February 27 –  March 3, 2023: Poetry from Tim Tipton and Rose Mary Boehm

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Tim Tipton

Tim Tipton lives in Ventura, Califronia. He is an observer, a poet, a playwright, and, well, the possibilities are endless.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Tim Tipton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Game Show

There were certain
television shows my
Dad liked to watch:
Monday Night Football,
The Evening News
and games shows.
He was a fanatic
about game shows,
The Price is
Right, Jeopardy, Card
Sharks, Wheel of
Fortune. I asked
him what I
could do to
make him happy
and he said
“Find a nice
girl, get married,
have a family.”
I asked him
what was his
second choice, and
he said, “Get
on a game show.”
I got on a game show called Make Your Dad
Happy! I won fifty points on Disappointments
My Father Committed and twenty on the times
my father told me loved me.
I spun the wheel in hope to win the ultimate jackpot
The wheel spun faster and faster,
and then slower and slower.
Then it stopped. I did not win the ultimate jackpot.
Instead I got a twelve-piece set of Louis Vuitton luggage
of resentments and unresolved stuff.

Rose Mary Boehm

Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru, and author of two novels as well as seven poetry collections. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her latest: Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders? (Kelsay Books July 2022), WHISTLING IN THE DARK (Ciberwit July 2022), and Saudade (December 2022) are available on Amazon. Visit Rose Mary on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Rose Mary Boehm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sharp Joy—Soft-edged Memories

Making approximate noises to the Baroque trumpet concierto,
with a voice that once had the clarity of bells. I know
every note, of course. Unexpected winter sun streaming into
the kitchen, the trumpet at full blast. Fillet steaks.
Broccoli cream. A bit of onion perhaps, one potato.

I move my head to the irresistible rhythm and conduct,
knife in hand, ready to dissect the garlic. Someone shouts from
a window across the yard to another person I cannot see,
‘No te olvides la mascarilla.’ ‘Don’t forget the mask.’
It is COVID time in Lima, Peru. Plates, bowls, taste…
The top of the waves of the Pacific sparkle.

Never owned a coveted open top. But it’s summer in Madrid,
and all the car windows are open. The tape machine
works again, and Callas wonders whether ‘He’s the one’.
La Traviata one of my favourite operas. Callas’ voice is beginning
to wobble. Navacerrada, pines from somewhere below reaching
into the heavens. I am immortal as long as no car comes
towards us on the hairpin curves. We are going up, up, up.
There is this restaurant I know in Sepulveda’s Plaza Mayor. After lunch
we’ll mosey down to the Duraton to visit the gallinazos.

Took the kids to school, it’s a gentle, sunny London morning.
Washing ready to be hung, I carry the basket onto the lawn.
Nothing smells quite as wholesome as wind- and sun-dried
linen. From the open window Mungo Jerry. I move my hips; my arms
hang the washing to the irresistible rhythm. Just may pull out the deck chair
and get some tan in-between the rapidly passing white puffy clouds
that, for uncomfortable moments, make you shiver.
In the summertime…

An inspired sun has dried the wet leaves and the muddy paths
in the park. My bedroom windows wide open. A summer breeze
moves the curtains. Vivaldi. Winter. It’ll have to do. Making the beds.
It’s Sunday morning in Den Haag. There is a scent in the air of sea
and some sweet flowers. A quick uitsmijter. Nothing elaborate.
Rob will arrive soon. He said 20 minutes. Sailing on Aalsmeer. All day.
Rucksack: Jenever. Beer. Broodjes. And in that order.

Circumnavigating the Starnberger See in my Fiat Cinquecento.
The car has two luxuries: an open roof (all the way back), and
a radio which is blaring Schlager, German pop songs.
‘Sag mir wo die Blumen sind’, ‘Where have all the flowers gone’.
For the moment we can see them on the summer meadows.
Carpets of them. Feeling Angst, we sing our hearts out.
My friend just left her husband who tried to keep her locked in
and threw the key away, while I wonder whether Max will call.

Lucky and I. At Sint Annastrand, the Schelde ‘beach’ near Antwerp.
‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ from the loudspeakers. The sun
is gentle. Lucky is getting fat. I am 21 going onto 30. It’s
a miracle that Madame let her out. Madame has a ‘pension’
in the old part of town, near the Bourse. And a bar.
I am in the cheaper room at the back. We’ve become friends,
Lucky and I. She used to do the streets. Knows every trick
in the book to protect me from what she calls ‘predators’.
I don’t want to be protected. Tired from dancing in the Rumanian
Gipsy joint I came back at three this morning. Slipped off my
shoes, but Lucky heard me anyway, made sure I was alone.

‘Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen’, the sky is blue and white.
Learning Finnish is impossible, but I can remember songs.
Arrived in Helsinki when the Baltic was frozen and in August
a headline that makes everyone laugh proudly:
‘Two Africans Fainted From The Heat in Oulu’. Fancy that.
It’s 1957. Camped with the bears in Karelia, learned to recite
‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in Finnish, bought fresh fish in the market
by the harbour, tried to cut a chicken in half with rose shears,
getting a tan on my cousin’s farm. The sauna is ready.
My brother’s wedding will be soon. Must fly home.

My mother at the door. The party is in full swing. There
are a few boys. And my mother is at the door at eleven sharp.
Dragging me out. The party is at a friend’s house. Not far
from home. Mother knows everyone. But I must be home
by 11.00. ‘Mr Anthony’s Boogie’. I am sweating, my hair limp.
Adrenalin pumping. And my mother is at the door.
‘Komm jetzt sofort hier raus!’. Her face a dark cloud.
Tomorrow I’ll play Beethoven for her, and Mozart.
The piano needs tuning and my shame hangs like a cloak.

My brother has built a crystal radio in a cigar box. He lets me listen
to it when he feels generous of spirit. He is my big brother.
I am only small. He listens to the American Forces Network.
I learn to say it. He puts his finger to his lips. Shhh. Don’t!
or we get into heap great big trouble. Mother at the sewing machine,
my budgie on her shoulder. They are talking to each other.
My brother says we are losing the war. My mother sings
me to sleep after she tucks the eiderdown tight around me.
‘Schlafe mein Kindchen, schlaf ein…’
So long as the bombers don’t come. Dreams of fire.
Tomorrow I’ll eat.

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