At times when heart is dark and mind is dim,
I think of what I lust for, write it as
I must. Barbaric yawp, a private hymn
to measured madness, yin as black as jazz
that wraps its tendrils tight around a qualm
to crush it and release its pent-up yang.
I drink a red with legs, the music calm
but pregnant with a monstrous sturm und drang.
The animality I crave will rise
from pools and caverns deep, be brimmed with wild
surmise, with belly wisdom, feral cries
that crack the dome of heaven, freeing mild
and sexless seraphim whose appetites
catch fire as they descend from frigid heights.
Prince George Hotel Blues, Halifax
The TV news: a power plant’s destroyed,
a kidnapper’s been killed, the hostage safe.
The telephone sits silent, ruin void
of visitors. My shirt and lanyard chafe
my sunburned arms and neck. Those garden beers
were worth the pain: an IPA, a strong
brown ale. And then we walked along the piers,
the harbor boozy blue, each noisy throng
of tourists buying, grazing, gaping—just
like us. Right now, the sun is swording through
the drapes. The king-size bed’s a mess—it must
be love. And now you’ve left me: “Got to do
my hair and put my face on straight.” Who says?
We’ll both be back to work in seven days.
Brief bio:Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His chapbook In Stereo: Thirteen Sonnets and Some Fire Music appeared from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog in 2012. Tom's website: http://thomaszimmerman.