Three Poems by Tim Earley




Ben Jones lost his virginity to Vicki Hardin at the age of ten.
They begat Wendigo Towery who walked with Tammy Shytles
by the Railroad Track where the Vickers boy had been killed, just
horsing around, and they begat Retha Lowlyspigot, who,
through great industry, became an expert seamstress. She soon
dallied with Jeremiah Smith, a surveyor, behind Freddy’s Ice
Cream Parlor, and they begat Wendigo Towery again, who this
time killed a man not so much just to watch him die as to
relieve some stress. He shoveled coal at the power plant
and hated how the conversation was all about sports or women and
never politics. He served six years and then came to know
Revetta Humphries in the editing room of the local radio station
where she worked as a DJ. They begat Isaac Lilliput. Isaac
enjoyed driving, and one day drove to Greensboro. Through a
series of fortunate events, he opened a blue-plate diner next to
Coco’s Washerette on Friendly Avenue, and there he stays. He
is currently dating Tara Davenport, but has remained unclear
about his intentions.



The consolation of philosophy is small.
Books. A world, stripped or imbued.
A memory of rain in the face
of the most dire circumstances imaginable.
Forgetting to do anything about it.

Exactly how does one recline?
Hands wriggle in pockets.
The moon, silly hat, does this, does that.
On the cusp.
In the cosm (micro, meta, macro).
Living right.
The air is speedy.
If the urge ever once leaves you.
On a smaller planet, wolves would keep
their paws to themselves.

I have been down this road before.
Many befores.
Remember that one time.
That was great.
His name was Charles,
and we never called him Chuck.

The red dreams acquire their hue
from an arrangement of deranged dust
and a this-or-that mindset.
When you dream them,
you become the size of a baby.

My best friend has been crying
for twenty years. The years
gather around him like hyenas.
He does not notice this,
but it is shocking to us.
I tried to shout them away
in a language he would not understand.
At first they appeared to run,
but circled back, on hind legs,
and danced a strange dance.

What they meant to say was,
“Tell him to stop crying.”
What they said was different.

The consolation of philosophy is small.
Tiny knives sing in the blood.
Afternoons. Particular slants.
Remember that one time parts of our bodies
were dead and other parts were still alive?
Remember that one time?
That was great.



Given the preponderance
of grass and sun

how could I be
anything more

than what
I am

which is a people
and I agree to agree that this

is lovely that day
is blue

and curving and better than
yesterday and walking through

the widowed light of a strange
hallway your shoulders

say things lots of things the most
things I’ve heard

so far yet to this point but there’s
always the next moment and

we’ll be people then too
and possibly walking but not forever

therefore the entire arrangement
is actually quite nice your shoulders

going on and on that way