Tim Tomlinson – Featured Poet

2012/06/19 § Leave a comment

On the themes of Amelia Earhart and slut

Ballet
People laugh when I tell them I took
ballet, as if to say, you?! As if to say
the son of a high school dropout, the son
of a US Marine Corps DI, the son
of an unschooled lummox and general
brute of a lumpen thug could never lift

into the air and soar above
an audience. Well, I didn’t soar, I

didn’t climb into the air, but I
fluttered the wings the teacher told me I

had, and I felt their feathers extend, I
saw the dust motes swirl on the floorboards

below and dance dizzyingly into
shafts of light pouring over the rooftop

of Klosty’s Hardware before floating
back down to the polyurethane.

To the Best Friend of the Girl in the Mr Peanut Costume, Halloween, 1986

Thank you for agreeing to come with me
into the men’s room of Original
Ray’s on 82nd & Columbus
while the pie we ordered with the olives,
extra cheese and anchovies baked
in the brick oven. And thank you
for opening your blouse when I asked you
and for kissing so passionately, like
you meant it when I lifted your ass on
the dirty sink and hiked the school-girl skirt
over your waist and jammed you like
I meant it, and did, and still do. Christ, I’m
seeing stars here just recalling the way
your saddle shoe rested against a mop
bucket filled with scummy water reeking
with disinfectant and how the smells
we made together in the sewage funk
swirled into the raunch of the room with
the roaches crawling across misogynist
graffiti and the lock half on a door
we couldn’t close. And thank you for saying
thank you when I sunk it in and thank you
for making me feel what I haven’t felt
in so many years. You were from, what, Maine?
I loved the way your best friend in
the Mr Peanut costume waited for us
to emerge, the bubbling hot pizza
cooling below the cigarette she smoked
in a holder, like she was the one just come
from the rest room. The pizza was so good.
Sometimes I look for you on Facebook but
I don’t have a name. Sometimes I walk on
Columbus Avenue, but the Ray’s moved
on. Have you? I know I have, but still …

Author Biography

Tim Tomlinson is a co-founder of New York Writers Workshop, and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. He is the fiction editor of the webzine Ducts. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Asia Writes, The New Poet, the New York Quarterly, Pank, Prick of the Spindle, Salt River Review, and in the anthology Long Island Noir (Akashic Books). He was featured poet in Saxifrage Press (Dec 2011). “Blue Surge, with Prokoviev,” in Sea Stories was nominated for Best of the Net 2011.

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