<![CDATA[Tim Hawkins Poetry - Blog]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 14:00:51 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[New Year's Resolution 2018]]>Thu, 04 Jan 2018 01:55:30 GMThttp://timhawkinspoetry.com/blog/new-years-resolution-2018
Four years between posts. You can't really call that a blog, can you?
If I’m going to be this neglectful, I can hardly get worked up about all of the Spam bot fan mail I’ve had to remove in the intervening years.
I imagine an alternate universe where I might have a relationship with the authors of such missives as:
  • “Another great post, I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.” –From Lipozene Reviews
  • “Hello ... I'm bringing 3 new people into my system this month and I thought you might be a good fit” –Anonymous
  • “How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? I wish to inform you that ECOWAS have been having a meeting with the IMF and UNITED NATION for the past 1 month now which ended yesterday in regards to innocent individual who have been a victim of scam…”—Didn’t catch the name
  • “Hey, your product sure sounds swell. How about if I trade you one of my poems for a tube of Lipozene, whatever that may be?”
  • “Wonderful! Sign me up right now. Without a doubt, I am a good fit.”
  • “Gosh, I don’t even know what to say! Give my regards to ECOWAS.”
Actually, I don’t even have to try that hard to imagine that alternative universe. Once, years ago, lonely and unemployed, I stayed up every night drinking cheap beer, eating beans, playing guitar and watching reruns of Hill Street Blues. About 3:00 am, an ad would come on offering free Mormon Bibles. I must have ordered 20 of them, and they sat unread on my shelves for years, along with the Big Book from AA.
It was September, the neighborhood boys had gone back to school, and we had had to discontinue the Whiffle Ball league I started. They were losing interest in the dog days of a 162 game season, and anyway, their parents didn’t much want them playing with a scruffy, unemployed guy. So, in my loneliness, I began to welcome Elder Matt and Elder Steve with a caffeine-free beverage every time they stopped by.
They were nice guys, fulfilling their Mormon mission years in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, of all places. I asked them why they hadn’t signed up for some place exotic like Tahiti, but then it dawned on me that they couldn’t drink and screw around anyway, so what difference did it make?
Such was my thinking at the time.
I don’t know if they were disappointed, resigned or just moved on to their next potential convert when I finally got another job and went back to work. I never saw them again, in the same way I haven’t watched Hill Street Blues since then, and that I have an aversion to canned beans. We didn't keep up through letters or anything, but I imagine they went on to very wholesome and productive endeavors. I don’t know what I finally did with all of those Bibles.
I did, however, get an actual fan email once, which I have archived to this day.
It was from a seventh-grade girl, who mistakenly sent it to me, instead of to her idol, Tim Hawkins, the Christian comedian. Or I should say, the real Tim Hawkins, the famous one, not this one.

“Dear Tim Hawkins,” she wrote. “Our teacher said we can do a research paper on anything and I choose to do you. I needed some more information on your Christian standpoint in life, your family, and upbringing. I am a big fan of yours. I love your comedy…It would mean a lot to get a response from you.”
I had to respond to such a heartfelt request, of course.
“Thank you so much for the note,” I wrote.  "I’m really touched to have a fan. Anything that you want to know about me, my Christian standpoint in life, my family and my upbringing can be found in my autobiography. It is called Wanderings at Deadline and can be purchased with your parents’ credit card for just $14 on my website.”
All of this leads to my New Year’s resolution: Blog more, sell at least as many books this year as the number of Mormon Bibles I ordered, interact with some real human beings instead of Spam bots, consider changing my name from Tim Hawkins to Wesley Lexington Bainbridge III, keep avoiding Hill Street Blues and canned beans like the plague.

​Elder Matt, Elder Steve, the Whiffle Ball league players, who, by now, must be nearly 40-year-old men with beer bellies and aversions to canned beans of their own. I miss you guys.

​All the best in the new year.
That’s all I’ve got for now.

