In California

Where you were born

Like a boy putting olives on his father’s fingers,

Finance is an ocean

A pristine and beardless tide.

I recognize nothing it washes in,

Though together, America

We form its moon

And Carlos, I met you once – you rang me up for mayo, the streetlights

Just on, false as York Street’s lilacs.

If God is here, he is the printer alone, copying out a long text

In an empty room.

Prophets, for you God spat out a tooth,

And the whitest of birds assembled in the dark

Of his mouth to replace it –

That was what was called

‘Having it good’, once -




FACTS are sonorous but among the facts there is a murmuring

-Clarice Lispector


Shot outside Victorville, California. Super8.

The Piers

the piers, 1980 – Alvin Baltrop

photo 1

From Bern Porter’s ‘Found Poems’


Submarines blot out the ocean. They drive on to Rome

Alone, negating the whale.

A vault of men

Asleep periscopes up

In their bunks, a grotto –

The mission, enormous, fits in each of them whole -

Like a pit in the fruit, like society in the soul.


Each torso is a motto,

the same motto, incorruptible:

all corruption is included in its phrase.

So flutter on, poplar: wobble on, tabled plums.

“Nature is the same as Rome – nature is the same as Rome.”




dryland wheat farming, Oregon.  photo – Blair Saxon-Hill


tennis court oath

Timmy Straw is a writer and musician from Oregon. Editions Plane published her first chapbook, To Water, Everything is a Swimmer, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Spork, Tin House, Weekday & Volta. She’s composed music for film and ballet, put out the album State Parks, and is currently working on a second.  She also studies Russian at Reed College.