springs of Lolo, hot pavement of Soho,
darkest night in Anchorage,
calmest sleep in Marshaltown,
woken by horses in Garyowen,
I’ve been everywhere

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Cast Down Your Buckets Where You Are

to fathom the ad naseum
of farmers and teachers and stagehands
expanding days into seasons
i’ve been working on the railroad
all this for $100/week
the weather never changes
but pours down on the tin roof
leaving red hands prints on the wall
this is where the story begins
a mark to signify innocence
placed all over folklore & uttered
continuously in the parlance of the county
only to be a two-hour solipsist
go away, i’m through with you

Saturday, June 26, 2004


i have a computer problem and so have been unable to post. sorry folks.
hopefully it will be taken care of this week.

Froggie Went A-Courtin'

the most hateful things begin
the most serpendipitous capers
beneath the cloak & dagger
all is cheer and ambition
giving out new names
like paranoia post-Reagan era
re-shooting scenes from slasher flicks
as if Aesop was a Torquemada
of epigrams or haiku
we give eachother
so must die

It is the last part that matters
All's well that ends

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Friday afternoon in Bryn Mawr
is there nothing serious
in traffic, children play
backgammon or a game
with magnets like me
clinging to their seats
the rhythm of black chip,
white chip, another light
change, Mom looks happier
i finish a bottle of water
take photo, throw away brown
lunch bag & pack up books
moving all the while
all the while moving

Monday, June 21, 2004

“Irony displaced the guitar hero”- Steven Taylor

irony displaced the guitar hero
in the science project of youth
beakers and glass tubes are fragile
but the cd player is a fortress
with millions of identifiers inside
and articulate definitions of ‘the man’
cut out of economic backgrounds
when black eye shadow was in fashion
paler and paler grew the horses
riding straight for the women and children
shooting through us like cold war ghosts
under the desk is the safest place
how amusing it is – to be in an epic
and gone in a minute

Sunday, June 20, 2004


when i see birches i think
i really should keep my eyes on the road
when i see a stop sign on a side street
i think some tight-ass politician put it there
when i see Russian Olive trees
i think about botany, mostly
and when i see boys swinging
i don’t think about birches at all
though, when i hear birches i think of Abraham Lincoln
when i smell birches i think of phosphorus paint
when i taste birches i think of taking a walk
when i touch birches i think of Christine
but when i think of birches
i don’t see anything at all

Saturday, June 19, 2004

When I Was Just A Little Girl I Asked My Mother What Will I Be

When I Was Just A Little Girl I Asked
My Mother What Will I Be

i am the man
who knew too much
could’ve done worse
worrying the sons
of the god of war
a scholar of trivia
necktie as a garrote
paying ransom
for a future since ‘93
sorry, sold out
i am convinced
the correct way to think
about the next thing coming at you
is not to expect it

Poem for Drew Petersen ('s Birthday)

Poem for Drew Petersen ('s Birthday)

Listen, soldier
i think this is a fork
stuck in the alphabet
leaving poems in braille
come along there’s a mystery
in town the size
of August, hallelujah sings
a greek chorus of fortunetellers
it’s the rests that make the music
the ding of exposition
this ocean beneath is treacherous
a very symphony of cataclysm
damn the harpies
i’ll follow you anyway

Friday, June 18, 2004

All in the Timing

All in the Timing

not sure how much of
this i can take, pilgrim
they say it’s a new look
not to mean something
i get lost
that’s the last you’ll hear of it, boy
i can sing like a woman
i can sing like a frog
i’m a faithless recorder
just down the avenue
straining to hear my own voice
through the restlessness
of big game cats in rush hour
and still i can’t make it out

What Did You Expect From An Opera?

