Contributions by John Samuel Tieman

A Modern Haibun

| John Samuel Tieman, Poetics, Prose

 by John Samuel Tieman                                                              another Monday                                                             again I surrender to                                                             the whisper of snow My wife is reading Freud this evening.   I sweep the fireplace, the ashes from Sunday more interesting for what they were.   Phoebe says something I don’t quite catch, something about desire.   I stare out our picture window.   …

The Answer

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

When I awoke Saturday, the first thought was, ‘Today is the day that Ruth dies.’ Ruth is my mother-in-law. Thursday, she had a heart attack. Friday, my wife, her daughter, Phoebe, put her in a hospice. Her hospice is in the country, in southern Illinois, an hour outside St. Louis. The old folks home, where …

Art, Politics And Aztecs

By & | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

Nothing feels benign anymore. That’s the lesson of terrorism. Planes used to be safe — flying used to be fun! So were movies and restaurants. Everything feels wrong. We can land a rover on Mars, but our kids can’t pass math. We esteem yesterday over today and tomorrow. Major religions seem rigid. Many folks find …

9/11

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

Everyone has a 9/11 story. To tell the truth, I don’t have a story. I have a record of feelings. I was teaching 7th grade in St. Louis when The World Trade Center and Pentagon were bombed. Apparently, our administrators had some debate about whether or not to show this over our TVs. But how …

Lent

By | Prose

desire after work I caress my wife’s brown hair this is how I pray as the clouds evaporate I stroke the length of her thigh Friday and Phoebe and I watch “The Newshour”, largely for the pleasure of hollering at Republicans. After that, we turn to “The Office” or some such, because, as Phoebe says, …

Panels

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

I no longer know the Vietnam War.   I only feel it. I am in D. C. for a conference.   I’m staying at the Renaissance Hotel on 9th.   But I am drawn to Panel 49W, Line 035.   Robert O. Bumiller.   The Vietnam Memorial. I walk the length of the Mall from east to west.   I’m only …

Revision

By | John Samuel Tieman, Poetics, Prose

One of the mysteries of marriage is watching Phoebe revise. I’ve seen her take a thirty page draft and just throw the whole thing out. All of it. And start over. The ideas are all there and greatly clarified. But the words she throws out. What she keeps is the clarity of thought. For my …

For A War Buddy

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

7 December St. Louis, 8:00 AM Dear Dick, It occurs to me that I got home from Vietnam, and out of the army, forty years ago today. Indeed, at this very hour. My major sensation is not so much sadness or nostalgia as much as — forty years! Forty years. My God, I was only …