Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Timothy Gager's These Poems Are Not Pink Clouds

Timothy Gager’s chapbook, These Poems Are Not Pink Clouds, is published by Alternating Current and is a welcome read. His poems reminisce about the past and also use clever language that keeps everything fresh and entertaining. My emotions ranged from happy nostalgia to bittersweet longing as I empathized with the profound moments and ideas he described. I “dog-eared” quite a few poems and will share a few of them with you:


We don’t know
we are alone at birth
after the cord is cut

and no one
really sees the sun
by staring
no one catches the scent
of fresh air
or can describe the taste
of spring water
no one
can hear the sound of a broken heart
in a china shop

We know
the sun is visible through a pinhole
remember the warmth on our faces

and air is captured
in lifetimes of afternoons
or even when you hang a sheet

we know, water is pure
as a virgin –
water won’t lie

and the sound of your heart
when opened is a beautiful symphony
as long as we remove the bull

we know the chord was cut
our lifetime ago
we know at least that much.

I love the line “no one/can hear the sound of a broken heart/in a china shop” which everyone instantly can pair together with “bull” in the title. The idea that emotions can be the proverbial bull and the use of the words “the cord is cut” which, to me, means trying to cut the emotional ties to another makes for a clever poem about a relationship. The beautiful lines of “the sun is visible through a pinhole,” and “the sound of your heart/when opened is a beautiful symphony” reveals that the feelings are there despite the fact that the “chord was cut/our lifetime ago.” I imagine this is a poem about a relationship that has since ended but is still thought of fondly.

Howdy from Ohio

I know
in other parts of the country
that are not Boston,
they don’t avert eyes,

they say things…
talk to strangers,
just as much as we won’t
do those things
not from fear
or from mom’s advice, but rather
they might want
to talk back

Somewhere in Ohio
people have been poisoned,
maybe aliens have taken over
just west of Akron
and I am fearful
of walking down a busy street
when all I need is a sandwich

And there he is…
as if he has been sent down
to meet me…
plaid shirt
navy blue shorts
varicose veins
pretty unassuming
with his hand in his pocket, loaded, grinning,
I brace myself for contact,

hold my insides in…hard.
There is no time for a sale
of my soul to a thrift shop –
without a return policy

The man breaks into a smile
which is fighting a duel with my wince
his hand can’t wait to spring up
like a jack-in-a-box
now we are ten feet from one another
it suddenly leaps out
in tandem with a startling, “Howdy”
and I manage a mumble that goes unheard –
he is too far down the street.

I love this poem! How many times have you been to a new place where you are used to guarding yourself only to encounter friendly locals? I love the element of surprise in this poem and the hand springing out and waving in greeting rather than waving a gun as the author seemed to believe would happen.

Somewhere South

walk a lonely lane
where tall trees turn toward
the sun and weeping willows bow
inviting you to stay
within their succulent shade

Close your eyes
dream an ocean
mist moistening your face
with a cool suave sleep
as veiled voices
echo down dirt roads,
the sounds siphon you awake.

I think this is simply a beautiful poem. You can picture yourself walking outside and experiencing this moment for yourself. What a wonderful meditative moment.

If you enjoyed these poems you may purchase a copy of the collection at Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press for $6.00 and many others that have been featured here thus far. It is a fabulous press with fabulous poets and I hope you enjoy the poetry as much as I do.

Thanks always for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

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