Tim Lane

3 Poems

Too Soon

I have no disdain for nature poems per se gimme a hamburg deluxe
a fry & a chocolate put me on a hamburg I need a fry hey I need a
chocolate okay that'll be $4.62 hon all the frequenters of coney islands
are hons it is hard I say hard to begin a poem pay attention when I'm talkin'
to ya boy about the Heartland ram tough built to last like a rock et cetera
et cetera one should probably never use too many et ceteras in a poem
in the wolverine state we have deer season turkey season rabbit season
I think I'm not sure I don't hunt probably chipmunk season it's a sale
but the reader quite often wants the Big Apple with all its temptation
& hysterics or is it just me & who can blame the reader? though I must insist
there is an advantage to living on a peninsula shaped like a mitten
anyway if I read another poem about shining deer I think I'll scream
the fifteen points of some majestic bearded stag tearing the lining
of a gray sky as it skips across Lake Superior like a Petoskey stone
off the tail of a robin over a white pine now if I were to write a "deer
shining" poem it might start like this deep beneath the fern the arc
of the Blue Angels' antics where the swamp infested deer wear out
the flints of their fathers' silver lighters at a popular salt lick some tetanal
hunk of junk rends & plows a furrow of cool moist country air back at me
a triceratops tromps thru the strawberries mid-Michigan as dull as a pumpkin
is round & orange I say boy I say boy with its car shows boat shows truck
pulls etc. however contrary to popular belief a damn good handful of us
grow up in Detroit Grand Rapids Lansing Saginaw Flint & the only deer
we ever really see are trapped in zoos or on the side of the expressway
sticking their thick purple tongues out at us as if to say too soon too soon
purple being the only color up to this late point in the poem with the noted
exception of blue & orange no dark doesn’t count & whether or not this
green fuzzy mitten levels an unlicensed shotgun from between the Great
Lakes as the rest of this nation’s cheery heartland passes by is not up to me.

My Default Personality

O, my love, it’s absurd to lie in bed & drink Coke & stare out the window
rapt in the notion it’s all still here, that I can actually remember my childhood
the way it actually occurred, that my default personality is like a letter from
Jimmy Carter, Charlie’s Angels or Peter Frampton once read restores
my eyes to a time before John Lennon was shot & the Challenger burst into
flames, before Gorbachev, E.T. & Debbie Gibson, Atari, Pac Man &
the infuriating Rubik’s Cube, to a time prior to Mt. St. Helens’ temper
tantrum, Chernobyl & the tanks of Tiananmen Square, before MTV unleashed
The Buggles & Cyndi Lauper, before Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar battled Bird, to a time when all I knew was all I could see, hear,
& taste, like Pop Rocks, the Bee Gees & lava lamps, Saturday Night Fever,
Rocky & Jaws—a miniature Moby Dick—before Guyana & the first test-
tube baby, the deaths of Elvis & Mao, mood rings & Pet Rocks,
Apollo 17, Pioneer 10, Viking 1, before Hank Aaron out swung Babe
Ruth, before the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Three Mile Island & the
Bermuda Triangle, before Roots, before Donna Summer, Redd Foxx,
before Bobby Fischer became the World Champ, all the way back to a
time before I swore, jerked off, read Camus, Frank Herbert & Ginsberg,
smoked cloves, drank Mickey’s malt liquor, returned to plaid,
etc., to say that somewhere beneath the empty trash of popular
culture & history’s crap the initial files of my personality remain
intact, though fragmented, perhaps. There weren’t any cell phones
back then. It’s grotesque, my love, to think, if given the chance,
I’d revert back to that.

My Buddy List

My Buddy List is not as extensive as the number of brilliant, melon-colored leaves
falling from the maple tree on the other side of the block that I just happened to notice looking up from this dreary typing, the leaves like tiny hands saluting & calling me
stiffly to attention, like mewling newborn lambs calling from beneath the tree,
Love me, love me, love me, as they twirl in the breeze with questions I am unable
to answer. My Buddy List does not resemble a telephone directory, a shoebox
full of birthday cards or the bones of fish, the veins & branches of a family tree, a
column of the New York Stock Exchange, nor the statistics on a baseball card,
the ingredients on a cup of vanilla yogurt, the lineup on your Cable menu nor the nutritional facts listed in white on the red, metallic back of a can of Coke.
At times my Buddy List disappears, meaning it doesn’t load when I connect to the
Internet, & I’m frantic, spinning like the leaves that I mentioned earlier, the squash-
& melon-colored ones, the ones shouting, Over here! Look at me! Come back,
summer! Call again, Sun! as they fall to the ground & form a perfect apron
on the lawn beneath the tree & distract me from thoughts of dying, from death
revealed invisible & dangling in the bare branches above in the tree,
death like a pair of boots hanging from a wire beyond the tree. At times my
Buddy List is empty, like a wasp’s nest, or a bottle of wine, nothing left but some
gauze & bits of cork that I spit from my mouth, which is completely unthinkable, the emptiness that is, an unapproachable thought which clearly can only be explained
by conspiracy, computer hackery, this pulpy, fruit-colored fall, an insidious
attempt to cut me off from you, my buddy, from you, my life, since everyone is
always online, since everything is always online, since there is never anyone
who can’t be traced online, since there is never anything that can’t be done online as there have never not been cans of Coke & vanilla yogurt & dreary typing to complete & cold, metallic stars gleaming above the melon-colored leaves falling from the maple
tree on the other side of the block, begging Oh, please, Instant Message me!

Tim Lane lives in Lansing, Michigan. He can shoot the deep three. He listens to Les Savy Fav. He likes French toast.

Website: http://theatticwhichisdesire.blogspot.com