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and to think i saw it on floyd terrace

Tim Martin's Sonnet Project

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Water Flowing Somewhere

and you might say to yourself
that fortune cookie from 5 years ago
was dead one accurate
i meant well
before i got my sad on
i guess it looked natural
the year the river flooded
the year mountain property was a good investment
and we took lunch in the canyons
the days average rainfall
dwindles from earliest memory
of the year he signed two treaties
one to foreclose the lineage
one to adopt the present

Monday, August 30, 2004

My Mubarak

french is a four year old girl
wearer of half the alphabet
in the hope language
where a figure eight is the mathematical
interpretation of generosity
with a carvel cookie cake
the cat had with mashed potatoes
mary, marry, merry
it’s an axis of evil
banning sales of slogans in New York
it’s a call for a defense fund
full of flowers for the dead
mothers make this call to action
surrender to the perfect faith

Friday, August 27, 2004

Do Not Collet $200

it’s important to keep hydrated
and other necessities, being on the lamb
it’s the certainties that’ll get you
when you’re misdirected to the exit
sometime you’re the steel pier
sometime you’re the high-diving horse
it’s earthquake season
which is why no one has basements
everyone is known by an assumed names
swap addresses like wives
you are on reality television
discussing folk etymologies
like how street names and getaway cars
rob from the rich and give to the poor

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

In Media Res-4

even though i’m in the middle
of the very event she wants
words tumble like in-coming
trains at 30th Street Station
i am an update
clicking away
police enter with walkie-talkie noises
it is the threat of urban legend
at high velocity through
whichever fly-over state
at the unholiest of family monuments
this has gone over the hill
and must pull over
so i told the tale walking

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


I'm going to be on vacation for the next couple of days, so not sonnets until I get back.

With Additional Dialogue

just then the record screeches
i thought i knew this conversation
from October and again this April
the crowd at the hick bar turns
in this invasion movie trailer
with all sorts of Shakespearean motifs
where the audience knows the surprise
& all the characters are blind cross-dressers
speak whichever name you like
the film has already been cast
& i have an ‘as told to’ credit
have fun, boys
on your way to the second unit
the secret’s safe with me

Monday, August 23, 2004


for Sean

blame it on the author but in truth
it is the actor who loves the custom
of the prologue
people pay & want their laugh
if a lady’s attention can be stolen
by Elvis or any other clown
this must be pathological
in Victorian New England literature
the happiest man alive at the breakfast buffet
trades baseball cards of show romance
wins a look alike contest
where he recounts his premarital affair
deep in the sheep pasture
the comedy is ended

Friday, August 20, 2004

Voice Over

it was a veritable blood bath
they stopped the rental truck
was caught & is being held
the kitty was found
it was the worst storm in a decade
in the region where rodents
worshipped the sun god and
in the region of coastal floods
this season before the spawn
to learn more about our country
and had a really good time
you know there are many places
with unsurprised british voices
it was the first they had heard of it

Thursday, August 19, 2004


a pizza parlor is as magic as any
time at the weekly table
if you like to read third lines
and sport on opposition
i love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
hey, Rocky, want to watch me
remove all articles from the house
that Jack built, in Hebrew
words vanish in this talisman
stranger, take pause
this is strange, to take this pause
person, this is a stranger
let us see what history teaches
humbly repeat it all

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Drink Me

how dark it was inside the wolf
how singular inside the tower
in one version i was a christian
maidens hand me cups
a teenage girl can be called many things
enough to trade for a golden egg
or a mouse who speaks poetry
how dark it was inside the cow
were i hide from giants
how sharp the needles beside the hay
just guess my name
how childless inside the cottage
do not go straight for that is a pond
where children are lured with riddles

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Chapter and Verse

to build around him libraries
of failed mentors and hermits
in fascination with bad cinema
as honest as any cliché can be
this is about the man
who has a favorite national anthem
the kind of guy with traditional footwear
goes to all this trouble
to walk along with the tootsie roll syndrome
whatever it is he thinks he sees
each of his lines are admonitions of
a firm belief in this one or the next love
whomever it is given and not given
in the last big musical number