What Did You Expect From an Opera?

i should never pay attention to hunches
safely lies Galahad far
from the landfill
it is a public trust
to rid the world of villainy
and earn a nifty new name on return
the crown weighs heavily
when the reality shows arrive
and the workplace fills with gossip
like any force of nature
the blue monster
is the disruption of form
with many sons, the mother
waits for a less optimistic episode

Thursday, June 17, 2004

In Advance of a Broken Treaty

In Advance of a Broken Treaty

lawn care tools are safer
to put your name to than paper
leases, licenses, checks and letters
capture fragments of the soul
the way the old ones thought
of medium format photography
take any cave painting, they knew it then
sage smoke will insure a real estate deal
house hunting is a common replacement
for subsistence cultures in this millennium
at gatherings interviews replace dance
“what do you do for a living?”
and still the good dancer anticipates
“did you come alone?”

To See What Condition My Condition Was In

To See What Condition My Condition Was In

you never stop unless you want
the two of us i think
never want to stop
you never stop to think
if what you mean is
what you’ve said i think
you didn’t mean to have
said what you’ve said
i think you mean to think
you’ve said something separate
from what you mean
it’s not what you think
she’s just the end
of a train of thought

Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays

and right now there isn’t time
to be honest
in this uncomfortable passage
between your conclusion and mine
i combat and unfold
you in attempt
to remove stains
my ricochets cause
with friction enough
to send ice blue sparks
over us like waves
from the pacific
in case there is a moment
or so to think it over

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Some Days

Some Days

It’s 2:15 at John’s Grill
meatball sandwich is on special
and shrimp lejohn
it is easier when no one knows you
late lunch solo
a copy of the Sonnets
open sketch book
i don’t think it’s true
doubt isn’t a common motivator
the Thursday crossword
tells lies
i say no breed of dog
has that many letters
pay the damn check

What He Said

What He Said

there’s no beach in Wilmington
to hide the look of surprise
you’re in a French sex farce
so i suggest you put on a tie
when she is in town
for no particular reason
the lights dim
add dramatic tension
in and out of doors
you’re in a race
mistaking this for tragedy
you keep your hand
on the rapier
to cut your way out

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fifty Days At Illium

Fifty Days At Illium

Staying here, there is an awful lot of red
and lions to keep watch for
in my costume, i am unrecognizable
as the traitor among you
the dream of reason produces monsters
i cannot keep out of the room
or the picture, which is mostly text
over blocks of color
tombstones that announce
the perpetrators of history
a narrative that beats down on us
this sun must be mediterranean
if only the gods allow
a mother to begin the line

Two Poems

Especially if the Cops Come
for Brahm

in my house there are green walls
it’s terrible, the things we do to stop thinking
today, it’s you all over the stereo
the problem of how to live as explained
in the routines of a vaudeville troop
on its way to Sioux City with noise
guitar, a hip-hop dj and percussion
prepared as we are to listen
the universe expands without us
we keep playing one step behind
the tune we found in the organ
full of california poems in that monotone
voice i have, i mean- damn i miss you
in the house behind burlap curtains

In the Blood

what i most want to know
is speech involved in the human cry
how children can grow in organs
such wisdom in insurgent texts
how cooing originators
in small doses are a homeopathy
for seven centers of power
straight across the chest
how sweeping the doorway returns
a babe to a nap on grass mats
on a day so endless and humid
can find a pool of water to splash
how far off this can be from time
we can rip our clothes and dive

Monday, June 14, 2004

Red Dress Sonnet

Red Dress Sonnet
for Hurster

all the sentimental girls have
songs from ‘86 in their heads
and flowers in their grottoes
for the few words
they paste into their daybooks
like pillows of heathen herbs
on the way to Grandma’s
said to be the root of all
invitations by social anthropologists
or sports metaphors with mood lighting
there’s a bright golden oft
misheard statement she made in the john:
one day alone in the world
and i’ll be home before morning


This began as a excercise for myself where I wrote one sonnet a day. The sonnet form is one that I have never really been comfortable with, but now am quite fond of. Posting them is just to give myself some kind of push to keep it up. If you have any suggestions or comments, email me at kingofmice@juno.com