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Sample Poems by Tim Hunt

Another Way

Remove the words, each
One until the few
d  •  o  •  t
The white sand?
A rock garden.

Perhaps a gingko.
Whether the green
Is there
Or the eye sees
As if it is
Does not matter.

Make the poem
Of what isn’t there.
Or sit where the river
Cuts beneath the rock,
The light stepping
Across the water. But do not
Watch the light, watch
The water, until the day
Is the one moment
When the current
Disappears and you see
Into the river.

But in this celebration
the three women drinking iced
tea, Lipton’s, are sisters, telling
stories that start somewhere and never
quite end, because in real stories
what happens is never
the point. Turn and turn
about, they stack the mismatched
bits higher, higher, then build
again, as if these moments and
remembered somethings are blocks, each
side with a painted letter, an image, a
moment. In their poem
the words mustn’t be cut away. In
their poem the words must
tumble, then pool out as the creek
does, pausing to gather again.
Close your eyes.

Hearing Is Believing

Do not, I say, trust your eye.
It tells you, true, which
Of “two,” “to,” “2,” and “too”
Are the same and not,

But if you believe your eye,
Twang is only the thing and not
The thang. So trust your ears,
For they know the difference

’Tween Thing and Thang
Is as much as everything.

Anecdote of the Jar

Up on a hill in Tennessee
I took a jar
And offered a salute.

The stars winked
As if in cahoots.
The white

Lightning jagged
Behind my eyes,
And I smashed that jar

Upon a rock,
Singing with the spirit
As if free of all

Dominion and
Welcomed by every
Weed and brush

Thicket. And jigging
To the whine of the barn
Dance fiddle in my ears,

I left those shards
Where they fell about
That rock and walked

Down through the trees
That grew across that hill,
Back down to this

Human thing, the heart.

Still Life with Ash Tray and Beer Can

See how carefully the cigarette’s gray bloom
Poses, a dancer
Standing on the ball of one foot--
Arm and hand,
Her fingers completing the arc.

The crumpled can, too, leans as if pulling
Against a tether; the punched
Triangles in the top,
Black against the silvered metal.

We must imagine, it seems,
The calendar and window,
The vague wall’s routine
Paraphernalia…and the hand
That will reach into the puddled light,
It too is a shadow.

Class Party

Here’s something you can mock--
A singer with a big hat
Singing through his nose, the electric
Fiddle squiggling the pitch
Like a palsied icer decorating
A Sam’s Club sheet cake. You see, today
Even country folk are allowed to think

They have a place in the rodeo
And pretend they are consumer cowboys
Riding the electric bull up and down
The wide aisles, so long
As the paycheck lasts and the credit
Holds, so long as they are

Punched in and out down at the factory--
Folded, spindled, and neatly
Sent for another weekend ride
Of being free. And it is true
Some will drape a see-through
Stars & Bars in the pickup’s
Rear window through which you

Cringe at the hunting rifle
And what you take to be merely naÔve
Hate, but alas that flag is not just
A love for some simplistic past
That was a lie but instead, or maybe
Only as well, a way of resisting
You because they know that something

Is a lie and somewhere there is
A joke in all this, and they know
They should not be laughing.