Tim Allen - 4 improvisations

Tim Allen


4 improvisations from Very Rare Poems Upon the Earth


smelting           malting the promise of flavour            there is             always

King                   Midas                released           to peddle myths           from

coast to            coast                  a bee at sea                  peddling           the air

smiling              mailing the primrose of favour to a crab adorned with

rivets a              punk boat         smelling of promise LIKE surrealism’s eye         

under melting glass                  melting the poison of feverish             tinnitus           

saline torture                all illnesses coming at once as if the body was an

immortal in hell            but just for a moment             a dinosaur bottleneck



longbowman                 crossbowman              mum and unbearable toddler

exercises in bookkeeping &                 watercolour                  weeping stitches

lobsters’ knees            school girls on the bus devouring cream puffs

there is             always             the broken promise                   of          ART

how rapidly cushions arrange themselves behind you as you            FALL

BACK ON          sensuous slogans                      intransigent kid Cupid

forever fiddling with the myths                        changing the direction of the

archers’ wind              dawdling            doodling           bee on an exercise bike




variance novelty hypotheses                             narwhal           sleep wave

l e  n   g    t     h              burning numbers          consider the following

points               precognition’s rival experiments with             fortune keep

burning words waving during duration’s richly vague            reminiscence 

pawned for      imagined communities            of         crystal spatter pre

dicted but not             understood                    the horn of torchlight the

yawn of torchlight                    poking velvet night                    discrete yet

abandoned       to sit there      leaping to         questionable conclusions


nervous velvety hypnosis                      lyrical manipulation changes dawn   

to dusk              molluscs collide            with smoke     needles             tremble

exercise           rights                 wolves’ fleece               in subconscious snow

if you were waiting for me to write narwhal again you were right to         

wait                    Portland finally gets helpful poems written about it but i

got the impression our council flat was a burgled island flooding us with

Captain Ahab understudies                 you can have too much of a good

thing so when having another hernia scan                 ask       is it a boy or girl?


herded into the trees               herded away from the trees                a dog

made of mercury          chasing its mercurial tail.       all the way to heaven

bearded since 19                       i look more ex-angel                than ex-mod

short on           theories            the old Christmas trees            in the dunes

zoom in           did you hear that i look             a little like one of those trees?

time will tell how successful i’ve been            holding this                   shape

holding it the way a scooter holds its shape surrounded by motorbikes -

madman on the beach shouting insults at the sea is marvellously clichéd



i don’t like that stanza               so         i’ll dedicate this shop-soiled poem to

any lucky sod who is not a poet           but to put it mildly      there are too

many of the sods and to be honest i don’t                  think they’d appreciate

zooming out again…               this year’s only snow                  a lacing on the

seaward side of the dunes                   on Christmas Eve          snow that came

in from the sea           and i can’t stand on this Zanzibar either and there’s

something about the internet i don’t like too            but i can’t put my

finger on it       no       i mean i really               can’t put my finger      on it




clear mystery                clear calculation                        clear                weeping

weeping clarity           adding spin                  microscopic                   whips

clean mystery cleanly undreamt         nuclear Lear Easter wood        chip

crumpled shadows                   rumpled Shadows’ suits           crinkled hall

ows                       proto-white-type-funeral             and marble trees in an     

arable vortex                hips wedged                 replication snared.      garb

led        soul dis             plays trophies and framed testimonials.        with

the taste of a lonely communist coming in dripping with German              fog



dainty insect equipped with strict gentlemen                          someone like an

Eric Satie          asking us sticky questions about yon unscaled mountain 

ain’t it               grand?              isn’t it                swell?             at the cliff foot a

dictionary of slang        left out overnight        tames unruly professors of

their obsessions            ain’t it               to be expected?          like another

question following the lecture far too             nattily              a purposeless

equipoise of lightening and nerves                  cracking the marble sky giving

the all clear                    come on out now        show us who you really are

Copyright © Tim Allen, 2020