Tag Archives: Steven Tomlins

It’s not normal

by Steven Tomlins


I dipped my burger in an expired bar-b-que sauce.
“Randal just isn’t like other guys, there’s
something wrong with him –
he doesn’t beat me. How am I supposed
to learn?”

The fries were mushy and cold, flaking salt goosebumps.
“Geordie and Brad both beat me because
that’s how I learn. Randal’s weird –
but I like him anyway; even if he doesn’t
beat me.”

Watery soda tasted sort of papery, kind of like the cup itself.
Don’t get me wrong – I tried to explain
it to her – we both did, Randal and I, but she just
didn’t get it. We told her that being
beaten wasn’t normal – but she wasn’t listening.

Our teaching tactics weren’t what she was used to.
I didn’t finish the combo; nor did
I complain. The service was lame but I’d expected
as much. Such a waste, but you get what you
pay for; know what I mean?

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In Cleverly Titled “Tank Park”

by Steven Tomlins


my little Sister
found a finger
inside an army tank.

Sixteen and with her steady,
sneaking in through a hole,
base brats killing their boredom,
as many had done before.
As they approached their destination,
the finger fell past their mouths,
it only stopped moving once it
landed on my sister’s blouse.

Grey and naked it was nothing but bone,
long since taken from its siblings and thumb.

It had been a while since that finger touched a blouse.

The frail stranger didn’t get too long a thrill,
flicked like a tarantula onto the rusting, moldy floor.

Treated like a leper.

The owner lost it for us, so we’re told,

yet it made my sister scream.
The M.P.’s put it in a sandwich body bag,
ziplocked and driven away.
Evicted by young love from his home in Tank Park,
he was discovered and he was betrayed.
At the time I thought it was funny,
neat at my sister’s expense,
now I wonder about the finger,
and what to my sister it meant.

My Inner Struggles

by Steven Tomlins


My inners are going to have to be
removed to make room for the crumbs

They call it stuffing, woe is me
and they call my leg a drum, My nipple-less

chest becomes a breast – they like me
fatter, battered, for their consumption

Please, don’t mention this to them,
they’re hungry and it’d just ruffle their

feathers, leave a bad taste in their mouths,
learning of my inner struggles, these thoughts

I deal with as I wait watching the hooks
for the buckets, face to face with my

brethren, or am I just being paranoid,
coo-coo, afraid to just wing it, this provisional life

Don’t make me Laugh

by Steven Tomlins


Holding it in between crossed legs
A centurion jailed is trying to escape
my bladder cells
Hurry up and finish your blubbered speech
I wonder who felt like this, soldiers, listening to Caesar
crossing the fresh flowing Tiber
For the love of gods
Tapping feet and leaning forward, fingers crossed
back stretched and teeth clenched
Trying to look natural while thinking of
Juturna on her throne
Who cares about salt at a time like this,
or fame, or beauty, health, or epilepsy
If this building collapsed the first thing I’d do
is find a corner to use, only afterwards
would I take reality in
For all of our advancements, our lives of ease,
we still fall prey to situations like these, where
we envy the plants for their ability to go
whenever they so need,
completely consequence free
taking Rome by storm, cleansing the treasury

I don’t even know her anymore

by Steven Tomlins


I want to divorce my body
She’s been getting on my nerves
The same-sex part is so passé
This isn’t societies business
It’s the lies that call for emancipation
Cheating with a naïve fling
I’m asking for a separation
Ana confides in me the abuse she’s suffered
By her own hands
By her own skin
Her flesh and blood has betrayed her vows
And she’s ready to throw the marriage away
A trial separation she inquires
Couples therapy I recommend
Terminal matrimony soon to be dissolved
Perhaps an annulment would be sufficient
The habits – bad habits – weren’t part of the deal
How much more is she expected to take?
Twenty-eight and counting