Note: What follows is the complete text of Tom Weatherly’s second book, Thumbprint, originally published by Telegraph Books in 1971. — David Grundy

Tom Weatherly
Telegraph Books, 1971

Image of a thumbprint


these pages: The World, Toothpaste, Defiance, NOOSE, xmas card, NATURAL PROCESS (Hill & Wang anthology), Suction, Cuchulain, weatherly, GUM, Grub, Whetstone, 3C 147, Free Poems Among Friends.

to the souls & flesh
these mamas, real & fancy

mama helen, mary emily, lucy belle, yvonne, gina, d.d., bertha, earline, leslie, lela, clara talley, fannie lee, auntie, maggie

hadassah, chip, louise, harriet, mary, mildred joyce, grace, willalene, sherry, marion, sonia, nikki, elyse, trudy, joy, joy, joy, stephanie, geraldine, nancy, alice, galen, joan, barbara, penny

gwendolyn shirley ann, alice mae, edna, mary virginia, barbara, georgianne, willene, maggie, joyce, jan, linda, helen, carol ann, helen, maxine, denise, rosa maria, alma, evelyn, sue, eileen, leslie, jan, christine, ln, rita, cheryl, myrtle, sara jean, ruth, beverly, jeanne, tana, paula, marti, judy, marie, sherry

jennifer, joanne, paula, ava, eve, princess, gracie allen, elizabeth I, ‘dagmar,’ l.v., youngn, john, billie, 3 corners, tina, christina, 

et al …


oba skorpios
xmas poem
i’ve seen the hard women
crazy what she calls
for billie
no new images
to john wieners
peanut butter fly
lady fox
bearded lady
esoscure # 1
speculum oris
medium! & behold
three stuffd pig feets
“hadassah went dressing up royally”

triangular symbol line drawing



dark owl wish.
i hear. tic.
her shadow. bend. sinister.
in my window. as i bend.
your mind. our language.
with penis. pencil.
rubber eraser.

she stays.
sinister. bent
over my grave. poems.
asking her young. darkness.


for miss kitting

linda june put your white dress on
when black dark falls full moon rising
shadow of moonseed owl, fog
slow catfish swim low tide rising

san francisco mean fog rising.


for vlada

we hold hi school hands
fuck i mean that
as love we workd out
th 50s our own down ways
dreams would be jaild.

your jelly mama
th way you walk & roll ass
soul eyes innocent.
black cat bone hunger
pigmeat heifer. fuck you
like a song chuck

oba skorpios

i touch you wif my eyes i see you
close one black amber eye of bini.
no bronze petals of idah, nor lotus
ivory carved & offered to th oba.
no land. nor house built by th bini
hands of god. i will give you
skorpios’ way
out west, dirty boogies in texas
sand. amber sun. high noon flash
lightning scorpion’s tail. birth
body. life soul. death spirit.

xmas poem

we’ll teach lil tomcat
the magic we learn
burning our soul flesh.
carol   i cried when told
the gods fuck.

[i’ve seen the hard women]

i’ve seen the hard women
walking the street in
the soft rain.

you leave blood on my sheet
& wash it out in the laundromat.
you, walking light wif your burden
’cross avenue B in the heavy rain.

crazy what she calls

it’s much harder to treat a woman
than it is to treat a man.
we are allowed to mix piss in th toilet
thot we had to be married for that, but no
one will care, even if we declare our unmarriage,
marriage fuckn our heads, together, apart
more than when we ate 3 breakfasts in th hip bagel.
i was th rapist & but you were th villain, white
rumanian jew, samuels — didnt your family change
its name? ‘marshmallow mattress on a putty frame.’
you thot who was that tall dark handsome stranger.
hey thats not a street light thats th moon.

for billie

a dyke can’t
hold back th sea
boyish finger stuck in
or boy’s will, it’s her flesh
she can’t hold back

loony tune.

no new images

of knife, may
she rest.

flimFlamm, your old lady is creep
she is th odour of cliche
& if th speech figures i know
were able to sketch her gravel
gertie voice face like grendel’s dam
mitts wid asbestos skin & flint
fingernails     still, i couldn’t
sit still while she slimes
’cross this room like all
mistakes thrown up & back
out galactic gene pool
created by god fool. but she
has heart: fools gold
encased in concrete. drop it
in th ocean,

to john wieners

these men i’ve kissed
and wrestled love from,
satisfied the spirit
     of the act,
but not the drama of
weighing down weight
:the tension of fucking
springs to.

peanut butter fly

let me see you boogie
woogie i know shit-
mongers who survived
                        ‘cherry pink &
apple blossom white’
peanut butter cunts
wif sapphire blood
nappy mouf blue eyed
boogien cold turkey.


what it is a woman
nikki puts on
as ron withholds belief
he, as if he knew
she crops the snap
shot of the beach. moon
outside it pulln the tide.

lady fox

skin high daughter of black maria.
bar-ligura of the 13th floor.

caroline’s milk come down 1:32
in the morning by lil tom-
cat reckoning. she says ‘big tom
when you write about sex
you sound like a procol harum
record. my desire is to fuck
and you running A M E corners
all night rusty ass wet
come home to me. this spirit
wills my seed. big hard jerking main.’

bearded lady

silence between flashes
i come home to, & static
where you sit
i’m not & seem put out
light years.   th weight
i move turns tonight
th ages, you / me,
as miles of thunder
breaks apart
thots, dreams, hungers.
remember 5 years ago, alone
in an age trudging home light
transparent, noise
at that site of your life
i sit as th heavy.

esoscure # 1 


my head line, mama. & dull
black aches in th wisdom. laughing.
is a gas. th dreams i pull my coat
wif an Ali shuffle like Manolete.

but i’m not th victor
our future is in
& out side doors wif us.
another memo over th horns.

based on the red dress

you intoxicated me like some
wry whiskey voice vamping my system
on the channel of my choice
and i spent all black
dark jackn off to old movies ’bout
male assignations to all wacky
wac run missile sites for my sore
eyes early in morning light   knockd up
in the efficiency wombs of i b m. 

hear, hear, say dick
conte. ‘We will be merciful
as usual.’ least as all know now
the ambush is show biz, it’s one real
rock hudson showing last
frame-up and guts until alan (any lad
raised on national rifle associations)
rides toward the desert for love, pissd
off and superbad chasing desert foxes 

like you. the colors of the red dress (FADE OUT
the end.

speculum oris 

bladderwort. blue
frog in th harbour street 

bird leg nora
a mo bile bama
high strut heels about
wif her pig fat ass 

spike thighs open
to th scramble 

in Jong sang doo
, ‘nor charged god foolishly.’

medium! & behold 


th closer to th centre
th country th uglier


& men


 dey talks funny too

three stuffd pig feets 

this ol colored boy sorta ambles
up to bill golson’s meat market
looks in, push th door open. ‘missah
bill, i wants 3 of dem
feets.’   ‘OKAY LUKE.’
(i’ll fool this boy good & stuff ’em wif shit)
& he laughs til his neck turn red. 

bill puttin’ way stock for th day
up come luke grin from ear to ear
‘missah bill i wants 3 mo dem pig feets
i got this moanin’ for ol massa killibrews widder.’

‘hadassah went dressing up royally’
                                                       Esther 5:1

her shoulders rust
in the sun where mine
burst fire /  run. the molotov cocktail
red explode 

but hadassah stomps
‘durga parvati’
her elephanthide armor clanks
auto honks the fuzz. 

she walks in
israel opens up
last shot in the war / the maumau
stampede newark, ’67 

i ride the ass

line drawing of symbol resembling a candle with a curvy wick and flat base