With Paper and Brush

A poem by Thomas Zimmerman


“It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train
to Cry” is on the stereo, my wife
is gone, a stout’s half-drunk in front of me,
the dogs are faking sleep (just waiting for
a treat), and I am channeling the dead.
That is, the images won’t come. I’m not
in love with television. Internet’s
a bore. A jazzman said to play until
you’re safe. My father flickers just beyond
the lamplight, whispers faint and hoarse: To put
a penny on the track? Forget the flag
and flowers on his grave? To lend out books
and discs but not expect them back? They’re gifts.
And louder now: To paint. Not wait too long.


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.

Visit his website!

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America’s Pastime

A poem by Thomas Zimmerman


I drank a half-gallon of beer
at the Cubs game today. Home
team won with three in the ninth.
Ninety degrees, great seats,
high and in the shade, along
the third-base line. Booty-
song on the radio there: I’m all
about that bass. Fair enough.
Is the anima erupting, as my friend
William insists? Is global warming
our fault? Is suffering ever
earned? Imponderables. Don’t get
too damned wise. The beer was strong,
the shade was cool, and I had three
people I love sitting with me.
I watched my niece’s purse and diet
coke while she looked for the women’s room.


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.

Visit his website!