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Sample Poems by Tim Hunt

Outtake from The Secret Lives of Dobie Gillis in Homage to Maynard G. Krebs as if He Were Not a Sit-Com Character Erased in His Erasure

Bongos between
sandaled feet, dirty
socks wrapped
against the cold, Maynard
holds the paper cup
of lentil soup, seeing
for once the blackbirds
pinned to the park's
gray tree limbs and
wearing the cold that is
not their cold, but is,
as they do not pretend
to be cats and kitties
pretending they are
somewhere, some
thing. Like
Wow, Man.

Poem, Having Shopped at The Gap, Debuts His Skinny Jeans

Today, Poem is wearing
his skinny jeans. He likes

to keep up. He reads
GQ. He knows how

to pose-feet crossed
showing off his boots, his ass

parked against the Corvette's
fender as if James Dean

for all eternity-a beyond
beyond mere form as he

imagines driving with his friend
John through that orange

neon signage beyond the West-
ern edge into the actual dark.

Does This Go With... aka Make Mine Camo

It happens, they say, shit and all
That, but I'm thinking more
Of how the signs in time drift.
That, too, happens-erasure,
Inversion, appropriation, how
Weed is now Juice, all these
In and Out intricacies of Bought
& Sold as if we are paper
Dolls. See how these Birken-
stocks complete this Billy
Gibbons beard. Oh, no that
Won't do. Boots, truly. Those
Over there, with the laces. Ah,
That's better. That makes more
Sense. And a work shirt, too.
Oh, Irony. Ah, Duck

Poem Orders an Espresso

Poem liked the way the barrista
handed him the cup.

He was glad he'd ordered espresso,
not one of those foamy things. He

wanted sugar but kept his eyes
gazing out the window as if

the parking meters were trees
along a gray creek and the building

across the street (art deco paint
scheme needing a ladies room

freshen up) were truly the horizon.
Poem, doing his best hipster, stroked

his soul patch and eased his Bic
from his pocket, hoping she

was watching as he dabbed the napkin
as if brushstroking Chinese.

Surely, Poem thought, she would
be waiting when he came home tonight-

all piercings and tattoos-and, oh,
unrefined sugar, too.

Poem had always

believed in the sanctity of the blank
Page, but had to admit
There was something about ink

Needled into skin that compelled the eye. His
Problem was what. "Mother" was too
Sailor, and he'd read Said, so dragons

On the nod weren't an option either,
And he was, he knew, a little too Wordsworth
To get down with a plate of Blake. Still,

He thought his should be something that signified
Poeticity. Perhaps a pen! And it could have
A little dribble of ink off the tip! But that was

Somehow a little abstract, and what if
A glancing eye misread his signifier,
Reading body instead of art. If Poem

Was to signify, he couldn't be too free in
His free play. He imagined a carpenter
Flexing a saw or hammer posing at the beach.

And he had, he confessed to himself, a certain
Soft spot for that silhouette of the girl
Truckers had on their mud flaps but that

Wouldn't do either. That was clearly too
Real for a poem, and he didn't want the lady
Poems thinking he thought of them like that.

He considered Homer, but alas
There was no image. Whitman
Had too much beard, that cascade

Was more needle than he could bear.
True, there was always "Truth 'n'
Beauty," but he'd been taught a real poet

Should only show and never tell-a coy
Ankle glimpsed as if by chance
Beneath a fulsome veil of skirt.

Poem thought and thought about
What his black swirls should be, what text
To make of himself, and slowly realized

It was his fate to remain blank
And white. Maybe, he thought, he could tell
His friends he was conceptual-invisible

Ink-akin to that painting-gesso
On white gesso, a canvas hieroglyph
Framed like a roped square around

A boxing ring (Ah, the circled
Square!) and the eyes dancing
Like Ali, or more like Smokin' Joe trying

So so hard to find something to hit,
As the flicking jabs, the deft patter
And cobra quick gloves stung, stung,

And stung again. Ah!
To be all!
To be nothing.