Monday, August 16, 2004

If You Can Get It

it beats waiting tables
in the retail winery
with a collection of oddities
i remember Kate Smith
reverberating down the hall
on the island of misfit toys
happy to work with laughing gas
and all the necessary extractions
it’s midnight & my hands are full
with insurance details
an emergency press conference
just before the party ends
in a four car pile up
& the driver sped away

Friday, August 13, 2004

Two Roosters Poem

it must’ve been the hot wings
in photographs where we explore gender
and build the cock fight pit
soup and a walk by the creek
became a farmer’s joke
i say, i say
only the lucky fox will be happy
with the chickens at daybreak
the exit strategy is simple
with respect to the land and sea
coming home to the coup
in a voodoo moment
of hope when the milk cow runs dry
until those roosters came into the yard

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The People

in the suburban context
they shop at Kmart or Wal-Mart
ink stains next to turquoise rings
tacky art like greeting cards
no, not horse people
it’s a salmon culture
this is a waterproof basket with the
flying goose design
tall trees went into it with proud roots
our homes are the homes of those
a race here long before
everything was birthed with words
these words were the first words
words from the original mind

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

If Found Please Return

an autobiography in lost objects
is a song in my head
left some time ago
pocket knife slipped in hospital chair
i held my nephew for the first time
on New Mexico powwow highway
eleven o’clock Motel 6 checkout
leather pouch next to Albuquerque phone book
three a.m. search party
all flashlights & hushed voices
no woman in sight ‘til the next morning
a stained dress next to the obsidian ring i had
should old acquaintance be
to mind this long time since

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bottom's Dream

it was a translator’s dream:
Octavio Paz is giving birth
i am late for the delivery
driving Lorca, already bleeding
from gun wounds his instructions
angry in a Ricky Ricardo sort of way
pull over at the filling station
por favor, please, como se- maternity ward
do no desire to go
whatever will be will be
need to push, get us all together
South American intrigue was in our way
i thought i had more to tell
for it had no bottom

Monday, August 09, 2004

How Public Like A Frog

it comes down to this
i make lists to convince myself
it’s time to buy land
i am not a first day fraud
i don’t need a morning smoke
debt was worth it
in my renegotiated role of education
i should relocate
since saints often get cancer
and need to be fed ice chips
in this Andrew Wyeth field
i stare at silhouettes of crows
homesick with these muted colors
across acres of farmland

Friday, August 06, 2004

Handy Jack

folks are so talkative
to anyone with a blue collar
at the sandwich shop there is
a housewife with a life story
homes, offspring, mates, art classes
it sometimes ends in the crack house
or a lemonade stand
fascinated with today’s soundbites
which is why we listen to talk radio
a separate world exists around
whichever forty hour block of time
gets filled like accidental holes
and an uncomfortable gesture
by the road on a sign

Thursday, August 05, 2004

In Media Res- 3

so characters can evolve
we follow Pink Floyd
with broken speedometer
through acres of white corn
we are children of evil
escaping the fear of failure
by the enamel of our incisors
it was just something to say
we need these stories
because we are too late
to be protest kids
who could have known we would
sell used furniture in the third reel
with the climbing action

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Well, Did You Ever?

For Sammy

not as dangerous
as a fugitive chess master
or eating candy in the metro
(both arrestable offenses)
the enemy of my enemy
may well be Ralph Nader
someone should listen to the UN
there is something in the middle east
that does not love a wall
you see, fences alienate the neighbors
because of youth
i have hope for elections
i don’t need to meet the man
just trust him not to get me killed


maybe it’s the sirens
when we lifted McCurdy
from the road bloody
mouth full of eyeglasses
in argument over hit & run
with angry tree surgeons
and a useless 911 call
passersby came to action
when i recognized this
i found i was in
an older city of brick
built by apothecaries
painted on canvas
for study in a museum

Monday, August 02, 2004

I Suppose You’re Wondering Why I Gathered You All Here Today

it’s the age when answers
would seem reasonable
but all transmissions come to us
through some enigma machine
immune system diseases
are communicable but not basic
information for the public
it’s the fate of Hercule Poirot
that frightens me
one of you has stolen
our bill of rights
and it’s somewhere on the dark continent
hurray for Captain Spaulding
who leads us to the culprit