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and to think i saw it on floyd terrace

Tim Martin's Sonnet Project

Friday, July 30, 2004

Tuesday Morning

California is burning
& Ireland has a lot of walls
all of them only three feet high
i’m in the produce section
of some Mom & Pop
being the good guy
with no idea of balance
in his checking account
it has to be the commute
obscenity replaces “good morning”
and that Midwest wave
has become the New York salute
nothing feels like is will shine
with the grace of morning

Thursday, July 29, 2004

You Elegant Fowl

what shall we do
with the grand estate
while baggage collects
in the carriage house
rhymes work best
in utter nonsense
upon a new independence
la-la-la-ing in a Hawaiian shirt
it’s more trouble
than translation is worth
a wanker is still a wanker
in a universal language
that which i say three times is true
but i forgot to keep count

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

He Owes Me Money

                For Rusty Davenport
more than the in joke
somebody has to do it
could be worse
to be the repetition
i think i was Heidi who said:
there is no such thing
as a bystander in absence
of a good fight
she projects like a super 8
in the long night room
onto a poker face
only botox could cause
no thought of her when
he enters the house anonymous

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Under the Wire

you’re going to need a bigger boat
for such evasive quarry
in the manual of cyborgs
it’s all in a page
after the chapter called “expectations”
nickel and diming your way
through the small talk menu
press one for weather; two for news
in the depths of this dialogue
when you thought it was safe
to come out as a voyeur
no one wants to show you their stuff
i’m a reasonable man
get off my ass

Monday, July 26, 2004

Big Airplane

everybody wants to be a cancer
beneath the uv lamp
wrapped by a nurse
in this yellow company
fretting an hour or so
in my backyard
surprised by the earliness
of the garden party
it is a good thing you have come
the ceremony can begin
in the sense that
we are always traveling
not many are born
this prepared for flight

Friday, July 23, 2004

In Media Res- 2

to call the dealer’s bluff
i unceremoniously choked
agape with cotton mouth
so said nothing
well within my rights
to follow you or not
through the coming-of-age
we are unfamous rock stars
as lacking in mystery
as Al Capone’s vault
always in the mood for new
places to get paid
settling for nowhere
when it became my turn

Thursday, July 22, 2004

For What It's Worth

                When love is gone, there is always justice

                and when justice is gone, there is always force

                and when force is gone, there is always Mom

                Hi Mom!   -  Laurie Anderson


jesus christ, i think i understand this

weapons are more effective

when they do not exist

where is Dr. Suess to sort this out?

this is my side of the line

the county is turned around

if only Mom could stop this

human rights would be inalienable

it seems so far from earth now

like the bit about the kid

war is a toxic lie

some drunk told once

in the absence of good sense

there’s something happening here

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

You Can Call Me Al

specimen jars descend
on our parts of speech
you dissect me from both sides
of my family tree, from male to
sex to one drop rule
Heisenberg couldn’t boil water
curiosity delayed him
which is all impatience and fear
only the desperate rely
on nomenclatures
which is why i replay with lies
& i am called another name
it is a secret name
you will never hear

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Non Sequitor

On July 19th at 9:54 PM, my sister gave birth to my nephew, Domenico Cancelliere III (DC3).

Train From Tyrone

The Train from Tyrone

i never bothered speaking
politics in my Irish neighborhood
they say in the mother tongue
it is unwise to evoke
baseball, god & parentage
do not make direct eye contact
as any man in exile
will tell you to disclaim the past
be appropriate to your geography
never utter a language you lost
what happens to a genetic code deferred
does it forget itself
like a car bomb
or does it explode?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Rumor Has It

Georgie Porgie, puddin’ & pie
became an accomplice
to a tour of broken homes
before you became an identity
when there were nightmares & hangings
it’s nice to be Star Magazine
chase down the princess
declassify for the public
even without a secret to tell
fiction is a victimless crime
while fact is a steamroller
suppressing the masses dimensionless
in the absence of an agenda
amnesia is the mother of invention

Friday, July 16, 2004

Big Green Apple

For Gay

don’t it always seem to go
in the last conversation
before you go to bed
for no reason, tectonic plates shift
& the feng shui is all wrong
so you keep a compass handy
wrapped in dry cleaner bags
also a cure for bleeding
in the era of disco
around all sorts of produce
granny smiths don’t seem to fit
so we go look for another brand
when a big green apple
took away my old man

Thursday, July 15, 2004

In Media Res

it was just weird
when it became my turn
with the climbing action
so i told the tale walking
a train ride & new lease
with a foreign accent
& lots of local color
this was the second part
the volta or change
the swapping of heroes
through airport stories
found in roadmaps & brochures
& on back of postcards
here we are now, narrate us

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Can Timmy Come Out and Play

i’m addicted to buddy stories
we all have aesthetic vices
harkening to sappy flashbacks
with Norwegian comic books
& homemade foils
in the clichés of preadolescent months
as understandable as stacks of numbers
or the taste of peanut butter on toast
i was to be a chemist
exchange values of building blocks
just around the corner
i’m not always in charge here
maybe this is the summer
i start taking prescription pills

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Back To That Midnight City

life, well is a truism
not to bother repeating
if the gist of it
makes me think of a triptych
that reads like phrenology
over the space of a few years
domestic scenes with
me in my cap settling
for the obvious choice
when it was the proper thing
baby, don’t you want to go
to that home we once
tried out back in the day
i’m better off now

