Two Poems


December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Tim Tomlinson


Taylor Ham On White

My brother
did not commit


as a child—
was I deprived

of the kind of incident that shapes


I don’t blame him—

I didn’t

that day,

after school,

alongside the oven

but either of us
could have


plenty of


to spare.
The empty milk carton,

taylor ham on white,
a smear

of French’s yellow.

This is what they’ve left us.

when you fry it—
turns into

you can fill

with ketchup.

We preferred
over “catsup,”

a ridiculous word.

“Big Shot”
was Bosco
in a spray can. We loved

turning white

Scooter pies
were dry as Communion

we couldn’t swallow.

my brother drinks

in aloe juice
before bed.

How much must

hurt, inside.


Before Martha Stewart, There Was


Pop Tarts
into the toaster
down once, medium, remove

with care.

On the phone,
her friend across the street
says coffee

is on.
Mom tells

us hurry up,
the bus is coming.

do they do
we’ve gone,
our buses

going in

different directions,


our bandanas
and bellbottoms,
our drugs

kicking in


I wonder?


Tim Tomlinson is co-founder of New York Writers Workshop, and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Caribbean Vistas, Dirty Napkin, Extracts, HALiterature, LITnIMAGE, The New Poet, New York Quarterly, Tule Review, and the anthology Long Island Noir (Akashic Books). His poem, “To the Best Friend of the Girl in the Mr Peanut Costume, Halloween, 1986” (Unshod Quills), is nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

One thought on “Two Poems

  1. […] has also published “Two Poems” in the winter issue of The Citron Review, a poem that includes “Before Martha […]

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[Unidentified little girl dressed in winter clothing with hand muff, standing], Emery R. Gard, 1865-1870, J. Paul Getty Museum

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