Toby Bowman is the pen name of a cellist, media scholar, and computer
programmer who has written books in the fields of cinema studies and
software development, and who wrote his first poem many (many) years
ago but is only now submitting his work for the first time.

Sometimes Clouds

Alberti wrote
of single-point
perspective. I want
to find it, and cannot.
My vision rolls. It plays tag
with space.

But sometimes clouds,
of an autumn morning,
substantiate Alberti
in grand triangulation,
pointing westward
across the Hudson,

to where a clocktower stands
in another state,
welcoming the apex of the clouds and,
alone, drawing the eye.

In that drawing of the eye,
the clocktower tells me
something I know to be
wrong, but so be it:
it will not make me late.

The Superior Dead

The sidewalk passes
alongside a wall
whose other side stops a hill
like a guard's hand staying cars
or a levee calling a halt
to an eager surge

The wall shoulders the hill
and contains it
while that hill in turn
contains the dead
in their hundreds
supine beneath lovely stones
aging grandly

The hill is steep, and you
are at its foot, so you crane your neck
to see those stones
and reflect on the dead
at rest beneath the earth,
with their backs to you

The Excision

The nurse
led me down the hall
and told me
that I would not
remember her,

then she left me
in a room
where they put me
to sleep
and cured me
of cancer.

I remember her.

Nel Mezzo

Came little sister
and (snap!) I became

a middle child.
Now I stand in the middle
of perhaps four hundred

books, seven thousand
conversations, thoughts
without number,

thirty plus stabs
at creating a filing system,
possibly more meals
than not,

a large handful
of cello sonatas,


Back to Front.