Tim Keane





No Memoir


Some accidental sage tells us

our future is closer than our past.

Is it? What of the former will be

Foreclosed and become a was?

Every now is, was. The present is, or was,

once, purely future, inconceivable expanse
only by its being unfulfilled, then.


Tomorrow, inscrutable time-to-come,

is what’s constantly missed, being ever

after the fact, in going, is, already, gone.


Where can we dissolve in the mystery-promise,

ahead? How? When every horizon arrives

the instant it’s actual,  and each instant’s

consumed by all that’s come to pass?




On the Set


However young, inspiring,

something, voluminous,

            you are petals, perhaps,

fascinating, visited, wide-

spreading throughout

countless venerable

and difficult

American centers.


Everything is a want, blooming;

some, stimulated to celebration,

adapt to subjects; this is the exalted

relationship live cinema wants out of,

but don’t you yourself

throw contradiction past contemplation?


Audiences that always find weeping beautiful can select their glory.


Daybreak specimens

upright and with something

handed there

small productions

scattered in teenage America

flexible, independent, interesting;

sure to photograph missed business

the flowering sexuality much in

with frustrated Europe and Japan,

film, honestly fleeting, young,

and, perhaps, without reality

but see from expressed, intellectual

actresses, they’re some feeling,

that is so, and possible, reflecting American branches that surround one.


Most know but often have to record other theatre.


Frustrating greedy camera.


Used, we know where.






All novelty starts in imitation.

Every day, I stands-in for anonymous me.

The infant’s face throws back

two faces already around us

and every knock and bang resounds an impact, after its fact.


We live the duplicity of a handheld fan.


It imitates the wind, mimics an absent breeze.

Unnatural, it is nature: palm leaf, ostrich plume.

The Chinese name it feathers for house dwellers.

Its whalebone handle doubles as a flute.

One imitates a wartime flag fringed by lace.

Or a roundel trapped inside a bonus shell.

Other iterations ape a half moon sunk under dense froth.

Its unfurling copies a pre-flight arc in an eagle’s wing.

It is dotted to sprout clusters of impossible perennials.

Later it is forged from willow parchment by heathen conspirators.

When it opens on a funky stage, its gates hide the expressions of an actress

sliding one self over one self, revealing by masking the heiress whose eyes

transmit through its screen the dated news of the nerves beneath the skin.






Vidre was in the greenery

Naked save the sandals


The trail was rutted

The trail was not a hunter’s track

The trail was not a fisherman’s path


No bicycles were anywhere


There were no dogs in this greenery

There were no children

There was no veiling glare after the warm rain

There were no puddles left


Vidre was in the greenery

Naked save the sandals


She layered broad leaves, five broad leaves, on the rutted trail

And she sat on the thin pillow of leaves on the trail in the sun


There was no coast, no tide, nothing beyond the woods in the greenery


There was no emergency


There were parting clouds and swaying hawthorn flora -- flowers


There was no black fence to stop visitors or the mutts trampling the mandrakes


There were no signs to say what could be and what wasn’t allowed


It was mid-spring and overhead bridal branches stank of musky sap


Vidre, sitting on the leaves she’d layered on the trail,

Clutched a manure-stained, heart-shaped leaf to hide her grin.




Dispute Without Words


You started after me and then stopped and gave up and went

And if I had looked back I might have seen you and understood

I had not been on my own as I’d assumed, given the dead quiet.

You were timid. I wasn’t mindful. So? Maybe this poem is obvious

And obviously a sign, a dispute without words. There are no worse

Errors, lovers, than leaving unknowing where you’d been wanted.




Tim Keane is the author of the poetry collection Alphabets of Elsewhere (Cinnamon Press, 2007). He has finished a new collection of poems called So Much Headgear in Search of a Riot. New poems from this collection have come out this year in US, UK and Australia-based online magazines Evergreen Review, Wild Orphan, Streetcake, Gobbet, and Otholiths.