Tim Bascom


Three hundred calves skinned whole,

their hides rubbed smooth

under a bone blade, stitched and trimmed

and tattooed to keep the myth

blossoming in egg yolk

vermillion and lapis

lazuli.  And the sacred script

scritch-scratched with turkey quill

and knife, in letters that lift

light as eyelash then

flare back so wide that

after the page is turned

they shadow through—these holy scars

these dark and holy scars

which bleed into the belly

of a beast no longer there.



Tim Bascom has published poetry in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slant, Spillway, North American Review, and other journals. His essays have appeared in The Missouri Review, Creative Nonfiction, and others. His memoir Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia won the Bakeless Literary Prize in Nonfiction.  Bascom received his MFA degree from the University of Iowa, and he returns there annually to teach at their Summer Writing Festival.  He is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Waldorf College.


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