Two Poems from The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems

June 14, 2019

In The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems, Tim Bowling wrestles with his own conflicted feelings about masculinity, fatherhood, history, citizenship and power, in this wry yet haunting collection of poems dedicated to the Tenderman – a character from another time, a worker in a lost resource culture. His poems question the current state of North America’s working class, reflecting on a rough-edged, wilder past, while looking forward to the future.

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Two Poems from The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems

 

POEMS ON THE CURRENT SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION FOUND ON MY YOUNGEST SON'S MAGIC: THE GATHERING PLAYING CARD

Tap an untapped creature you control. You, tenderman?

You’re always on tap but never on top. Transform

town Gossipmonger. To what? Fishmonger?

Been there, done that. Incite Rabble attacks

each combat if able. If? What rabble

rousing from its century of stony sleep is ever able?

Someway again, pal, we must muster the will

to gather and storm His Lordship’s castle –

we owe it to our fathers and the sea

and the magic of the flowing river.

Gossipmonger. Rumours are sparks:

gather enough of them and something’s going to catch fire.

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH A TEENAGED DAUGHTER

How’s your creep radar, kid?

Fine-tune it and train it on the tenderman

for practice. Blip blip

screeeeeeeee

that about nails it.

But there are plenty of candidates

for the poster boy of misogyny.

Hey! Quit fooling around

Don’t point that thing at me

Blip blip blip

The sound of every father

raising a daughter

breathing eyes-wide-open

underwater.

 

 

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Thank you to Noelle and Sadia at Wolsak and Wynn and to Tim Bowling for sharing The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems with us.


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