Tim Marcuson



something in flannel
which is no longer important or even
rents, abrasions, tufts:
This was in Sunday school
believe it or not
considered the body as a singed lung
this block, or the next
smoking a pipe. Their blue background
cold, caught in your throat
& the coffee. Or was it felt?
Anyway. Hot coffee & green tea

2.       for Dan Parks

unfortunate: sucked a cigar
to the quick. Would you believe
we locked them up?
Projectors, projection: motes
meticulous grimoires, & the soda
exorbitant. Imagine candles
it's all in the contract
where the books, caged, rustle
& ash on his fingers, lips
But not under any circumstances
outside the circle. So as not
to get where they're coming from


urine in the gazebo
which was awkward, socially
speaking of enclaves, a nice green
magnolias & all the flowering
trees. Hung in the air
circumscribed, would have thought
manicures, cigarette butts.
All their mowers going at once
with the gunk in their teeth
belched, coughed it all up
camped, farting, in paradise


taught to think Miltonic
combinations. Who was it
fell down the stairs before
bellybuttons. Aphoristic, aloof
was not, in fact, vodka
under all that Calvinism
brought a frisbee. Holding out
for a last tulip, meaning
fucked, only latinate
should you happen again
to happen. Stance.


her spectacles acute
discomfort. Holiness in a dive
pulling out, so to speak, all the stops
immediate shudders. The organist
letting her yes be yes & her no
hums. So wholesome & dull.
these songs, this flattery, that clutter
& that, Madame, we're furious
Dearly beloved, we are gathered
in a big blue box. Astounding.
To think of sex at a time like this!


some notion of the elect
should include orange juice,
sufficient alcohol, enough time
whatever your theology
to invent an audience: all those eyes
on your neck. It's claustrophobic
this business of lines, salvation
Avoiding the wine sauces, are you?
even the appearance of evil:
a way of distributing souls
in space. Close, but no cigarette.

7.       for Joel Bevington

Get the hell out. Aficionados
entertain a certain clarity
can afford feminists
once in a long long while
so studious & pert
who danced squarely enough
was a drunken thug
for comfort. Affinities with dandruff
beginning or seeming to begin
at the pulpit. Where it ends
we run the fucking country: run

8.       March 20, 2003

sitting stridently in rows
triumphant: turned purple & fell
hereafter from the sky
a keen & profligate debate
Morose, distasteful: “I”
who bloviate, almost as spittle
from his eyes, an afterword
broadcast—transmission, nerves
stretched to the sight
fantastic. Full of holes:
our culinary arguments, his pose


a crowbar & the fortuitous
coming together of kneecaps:
Sneaks up behind you & SMACK!
charity. Having committed assault
& battery in my heart.
where there’s smoke, essentially
it was a toothpick
tucked under his coat/his goat.
Always felt there was someone
outside. In the fastidious parking lot.
Intoxicants: draw the blinds

10.       for Bob Reamer

& the other one drops
drunk, entangled in a brief
thicket for hours, wouldn’t you
swallowing spinach & fake eggs
with one shoe in the morning
unexpectedly vomitous. Aghast
at your mimetic comportment.
Dial tone: we are engaged
in a brief thicket. Some talk
of Adorno, Aquinas. He thinks
he would like to get outside, if only

11.       for Billy Graham

white, pendulous & mute
too easy even to mention
while as a monument: flummoxed
fanfares, so much government
Sunday, & the trains run anyway
from the bathroom window
scandalous. She scissors the page
for a strong caesura. St. Paul
& his thorn torn out
while as a monument
sunk. It’s Sunday. & the trains?

Tim Marcuson lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he works as an editor. He has a master's degree in poetry from the University of Nebraska.

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