27 February 2007

Featured Poet: Tim Yu

Tim Yu is the winner of the Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Award for his collection Journey to the West, which appears as part of the Winter 2006 issue of Barrow Street. He has also published poems in 2nd Avenue Poetry, SHAMPOO, and Interlope; his criticism has appeared in Chicago Review, Meanjin, and The Poetry Project Newsletter; and he blogs at tympan (http://www.tympan.blogspot.com/). He grew up in the Chicago area and now lives in Chicago and in Toronto, where he teaches at the University of Toronto.

San Francisco

Here what happens
is a downspout loop, a
relevance fluster,

some 105 zones
of union: buy
a cretin for your

rumble room.
On the TV with no
thickness, each eye

a different blond. You
think you’re please
and thank you,

cleft palate,
cracking lip.

Tipping Point

Yeah how ye
little hills

gird wave grass
off of out

a dark end swing up
sets the brakes

of matrimony

Let’s say you were a substitute, loosed by gravel, wood cut. You’d do something like the sound on the back of a hand or dollar.

Be that.

Missing links makes you thinks. Or sausage and egg for breakfast, pooling with the tilting table, in a pleasant town with no used-car lot.

It’s as if po
easy over air

makes pants hang
dry on line

Dub race a
rude repose

or geld each
bridge, each

rain-out band

Then you’re a wall of pidgin, being sure to tongue each hole.

Pay up.

What’s under your hat can’t be had but rises staggered, sickle high: own salt. It’s possible this is your station.

I’ve discovered a way around the soft voice that finds itself in my throat.

In pied state you
must walk fact

big ape tears
slip sliding up

You don’t list
miss or mate

but do by pend
what holds each went

Face it: you shouldn’t wear those. Each ear and waist is a tipping point, apostolic or aloof.

Arthur’s mac and cheese creeps westward.

He’s like a pylon, ground or strike.

The Magnificent Mile

Some ether fell
down on my
hardwood floor

pockmarking the chessboard
on which the pizza was baking

Drop into the city
anytime you feel like
sweetness, a sugar-cone

likeness in the mail-
slot in the door

Skunky Hour

Hey ladies—I’m scared
of the common cold.
Select man at
the gate, press to continue.
It’s like cat power
sometimes, being all
alone in the middle.
I’m the dean of
clean. Go hermit
on that stripey ass.
When no one’s here
I’m quiet like a dog.

Elephant & Castle [19]

Your raygun name
is a sour berry,

a hanger-on.
That backwater

pint wouldn’t cut
a finch. Is it tough

enough for action
is what I’m asking.

Every barber-can
Smith & Jerry

thinks he’s got us
up a mudchute.

Soak it, chalk
it up to crossing

castles at the gooey
end of the street.

© 2007 Tim Yu