Vol. 1 Issue 4
Tim Earley
The Uses of Thropism
I had dedicated my life to good deeds. In the orange perfervid morning of, I opened doors
and dug useful gulleys all over town. I made butterflies out of ribbons and drifted askance
with the unicorn. The barrows full of cabbages & mulch that I trolleyed up the hill
remained in the collective memory of my neighbors—they granted me biscuits and
thrice-read newspapers in return. After the flood, I spit-shined the rectory. After the wind,
I gathered detritus into my throat. I never infantilized the thronging dogs. Children who
grew near appreciated my stories, particularly The Luna & The Mayfly, which included
transformations and a red balloon that popped in every scene. Yet age came on me like an
age. One day a gelding, the next a vein-addled blank. My heart literally purpled at the
onset of rain, but still I labored in the interstices, and built a house far away from the
precipice when it was needed most. A fortnight before my periwinkle sleep, I seduced
the alderman’s youngest daughter & we rutted back into our gills & muck. After, we
murdered the alderman’s goats with a trowel. She was quite a shank. Her dress was
yellow. Hell is a beautiful illusion.

Maven Poem X

My hands are dogs living at the speed of nightmare. I am dead in the reliquary. Crows
peck at the blue fabrics. Words are sewage. Skeletal Lord, keep me far from father’s
misplaced cane. The formality of the fiddler haunts the woods with its ghost sex. I am
dead in the ruckus. I’m still living in the house. Time to wash the dishes. From the
window I survey a culvert. Inside it are typhoid-bearing rats and fawning pasture spirits.
In the shade of her hair, this is not an opposition. I look at her arms and flake into a
puckish infinitude. All the glassly voles are dead in the refinery. It is not this way with
the real body. Fancy enough that it is dead all the time. What to mutter at the edge of
phalanx. Time to go live in the woods. I am dead in the wolverine raiment. But what does
one put in a rucksack? I do not take umbrage at anything, he said, so, naturally, I am a
cousin to the wastrel horse and you are a flower.

Maven Poem Y

I am feeling that sickness is a type of rotary or blue abutment, that in the ground there is
one serpentine staircase, there are glossy ciphers, there are no secrets quite yet at this
shallow end of the gyre, not to say cinqueform, not to remember our days in the shack
when every spoon was a valued friend & we entertained poverty as one might entertain
an idea of manners. We were no match for death or even small variances in shade,
moisture, transparency, and graft. Some trees looked like hands and some trees looked
like brains. In ceasing to exist some trees looked like diluvian pocks or pellucid worms.
Unwitting pants, strangely whittled. If ever there was an activity more ridiculous than
my sewing for you the comely vizards, please do not mention it to my ear.

Maven Poem Z

This entire idea of cells and hypostatic distances. A form of trap-making or adumbrated
cankers, a purpled stem, an indigenous lip. A grocer’s life is least understood. Posit an
effortless toe. A toe of concentrically shrinking marzipan. Relish the digitized nook. The
white man’s waxy corpulence. I grew inward instead. On the plain a lone and tall figure
of rust. I shoots at him with modicums. I shoots at him with hosieries. Once out of the
country, my entire face felt different, appled culverts and sequins, a blaze of beautiful
new flaws, and all the skirts I wore became the skirts of history.

Strange Poem
an elegy for Josh Bell, not yet dead, not the violinist

Tuesday is mostly blank.

I am trying to insert a full-bodied personage.

I see them in many places,

a violent array of scarves and shoes.

They cannot call on their countries or the woods.

They have lost all ways of calling except one.

And thrushes do not raise the dead.

Cantilevers are pure misery, pure material.

This spotted memory, with slurred faces

and gangles of voice, pitted cheeks, soporific

birds and winters with no snow, this spotted memory

leaks always, a defect in the brain,

in the ideal, a defect in loving, in God, in the spoor.

Near the old flummoxed building,

I lost my separateness,

and my green fork,

and my green fork’s flame.

Tim Earley lives in the snazzily experimental poetry town of Black Mountain. Everyone who lives there writes poetry. They also gather every Friday evening to chant songs, engage in wild, omnisexual orgies, and read from his book, Boondoggle, which was recently published by Main Street Rag.