Monday, July 12, 2004


Hedgerow Theater will present a staged reading of Of
One's Self I Sing
, a new play by Tim Martin of Bryn Mawr
at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27 at Hedgerow House,
146 W Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley.
The new script takes a look at the life of America's
pioneer poet, Walt Whitman, as seen through his famous
work Leaves of Grass. Whitman became one of the
America's most important poets after the civil war.
In his later life, he toured the country, lecturing
about Abraham Lincoln, who insprired much of
Whitman’s democratic, open verse.
Admission is $5 and a discussion with the playwright
will follow the reading. For more information or
directions to Hedgerow House, call 610-565-4211.
For Directions, go to Hedgerow Theatre


for Paul

it’s all kitchen talk
this jargon of dark beer and politics
sections of the paper i never read
over wilderness geography
i lived there or you lived here
everybody learns to ride
& congestion is only a symptom
bobbing & weaving along French roads
but this is private, now
& the party is stealing
all the H’s from the alphabet
so silence descends
& it all starts with
the most Canadian syllable

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Of Course You Realize, This Means War

it’s a paternity issue
with rockets glaring in nightvision
is that phallic enough for you?
and it will be televised
if this were a moral question
i’d have the answer
it’s a property thing
my dna cannot wrap around
but was once running guns
in the video arcades
spending too much change
ignoring the casualties
the god of the desert is a fractal geometry
whose pattern becomes the flag to cover the dead

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Fourth Wall

“I keep painting until I’ve painted myself out of
the picture.” -- Willem DeKoonig

half of my zodiac is in Sagittarius
i am a day-laborer in Vermont
the sound of teeth grinding makes me shiver
i am a professional pall-bearer
born in the year of the wood tiger
i am part of the educated class
combing the stacks until twilight
i paint houses in mid-July
i am a spokesman for an aluminum siding company
the son of immigrants, i exchange languages
as a customs official just south of Toronto
i am an emotional shipwreck
occasionally managing to stay afloat
i made some parts up

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Bob Deane

Is it ever too much?
amidst this cult of mud
these kinds of plants grow back
in the new idiom
every year licking the faces
with ecstatic members
it is a matter of belief
it is a matter of play
to think Judge Judy is real
and dating shows
are the last vestige of western culture
to proclaim this, we invent crossed words
& dye our own vestments
for the funeral oration

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

and to think i saw it on floyd terrace

there are no surprises
because i found the remains of an ocean
in the unlikeliest of locations
the very seat of life
springing from victorian architecture
the result of the marriage
of Freud and the Bearded Lady
some time in the near past
it’s true what they say
Santa Claus is of African-American descent
stemming from indigenous joy
at the transfer of property
people all over come to celebrate
as if this is a holiday

Monday, July 05, 2004

Ten Things To Do On Unemployment

to be accurate—the term is underemployed
measure by measure i still
cobble handy work together
discover all i can about recovery
think of reasons not to relapse nicotine habit
read Don Quixote, Dain Curse, & The Carousel
even write a book of sonnets
pay zen-like attention to food preparation
count loose change with expectant joy
walk two and a half miles a day
find perfect gifts
fall for waitresses who refill coffee
at the tables occasionally occupied
in the sudden andante pace

Sunday, July 04, 2004


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photo by Elizabeth Garrott

Tim Martin is from Bryn Mawr, PA. He has a BA in Writing and Literature from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa University. His serial poem, ricochet, has been recorded twice and was turned into a performance piece. His work has recently appeared in Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, iOutlaw, One Less Magazine,Fugacity 05,Hamilton Stone Review, Big Bridge #10, Altered Books Project, The Attic Which is Desire and other small magazines. A professional stage and production manager, he has worked with many theatres and dance companies on regional tours and in the Philly area (Lantern Theater, Rebecca Davis Dance, Mum Puppettheatre, Enchantment Theatre, Theatre Ariel, Beta Dance Troupe, New Paradise Laboratories, Eternal Spiral Project, and many others.) In the academic world, he has worked for Drexel Univeristy, The Shipley School, Burlington County Community College and Swarthmore College. His plays and adaptations have been seen in the Philadelphia Area: Echo (Tribe of Fools), The Nutcracker (Cruio Theatre w/Drew Petersen), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (w/Drew Petersen, Curio Theatre), Anansi and His Stories (Curio Theatre), Tales From Turtle Island (Hedgerow Theatre) and The Ballad of Joe Hill with the Joe Hill Project for Philadelphia Fringe Festival was performed in Cell block 7 at the Eastern State Penitentiary. He co-wrote Once Upon a River which ran for seven years and won Heritage Foundation Award in 2006 (Hedgerow Theatre), the segment from which is currently being seen in the review, Women of Many Colors (also Hedgerow Theatre). His play about Ronald Reagan and Alzheimer's disease, Live from the Shining City on a Hill, has been recently given a reading at Curio Theatre. He is an associate artist for Commonwealth Classic Theatre and Curio Theatre.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Tim Martin

it’s 2:32 am and i think
i will become nocturnal
learn about lycanthropy
there is a light bulb in the cellar
that spontaneously lights
there is a storm this evening
that wakes the neighboring dog
there is a policeman
who cruises up the terrace
there is no sign
to tell you where to turn
there is a television light
it makes Ed Wood movies on the street
i have trouble in mind

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Itchy Blues

For Tessa

when the Joplin tree falls down
there’s a secret hat to help you
every time a bell rings
& a tv spin-off is born
into the circumstance of this age
all a transmission from the mothership
fingers applied to frets
in characteristic uncynical songs
of the newer matriarchy
eventually you see it
passed when you want to please
& who you think you’ll find
the only thing that matters
just play the instrument

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow

for MKW

be sure to listen for satanic messages
in the ordinary conversations
friends, to be honest
there comes time when the weaver
out of pure confoundment
has to tear out her work
down to the first strand
in terror to determine its origin
this erasure is the same for all of us
we black out the print we don’t want
from our daily news
we cut pieces out and paste together
the saga of our self-worth
from one simple comment