Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thomas Zimmerman - Three Poems

Random Notes
It’s Dylan on the stereo again:
“A Simple Twist of Fate” with lukewarm sun,
obligatory coffee, and my man-
ufactured thoughts. The dogs asleep, and Ann's
downstairs, I dive inside the music. . . . When
will hidden stars align their fires,  or one
of Hades’ weird sisters lift her skirt
to tease me with the answer that I know
conceals an undertow of human woe?
My learning’s only half-digested. Hurt
and anger, existential dread entwine
with motorcycles, basement tapes, and love
affairs. An idiot knows more. Above
the trees, a crow tries random notes. They’re mine.
An Exhumation
Along the cemetery’s edge, I wedge
my bones and hedge my bets on getting home
before I’m dead again. Dawn-pink ledge
with cat above my head, that balding dome
an egg fresh-laid and warm to break and eat
with fur and Momma’s old Tabasco, brown
as bedsheet blood. And now the rain falls sweet,
like chili heat, Louise’s hymen down
her leg. That morning’s lives ago, the house
across the way on wheels down Some-such Ave
or Street. I’m home to try the knob, but dowse
the door with vodka, strike a match. Where have
the good old visions crept, the ones that made
the portals creak, the hemlock bloom, not fade?
At Starved Rock State Park

The milkweed floats like jellyfish in air,
but there’s no sting: it’s only ghosts that make
us wheeze. I squeeze your shoulder, but your stare
says, “No, not yet.” I walk behind, mistake
the rhythmic cling-release of cotton on
your hips for bedroom curtains once in Nice,
Laguna Beach, or Bath. I want to catch
you like a fish, but when will you release
me? Meadow grass was ocean once, and dawn
revealed, beneath the sway of dinosaur,
beneath some trembling leaf, a rodent: this
was über-papa, our progenitor.
Your mouse-brown hair is clinging—let me snatch
it—there—from just behind your ear, and kiss.

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His chapbook In Stereo: Thirteen Sonnets and Some Fire Music appeared from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog in 2012. Tom's website:

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