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Tim Allen - Four Phobias

Tim Allen

Four Phobias

Acrophobia – fear of heights

A childhood rope on penny hope of bias in academia.

When rock and tree are no longer lovers instead of north south east and west there is only up and down. Friendship demands sacrifice. The sacredly unfair not rare enough.

Climbing monkey aped a man wearing an oxygen mask just as love was replaced by sheer wooded cliffs enclosing a mass gang-rape by frogs. On another day it was replaced by the fear of song.

It was when stone and weed divided-up their children that we were issued with an altimeter instead of a compass. Enemies demand an examination of your dice although trustworthy cowardice is subject to a chance encounter with philosophy on your north face.

The lad climbed the ladder of foolhardy brevity but one day he was supplanted simply supplanted yes supplanted then on a second day he was overtaken by poetic vertigo.

In the wide-open of another country a tower makes a deal with a field ploughed by supplanted clouds. Eternal radiance floods the front seat of the coach however the tower does not sign the deal. The coach driver doesn’t care. The coach driver plays the lighthouse keeper’s part while the tourists embark to do the work of a storm.

Control is essential but not essentialist. The tower takes off in a field far above the other kitchen gardens. Its waiting room is crafted from spiralling stairs shooting-up in shadows by indoor weeds. The lighthouse keeper pays the coach driver not to look, to stay asleep in fact.

In another fact the control panel is too high to reach and too far down the list to replant your feet. One foot is a foot longer than the ledge it edges along although this Lilliputian fence is the right height for tripping over to enter etherised sky. Ether is either made of lead which is composed of nothing or once beyond the rim of the world

is rendered mostly in verse.


Algophobia – fear of pain 

A love glowing or pets having our breakfast in Arcadia.

Not why but when questions resemble physical phenomenon everything feared forgets going forth in fourth but comes in third anyway half way through the ordeal.

Today’s teeth line up as a firing squad but next time they will walk off with yesterday’s condemned men. On any given night fire is brewed in semicircles of brain blood but on any subtracted night the play-park parallel bars added to swings and roundabouts take the king’s shilling in the currency of broken glass and discarded take-away cartons.

Here now yet not how dawn jerks you awake questioning your physical phenomenon. Friends and enemies in a competition to make you suffer. Don’t really care which one wins.


   few chose to face away from those who hid



of a body lacking dimensions mentioned in Diss         patches 

at a charity banquet.           A sentient blanket           crawls out of the Maze

so share your stone             or shed stones                       leave them

on the latch           like eyelids made of sand         eclipsed by shells.                     

The one thing enemies lack are the massless irrelevancies so today you may well care who wins because it’s the football results. The torturer yawns at the end of the shift just like the rest of us although his yawn is a lane in a mouth wide enough to come out the other end of the cathode tube faking survival of the Spectacle after watching a thousand plastic soldiers parachute onto your fireside mat using hankies filled with fresh junkie air joshing around outside a hospital entrance with the doors constantly opening and closing to let through

glass dwarfs
in editions grateful
the editing is far behind them.

So which sweaty world ball do you want refitted in its socket shaken free of abjection with the snappy-back pirate patch beneath which you weep petals of napalm?

Then again he’s highly sensitive but nothing touches him, so there…

there there.



Androphobia – fear of men

A nocturnal droid roaming over people’s houses only blowing insomniac angst.

Pepperminted marble
Peppermint ‘orrible party
Breathe through your eyes

Dress to give birth to in a dress to give birth in
Dress to kill in a dress to kill in
Swim concentrically

Disclose your marbled peppers
Swim wearing spurs the size of farm machinery
Hide in plain-sight

Stepping out
Stepping out of your depth
Stepping out of your depth into something more comfortable.

There are novels written with a prissy righteousness and there are novels written with raw wonder and despair. The characters themselves might be interchangeable but every time one hops across from one book to the other a sparrow weighing the same as an elephant is pushed from a tree made of dead wasps the same way a woman falls asleep off a man made of print

but never vice versa.



Anemophobia – fear of wind 

All nouns enjoy meaning opened panoramically harried on bright illustrious art.

Building material left packaged on the pavement. Not packaged very well. The cardboard wind disposes of the plastic sheeting.

A man in a dark overcoat is walking towards the building material. He passes in front of it but as he does so the very existence of the building material becomes a cypher for some sad unknown statistic about the man. It has something to do with the fact that sluggishness can be so swift. And naked ambition so humble. And talk so repetitive.

Building material left on the pavement. Not left very well. It could get a head cold?

There is a conversation between the slabs that make up the pavement and the paving slabs that make up part of the package of building materials. The parts of the package that are not slabs cannot join this conversation but they can hear it. Whether they can understand it is another question similar to the way the singer in the overcoat knows what the video director does not but nevertheless has no way of demonstrating this with the materials and talent available. It is this knowledge which informs his facial contortions.

Now a phone rings in the telephone box on the next corner. No, I never heard it either.

The telephone box has been left there unpackaged. Its scream is a muffled form of red. It raises degrees warmer than where the man in the black overcoat watches himself from the other side of the street. The implication is that reflection answers by saying there is no connection between building material and man just as the ringing phone insists there is an exchange. Of sorts. An evidence of subtle qualms. The video director coming to terms with what is impossible.

Meanwhile the building material remains there. In the way on the pavement. Not packaged well. And the cardboard wind is still there too fashioned by a wind machine wrapped in sheet lightening. 

Copyright © Tim Allen, 2021

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