<![CDATA[Photos of Schuler Books Reading (4/24/13)]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2013 03:24:49 GMThttp://timhawkinspoetry.com/blog/photos-of-schuler-books-reading-42413Great turnout at the April Schuler Books reading. My thanks to Emily Stavrou for organizing and to all who attended.  An independent bookseller in our community is something we need to cherish and support. I’m not sure how much longer there will be actual, printed books, but as long as we have them I will continue to buy them at Schuler’s and other independent retailers..

<![CDATA[Paul Stevens: An Appreciation]]>Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:17:19 GMThttp://timhawkinspoetry.com/blog/paul-stevens-an-appreciationI wrote to Paul Stevens on September 2, 2012, asking him to blurb my collection, Wanderings at Deadline. Over the years he had published several of my poems in The Flea and Shit Creek Review, two of the online publications, along with The Chimaera, that he founded and published with gorgeous production values and unique wit, verve and style.

Three days later, he replied with the generous and encouraging words that grace the back cover of the book. I responded with grateful thanks and a plea that he continue publishing his journals, which appeared to be on indefinite hiatus.

He wrote back:

The Chimaera too, like The Flea and SCR, is on an extended hiatus …My hugely increased teaching load has left me little spare time, so I had to put them to sleep for a while. Editing three journals took up a very great deal of time. But maybe they will awaken again one day -- albeit on a smaller scale,” signed, as in every correspondence I ever received from him, “Yr Hmble & Obdt Editor, Paul Stevens.”

What he didn’t mention at the time was his battle with stage 4 metastatic liver cancer. Paul passed away on March 22, by all accounts surrounded by his family at his home in Australia.

The publication of any of his journals, but most especially The Flea, with its “cutting-edge Seventeenth Century Technology, & state-of-the-art Alchemy” was like the circus come to town, but not just any old flea-bitten circus. This one was presided over by a winking, classically-trained ringmaster as talented as any of the performers and with a steady reserve of sleight-of-hand and one-liners at the ready for those moments in the show when elephants and clowns alike threatened to run amok.

His enthusiasm for this incipient publication back in early 2009 seeped through his cautious downplaying of the initial issue when he wrote to reject a poem for SCR, but to solicit it for his latest endeavor.

“It will be called The Flea and will stand as a remote descendant of John Donne's Flea; that is, it will have somewhat of a Metaphysical bent. It will appear irregularly and will probably only include 12 poems or fewer… I expect it to be small but bitey, and if it sucks, it will be blood that it's sucking.”

Twenty “Broadsheets” later, the publication took on a life’s blood of its own and never remotely threatened to “suck.” I feel privileged to have appeared in the first.

I last heard from Paul just before Christmas:

“I'm sorry to have taken so long to reply, but I've been in hospital a bit, or feeling pretty lethargic and sick when at home. But I seem to be turning corners now, and starting to feel a bit more compos mentis…Meantime, rest assured, I AM hanging in there…I have…the most wonderful support from family, friends, co-workers, and literary colleagues…I've discovered that it's really important to think -- to know -- that one's own life IS worth preserving. I can't begin to explain how much messages like yours hearten me and boost my general confidence, and will to survive.”

I never met the man in person. Our interactions amounted to perhaps a dozen and a half email exchanges, a good portion of which were polite rejections of this or that poem I had sent him for publication.

Nonetheless, echoing sentiments expressed throughout the online community, his death leaves a void for those who knew and loved him, as well as for those of us who knew him only through his online persona.

Gratefully, the back issues of the journals and Paul’s blogs will remain. They have been archived by the National Library of Australia’s Pandora System, and for the time being, their URL’s can still be found online here:


The Shit Creek Review
The Flea
The Chimaera


The Shit Creek Blog
The Flea Blogge
The Chimaera Blog
I, Caratacus (personal blog)

But the circus won’t be coming back to town. Everything that made it such a great show–the mix of playfulness and rigor, the often simultaneously hilarious and insightful prose, and an appreciation and celebration of both the traditional and the absurd–has pulled up stakes and moved on to parts unknown.

An aurora australis of light has gone out of the world, and so has a great deal of fun.