Archive for the Tim Peeler Category

Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot


The ghosts are wandering,
Searching for the concrete floored
Wooden hulls of the factory ships
Tailing ripsaws or driving dowel pins,
Operating a Carolina machine
Setting a limited range of patterns
For legs and arms and seats
Upholstering, sewing,
Carrying that shit into trucks
Three hacks high in summer heat.
The ghosts are looking for missing fingers
For the dope truck pulled into the parking lot
Set your watch by it at 9 AM
For bosses who shit themselves
Over a nickel raise
Then sent a minute-man
To speed up the line.
The ghosts pass through abandoned mills
Like wind over fallow fields
Hunting for all that beautiful furniture
They made but could never afford.



He wanted to be a trucker
And he spent most of the time
In his classes emulating
An accelerating tractor truck
With an endless number of gears.
His voice was a cross between
A hillbilly growl and blue tic howl.
When he downshifted
His school desk shook,
The Beta Club girl with cat eye glasses
Who would one day marry him,
Giving him her exasperation face.
By third period he’d had a workout
Having driven through a selected reading
Of Macbeth and a sociological survey
To determine the state of one’s
Familial dynamics,
So he lay his head on his open
World History book
Cheek to cheek with
A Roman emperor
And dreamed a Peterbilt technicolor dream
Honking his horn at every stocky country boy
Who raised his hand in that universal sign,
And the miles and days rolled by
Over and under him
Till he turned 16.

It was so Quiet in the Room

All you could hear was
Two poets
Their Pushcart nominations.

The Return by Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags , on November 16, 2016 by Scot

In the eighties I worked
At a motel where the owner
Wouldn’t let us hire blacks
On the front desk because
You couldn’t trust them
With the money,
Wouldn’t let us rent
The “new” rooms to “them”
Because they just didn’t fit
On that part of the monopoly board,
Yet “they” could be hidden
In the restaurant kitchen
Fixing the pan fried chicken
And honey biscuits that lined
The customers out the door.

Last week I got the gate fixed
On my driveway, new locks
For all the out buildings,
Quietly hunkering down
Because the white people
I worked for in the 80s
Have returned.

Old Man Poems by Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags on November 7, 2013 by Scot

I’m throwing back all the fish,
the retarded kid from my fifth grade class
who stank and wore black rimmed glasses
taped where they were broken over his nose,
the fifth grade girls who unzipped their dresses
and flashed their panties
when Mrs. Hager went outside for a smoke,
the shell shocked boy who rocked in his desk
and could not speak
when the home room teacher called the roll,
the owl-faced child-woman who taught us
that the Civil War was not fought over slavery,
flat-topped Mr. Cool Algebra who paddled
the black boys unmercifully for flirting with
white girls so we could hear each thwack
echo down the cement block hallway,
the black ninth grade football star
who bulllied the seventh graders
till they gave him their lunch money
and later became a career policeman,
all the cross-eyed freckle faced kids
in their too-short Sears catalog dungarees
who were terrorized in their trailer park homes,
in their spare the rod, spoil the child churches,
and at their mean street mill hill schools.
I’m throwing back all my fish
into the river that squeezes through dam locks
and rushes over granite rocks
racing toward the sea.

Hickory Poems 4 by Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags on May 12, 2012 by Scot

The flaming July sun
And the red dust rose
Every time a grounder
Scooted toward the shortstop’s glove,
Glancing sometimes off a bit
Of dust red granite into his naked chest
Or off his chin, and he came up
Throwing and spitting blood
From a bitten tongue.
He wore a boy’s work pants,
Cut off raggedly above
His bruised ankles
Hiding the electric cord stripes
That daddy put there last night.
He had a broken upper tooth
And the finger he held outside
His glove was jammed and swollen blue.
When it was his turn,
He leaned over the plate
And holding the bat cross-handed,
He swung at every pitch.

Three Poems by Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags on September 6, 2010 by Scot

Yarn 66

Tonight the snow lays a perfect blue pelt
Under the pin oaks in the front yard.
The busy, storm stopped highway
Is hidden as the wolf moon,
But we are vile beneath the pure screen,
Engines of indifference and violence.
A father thinks of how they beat his son
Till his cheek broke, his teeth, an eye socket,
Then left him like Lorca behind a downtown
Building before morning could warm him.
The moon is the closest it will be to Earth
All year, and if I were a wolf, I’d find
A high howling place to throw my head back.
O Lost.

Yarn 51

They never finished the last set.
He was up 4-2 on the old man
when the back spasm hit him,
and he felt a pang of guilt having
sent him scrambling back for a lob,
guilty for the service aces, the lead;
sixty-one, walking fire prayers
back to the Starlet—they never
finished the last set—left the
rivalry and the agony there
on the faded green asphalt
like an unfinished novel
abandoned on a perfect sunny
August afternoon, the way
the dead desert memories.

Yarn 38

The pink in Karl Rove’s divorce face
is the delicate shade he remembers
from his pale skinned uncle who
worked a Royal Crown Cola route
and always sat smoking on soda crates
stacked out front of that big double wide—
or maybe those raw splotches,
Carolina-shaped birthmarks
on the underside of the Grandma’s Jersey,
Brownie, the last milker—perhaps the blush
above Grandpa’s eyes when he cussed
about the stupidity of naming a cow,
the church usher’s corpse-like cheeks,
escorting a mourning widow to the front pew
or just God his self like Karl, pink clouds
bordering iridescent light in the fresco.