Saturday, August 29, 1998

Leftover Milk in a Little Cup

Leftover Milk in a Little Cup
Don't mind me
looking at the leftover milk in my little cup
whiteness watching whiter-ness
staring hard

If there's an answer
it's at the bottom of this cup
leftover lightness, white on white
the porcelean cracked and stained with yesterday's coffee

I cup my hands to catch the milky rain
and lift it to my wet mouth
my cheeks cold numbed and blued
and wonder at the cold sting in my toes
tight in my cowboy boots

This highway so recently so hot
the images so recently wavering in the road heat
Dallas dust dry and white
white as the insanely hot Irving sky
your image a wavering image
dry and white and your cheeks cold and blue
and for this single moment I am you
in my rain
in my heat
in my little white cup
in my leftover milk.
-Tim Allen
Antigua, Guatemala, August 1998

Friday, August 28, 1998

Crowded and late chicken bus

Crowded and late chicken bus
"Dios me guia" the glittering letters shout
two glittering bathing beautiies reclining to either side of the words
I imagine the terror of reading these insane words
as the bus runs me down

But not now
the fifty colored ex-Nebraska school system International Harvester School bus
is so late and so crowded on this street
that it's a wonder we get anywhere at all
and a greater wonder that we can get off when we get there

My plastic bag of blankets sits on my lap
crushed by a Quechican man in a Texas Ranger's cap
breathing vodka fumes on me in a loud Quechican accent
Hey Gringo, Where You Coming From
and then turns back to his seat mate
and breaths vodka Quechican at her for a while

And I am so late and so crowded that I'll never get there
I'll be on this bus when the final horn sounds
and I'll be sentenced to a dusty half Quechican hell
of my own making
I chose to do this
I chose to do this!
and they just wouldn't believe this back in Irving now would they?

And this Quechican hell still tastes of dusty Texas heaven
heaven for Texans
where the sound of fifty different radios
tuned to fifty different stations
would sound like Gabriel's horn
blowing away the
plastic-titted denizens of my hometown

"Budweiser: Autentico, como tĂș":
At least this is honest
at least this is indigenous
and we the intruders
at least this is part of the real history of the real world

But right now my underwear is crawling up my ass
and my seat is not shaped for my butt
and I'm so damn late
and so damn crowded.
-Tim Allen
Antigua, Guatemala, August 1998

Thursday, August 27, 1998


I put my foot direct
tied straight
to the wheels
cold power
and amerikan
and steer
to be a man here means image
and I've got image somewhere
I learned it
from John Wayne or Ronald Reagan
but I sure can stop a car
everything I do
I mean to do
I'll convince you too
and anyway it's the thing we want to
believe that we all know
how to behave
for example
this car has wheels
like yours
and you have a head turned away
to watch the light turn
and I'm Watching You Hard
like men do
in Dallas
in Summer
in heat that doesn't ever stop
'cause I like it just as hot as hell
and I even like my hat
just like John Wayne or Ronald Reagan
and I say American hard
and Watch It
'cuz I'm Watching You Too.
-Tim Allen
Antigua, Guatemala, August 1998

The Fear

The Fear
Bottle glass goes mostly green
and sometimes blue (not often)

I watch you
face shrink into the close end of the bottle bottom
and screw the clap cap under the lid
you flew by the bar another brew
and felt the fear catch
and latch around my core
tighten and wonder
feel the cuffs on my wrists
and twist my legs up under
in the cop car back fiber seat glass seats
and wonder as I thrust
my last glass last gasp creditcardmagic under the bar
and stopped to tip the tap from where I sat
on the stool and half faced the bouncer
as I slept then wandered the street
to find my car parked where
then start and fogged the glass
past the other cars' lights
star lighting my windshield glass
and then
and awake
and dry the tears that under
my ducts caked
and o god half sick and half wake
the glass stares back
and I stare too
broke and only half awake
how did I get home and what did I say
and now back here
the bar
and the bottle glass
mostly brown
some green
and always always
-Tim Allen
Antigua, Guatemala, August 1998